I’ve written many times about how I profoundly disagree with Rick Santorum—it would have been a sad day for me if he were to be elected president. But I truly believe he ran for office for the right reasons: He has steadfast principles, for which, by his own admission, he wanted airtime. He emerged at a political moment when protestors on both sides were revolting against a painful financial crisis, but with the help of socially conservative legislators and talk show hosts across the country, he shifted our focus elsewhere.

via Lessons from Santorum: You Don’t Have to Win to Set the Agenda – News – GOOD.

While Rick Santorum may not have won the election, he certainly did influence the political conversation in this nation and for a short time presented voters with a clear opposite to the socially liberal and economically socialist policies of the Democratic party.  I wonder whether we are losing something valuable when those candidates who have clear ideas and staunch principles, no matter which side of the aisle they are on, are forced to bow out of electoral contests because they can’t win the money game.

Are we as a nation left with a clear choice, Obama and Romney, as the General Election seems to be shaping up?  Or should we make room for the Gingriches, Santorums and Pauls, simply to give voters greater choice?  Are we as Americans losing out on something real and valuable when we are forced to vote between the lesser of two evils, rather than the best of two betters?