Watch Live: The Washington Ideas Forum 2014

Against the Pursuit of Happiness

Rick Santorum gets points for honesty. He is opposed to the "pursuit of happiness" proclaimed as one of the three basic principles of the American experiment by the founding fathers. My third chapter, "The Theo-Conservative Project," is a detailed but respectful critique of his book, "It Takes A Family," its confusion about science, and its terrible fear of individual liberty.

You have to wait to the very end of the clip to hear him actually say the words that the "pursuit of happiness harms America." And he tries to portray such a pursuit as somehow an enemy of personal responsibility. But why not both? Isn't that what true conservatism means? And since when was it the role of government to be the means of imposing values and responsibility? In Santorum, you see how the big government left met the moralizing right and became Bush-Rove conservatism. It's a vision of America suited for October 31. And it's time to fight back against it.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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