Dan Henninger, columnist and Deputy Editorial Page Director for the Wall Street Journal, wrote a column saying that the concepts of freedom and liberty are strongly resonating with voters this year. He said the symbols of this mood are the “Don’t tread on me” motto and the “coiled rattlesnake sewn into the famous yellow Gadsden flag created before the American Revolution,” which he points out has been “a staple at tea party rallies.”

While not using his column to support Rick Santorum, Henninger credits Santorum with realizing the importance of liberty as an issue in the current campaign:

What Mr. Santorum has discovered in this campaign is that for a large number of voters, a connection has surfaced between Barack Obama’s economic policies and the issue of personal freedom. The potency of the latter is what’s new, and a vulnerability for this presidency….

Rick Santorum has linked…concerns about the status of personal freedom directly to ObamaCare and beyond that to the broader policy legacy of Obama administration…. A lot of people feel the government, finally, is really starting to crowd them. It has made them uneasy. For the Santorum audience, the call-and-response word to push back against the unease is ‘freedom.’

A caption in a photo illustrating the article says, “Audiences yell ‘freedom’ when (Santorum) attacks ObamaCare.”

According to Henninger:

Mr. Santorum didn’t get this response by discussing health-insurance exchanges and guaranteed issue. He (said) that ObamaCare ‘is usurping your rights. It is creating a culture of dependency. Every single American will be dependent on government, thanks to ObamaCare. There is no more important issue in this race.’

Henninger concludes, “Rick Santorum should stay in the race, repeating from now till summer the perverse link between the ObamaCare mandate and the American idea of freedom.”

Recognizing the critical importance of the concepts of freedom and liberty this year, the Richmond Tea Party and other patriot groups are sponsoring a “Celebrate Liberty!” event at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds from noon to 8 pm on Saturday, April 14.