Rick Santorum's Bizarre Revisionist View Of The French Revolution

In the wake of Rick Santorum's recent three-peat, he's drawing more scrutiny, and the results are predictably awesome.

Check out this completely ahistorical take on the French Revolution.

SANTORUM: They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is the government that gives you right, what’s left are no unalienable rights, what’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that, but if we do and follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.

If a junior high student had written this gibberish in an essay on the French Revolution, he'd deserve an F.

Santorum has this exactly backwards, of course. It was under the French absolute monarchy and the Ancien Régime that one had no "unalienable rights" and had a government that could tell you "what you'll do and when you'll do it."

And the Revolutionaries, inspired by Enlightenment figures like Rousseau and the American Revolution, wrote and signed the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which

...defines a single set of individual and collective rights for all men. Influenced by the doctrine of natural rights, these rights are held to be universal and valid in all times and places.

The first of these include:

  1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.
  2. The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
  3. The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.
  4. Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.

Obviously, none of these rights existed under King Louis, and unfortunately for Santorum, the Catholic Church stood in direct opposition to the French Revolution and in support of the Ancien Régime.

Of course, this is all an aside to the fact that the notion President Robespierre Obama is about to unleash a Reign of Terror and start beheading clergy is well beyond insane.


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