An emotional former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), speaking at CPAC just a day after seeing his nephew pass away, implored conservatives to become the “greatest generation” by embracing charity while not compromising on social positions in campaigns.

“Our society has become an epidemic of addiction and dysfunction” with the media promoting “a culture of titillation in an attempt to please us,” Santorum lamented, emotional after recounting the story of being at his dying newphew’s bedside in the same hospital where his wife gave birth to one of their daughters.

The onetime presidential hopeful said lower-income Americans in particular are enduring suffering, but not because Americans are worse off in the past in terms of healthcare and medical advancements.

“Our culture and our political leadership have robbed them of the ‘why’ of America, our purpose,” Santorum said. “What is the why of America? What is the American dream?”

“America in its essence is a moral enterprise — a moral enterprise focused on the dignity of every human person.”

Santorum said if the conference is focused on helping people gain more material possessions, “America will lose.”

“The left can always promise more stuff and make it sound like they care more,” he added.

“For those in our movement who want to abandon our country’s moral underpinnings to win … what does it profit a movement to gain the country and lose its own soul?”

Santorum slammed Europe as “a society that is godless without faith” and compared it to “Obama’s new deal.”

“We have to fight for those who are suffering and left behind,” he said. “…They want your money not because they want your cash” but  “caring, mentorship, love — all things government cannot give.”