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Lights! Camera! Santorum!!

SantorumBy Alex Talcott – July, 2013

In a recent Huckabee show appearance, former U.S. Senator, presidential candidate, and Fox News contributor Rick Santorum defended a new job as CEO of a family-friendly movie studio. To host Huckabee, Santorum warned (the Left? the Right? Huckabee himself?) that the enterprise precludes a 2016 run no more than the former Arkansas governor’s media projects. Indeed, later on Andrea Tantaros’s radio show: “I think this is probably a good way to spend my time and energy potentially between two runs.”

Santorum emailed subscribers of his post-campaign public advocacy group, Patriot Voices, that reaching the masses requires entering through entertainment. Like the late Andrew Breitbart, he says culture is upstream from politics. Impressed by EchoLight Studio’s resources and mission, Santorum sees a ready market for “films that reaffirm the values most American families share.” He told The Blaze, “I’m not going to be the pastor, but let’s tell the truth about how faith is an important part of peoples’ lives and how it adds to the story that the studios have proven not willing to do.”

At least one other production company has already proved worthy of Santorum and his cause. For this Fourth of July, Patriot Voices is encouraging watch parties – i.e., home group screenings – of Our Sacred Honor, produced by Citzens United’s David Bossie (friend and collaborator of Newt Gingrich, whose wife Callista also runs Gingrich Productions).

Citizens United, most notable for producing the film on Hillary Clinton that spawned a 2010 Supreme Court campaign finance decision, partnered with Santorum on a film project in 2012 that was circulated by Patriot Voices earlier this year. An American exceptionalism (still not a Microsoft Word recognized word despite years of preoccupation in academe) piece, Our Sacred Honor features commentary by red-meat conservatives like Michelle Malkin and Mark Levin as well as academics from Northeastern, Gettysburg College, the University of Dayton, George Washington University, and Stanford.

As he often did on the stump, Santorum opens the educational documentary with the full first sentence of the Declaration of Independence. And as he did prominently in companion book American Patriots (think Tea Party Profiles in Courage), Santorum distinguishes the American Revolution from the French. Until reaching Jefferson’s Danbury Baptist church-and-state letter (if-the-Founders-could-hear-us-now angle, set to ‘repetitititive’ Philip Glass music), the A&E/Discovery/History Channel suited film actually tracks U.S. history unoffensively to any state high-school curriculum.

Santorum didn’t release a campaign book before the 2012 race. His 2005 It Takes a Family, a response to Hillary Clinton’s 1996 book title from an African proverb, could be relevant again with Hillary and Rick running in the same presidential cycle. It could conceivably be adapted to film as a conservative Michael Moore trope-trek across a country of broken social institutions, stopping to visit aging Rotary clubs and churches turned condo. EchoLight focuses on non-documentary features, which might help Santorum unite more voices. Patriot Voices has reached 140,000 people in a year toward its one million goal. Coming soon to theaters is The Redemption of Henry Myers, a not-so-wild-wild western.

Alex Talcott, Vaura ConsultingAlex Talcott, J.D., teaches college and high school history and international studies and is an academic advisor to undergraduate and continuing education students. He lives in Durham, New Hampshire. Follow him on Twitter @AlexTalcott

 

Alex Talcott

Alex Talcott

Alex Talcott, J.D., of Durham NH is a Faculty Team Lead for Criminal Justice and Political Science at Southern New Hampshire University, where he also teaches business law. He is the recipient of the 2015 Valley Patriot "President's Award" Follow him on Twitter @AlexTalcott.

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