Americans are “looking for a president who believes in them,” Rick Santorum said on the first day (and probably close to every day) of his primary campaign for the Republican nomination for president.
It’s an all-American message that gets lost among both political parties. Most obviously, it is poised as the polar opposite of the message sent in 2008 by Barack Obama, who presented himself as Change You Can Believe In. And most Americans who did believe in Obama now feel a deep disappointment, one that Santorum is seeking to tap into. But the message sent by many of the Republicans in this year’s race is not much better. Consider, for example, the intraparty derision of the richest guy in the race, Mitt Romney, because of his financial success — unhealthy criticism of someone who has demonstrated a work ethic of the type we’d be wiser to admire, of a faithful family man who has chosen public service instead of resting on his business laurels.
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