Okay, I’ll admit it.  I fell victim to it, along with some other people I know.  I am just now recovering from a serious bout of Santorum panic.

I don’t think I can be completely blamed for it.  Santorum is one of those scary people known as social conservatives.  This means that on top of the usual right-wing predatory philosophy of “If you happen to be old or sick, you are a weaker specimen, and need to be rejected from the pack”, he also carries an unappetizing layer of push-it-down-your-throat religiosity.  I suppose the pompous morality is there to try to hide the predatory thinking, something that the libertarians, in all their charming honesty, do without.

Anyway, Santorum wants to annul all the previously established gay marriages–in the name, no doubt, of liberty.  He would like to allow states to ban contraceptives.  As he said in an interview, contraceptives are bad since they give one all kinds of sexual license.  In short, he represents the kind of small town thinking I instinctively fear—because I am someone who comes from a small town.  Sure, a small town in Eastern Europe.  But let me share a little secret:  Small towns are the same all over the world.  They’re FRIGHTENING.

If I want more proof that Rick inhabits a different planet than me, I need look no further than the sweater vests he is currently hawking to anyone who will donate $100 or more to his campaign.  I’m not sure why, but Christian conservatives even have a fashion sense all their own.  The make-up styles of the female Fox news anchors have induced bouts of panic in me as well.

So when Santorum came in second in Iowa, I freaked out.  I forwarded Facebook posts with all of his scariest quotes, and left rambling comments on blogs.  I envisioned a Santorum presidency and tried to decide which country I would flee to when all the condoms had run out.

Of course, I had forgotten one thing:  this was Iowa.  It was the place where Huckabee had, once upon a time, come in first.  The nominees don’t come out of Iowa.

And so thankfully, things are now in a much more predictable place.   According to the latest reports from the BBC, the crowds at Santorum speeches are still full of energy, but much smaller.  He also made the mistake of wading into his “gay marriage equals polygamy” stuff with some college students, and got heckled and booed.  Most importantly, another BBC news article (yes, I luvs the BBC) interviewed a few people in his audience who said they didn’t want to hear anymore about abortion and gay marriage.  They wanted to hear about the economy.  It’s still the economy, stupid, not theology.

Well, I have been miraculously healed from my irrational moment of panic and feel much better.  Now to get ready for the real thing:  Romney and months of boring debates about tax code and health insurance.  Hallelujah!