Asshole of the Day, December 6, 2013: Rick Santorum
You can stick Nelson Mandela with many labels - activist, peacemaker, revolutionary - and all of them would fit. You could also compare him to many people - Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., even Malcolm X - and, though you wouldn’t have a full picture of the man the world called ‘Mandiba’, you will have captured a piece of him.
One person you could never compare Mandela to, however, is former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum. Seriously - the only thing these two have in common are their XY chromosomes. Yet, Santorum made a ridiculous link between himself and Mandela, the man who sacrificed his freedom to help bring an end to apartheid in South Africa:
Nelson Mandela…was fighting against a great injustice. I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that.
South African apartheid was a government enforced system of racial segregation that economically distressed and politically disenfranchised the nation’s majority black inhabitants. Denying basic human rights to an entire race of people is nothing like requiring people to have health insurance. Nothing.
Santorum’s statement also makes it clear that he isn’t very knowledgeable about Mandela or his work.
When he became South Africa’s first black president, Mandela made sure a right to health care was included in the nation’s constitution. The idea that healthcare should be accessible and affordable clearly resonated with the people of South Africa, because the country began implementing its own universal healthcare system two years ago. Guess which plan the South African plan resembles? Yep…the Affordable Healthcare Act that Santorum is fighting so hard to overturn.
Nelson Mandela believed in justice, equality and all those things that any normal person with a soul should believe in. Rick Santorum’s fight to overturn the Affordable Healthcare Act is not rooted in social justice. Santorum is not trying to protect the American people from ‘big government’…he just wants to win enough Tea Party votes to get himself elected to the White House.
Santorum’s poor attempt to use Mandela’s death to elevate his own platform is not only idiotic - it disrespects everything Mandela stood for. And, for that, he is Asshole of the Day.
Amazingly it is only Rick Santorum’s first time as Asshole of the Day.
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