Raika is a teen participant in the Junior State of America (JSA), a student-run political organization for high school students.
Barry Goldwater ("Mr. Conservative") famously proclaimed that his 1964 presidential campaign offered "a choice, not an echo." Although his campaign may have ended with a defeat to Lyndon B. Johnson, his dictum continued to "echo" in America's ears as a prominent point about elections. What makes a candidate a strong competitor is not so much that they appeal to the general populous, but that they create a stark contrast with their opposition. A clear, defiant contrast to the others is attained not by mincing words, but by taking a clear stance on issues so as to offer voters a true choice.
Mr. Conservative's aphorism, however, is only reflected in one current Republican presidential candidate. The candidates all have an underlying consensus regarding most aspects of fiscal policy. They do not bicker over repealing President Obama's healthcare reform, slicing taxes and regulations and imposing extensive spending cuts that will contribute to the overall balancing of the budget and reduce the deficit. Yet only one candidate remains true to the beliefs of an adamant conservative on social issues.
Rick Santorum has advocated social conservatism consistently, a feat that others, like Mitt Romney, who ran a pro-choice ad in 1994, have struggled with. His strong position on family values and opposition to abortion represent his ability to emphasize the strength of his morality. Santorum equates contraception to "a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be." He also stated in 2003 that laws should exist against polygamy, adultery, sodomy, and other actions "antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family" since they were detrimental to society. These types of values being instilled in our youth promotes a healthier country. It is pivotal that right values -- traditional Judeo-Christian values that are shared with all major religions -- become ingrained in our youth. He sees more clearly than any other candidate the impact that widespread immorality has had on America. This is what America needs for a president: a guy who knows his values.
Santorum's platform not only epitomizes and keeps universal morality sacred -- unlike his opponents' platforms -- but it also serves as a better guide for foreign, domestic, fiscal, and social policy. America, and my generation in particular, needs a leader who is willing to take a stand on moral values and collective responsibilities to our communities. America needs a Rick Santorum.