There was a point in Rick Santorum's history lesson, a point in the former Pennsylvania senator's spiel last Friday about the horrific transition President Obama has yet in store for America, when the 20,000-strong audience at the 2013 NRA Convention sat perfectly silent. Bathed in blue flood-light, all the star-and-stripe hats and silk-screen shirts remained rapt. They listened to Santorum rage on the secularism of the Obama Administration, of the parallels between the "godless" French Revolutionaries, the ones who "burned churches and killed clergy," and all that's coming from the White House.
|Ted Cruz kept the NRA Convention's audience enraptured through his legal explanations of the Second Amendment.|
"Obama's vision for the US is the same vision running wild in Europe for the past two centuries!" Santorum thundered, a bit grayer than last year, just as much faith in his oratory as before. "It's is a secular culture -- it's a dying culture!" That's why the French opted for fraternité -- brotherhood -- rather than paternité -- homage to the Father, to the Creator above. That's why it failed. That's why Napoleon, rather than Jésus-Christ, ground the French under his heel.
And just before Santorum's coup de grâce, just before Santorum -- whose speech was easily the best of the afternoon's lineup -- jumped the audience into its thirtieth standing ovation of the day, a quick scan of the crowd revealed a group of thousands soaking in the juxtaposition, soaking in the history, as much as possible. This was a group of people for whom citing America's greatness carried no sense of irony. This was the group for whom discussing America's position as the last and best bastion of freedom -- so long as we're not discussing gay marriage, or drug usage, or reproductive choice, or gambling in Texas -- was a given. This was a group that saw no daylight between the Second Amendment and an undying faith in democracy -- this was a people, to paraphrase Obama, who cling to guns as religion. More »