Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney Herald the Destruction of the Republican Party

This article originally appeared on Tripped Media. Follow them on Twitter @TrippedMedia.

When the best candidates a party has are an out-of-touch millionaire and a Christian extremist, you know there is a problem.

For months, Republicans have desperately searched for a non-Mitt Romney candidate, which is partly responsible for Santorum’s rise to the top. Despite this, many in and out of the party can’t help but look at the two with skepticism. Neither have a commanding lead in terms of committed delegates, and neither appear to have the ability to reach out and attract a wide range of supporters. Some have started openly discussing a brokered convention, where a new candidate could come in and take the nomination, but even those politicians appear to distance themselves. Rising GOP star Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels brushed off the idea entirely.

But what is most alarming about this particular election is how Rick Santorum, who currently leads in the polls, is fixated on social and religious issues. Rather than talk about fixing a broken economy, he has turned to focus on issues around which he could more easily rally support. He’s called this election the most important election since the Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas 1860 one. Why not, essentially Santorum is promoting a culture war.

Unfortunately, parties have historically adopted social issues: gay rights, abortion. But Rick Santorum openly embraces his homophobia, likening homosexuality to bestiality. Santorum goes one step further and completely marries social and religious issues into his entire platform. He’s criticized Obama for not being a real Christian. He said he wanted to vomit after reading John F. Kennedy’s speech on the separation of church and state. Santorum says that’s not an absolute. Of course, marrying religion and government sounds like an excellent idea, especially since he has been so vocal about ending another theocracy: Iran. Santorum, capable of having double standards, also criticized Obama for his apology following the accidental Koran burning in Kabul.

The Christian extremist continues, this time promoting class warfare. A correlation between education and pay has been widely accepted, though Santorum criticized Obama’s desire to see every child go to college. Which, disgustingly enough, was met with cheers from a crowd that had was well aged beyond that of child rearing.

Mitt Romney, who is still trying to find a way to relate with voters, said he knows people that own NASCAR teams. Groan.

At least the Republican Party is collapsing at an opportune time. Americans Elect wants to change the way we select our politicians. Instead of selecting a party, who decides themselves who should rise within, voters would directly select candidates. The political landscape is quickly changing; Al Jazeera reports that in 2011, 196 individual donors provided Super PACs with 80% of all money raised. Crowdsourcing our electoral process like this would allow qualified candidates without millions of dollars to have a fighting chance. Then we would properly be able to elect the most qualified person to run rather than only the candidates with money. It may sound like a pipe dream today, but something like this could very well became a reality, especially if candidates like Rick Santorum continue to dominate the news.

Pinning the election on a candidate supporting a culture war is absurd. It is alienating voters that would have been likely to support the Republican candidate at the onset of primary season, like myself, and force us into Obama’s increasingly rationalized arms. If the party continues with this trend, many more will leave forcing the party’s collapse.

Photo Credit: New Hampshire Public Radio