Our Kind of Truth

It is unlikely that Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum, or many of his followers, has read much post-modern theory. And yet their attitude toward truth suggests that the most faithful followers of obscure leftist thinkers in Paris, New York, or Berkeley are the most reactionary elements in the American heartland.

NEW YORK – Rick Santorum, a former United States senator seeking the Republican Party’s nomination to challenge President Barack Obama this year, has been saying some very strange things about the Netherlands. Ten percent of all deaths in that country, he recently claimed, are from euthanasia, half of which are forced upon helpless patients. Old people are so frightened of being killed by homicidal doctors that they wear bracelets that read: “Do not euthanize me.”

In a way, Santorum’s canards must come as a relief to a country that has increasingly been in the news for outrageous statements by right-wing populists about Muslims and Greeks. Indeed, Santorum’s view of the Netherlands as a kind of progressive dystopia has a slightly old-fashioned ring to it nowadays.

The Dutch were nonetheless disturbed. Some in the country’s parliament even asked whether the foreign minister should lodge a complaint in Washington.

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