Jim DeMint on Principles & Values
Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (SC-4)
I was dubbed "Senator Tea Party" due to my vocal support for the many grassroots rallies organized throughout the country. When I spoke at Tea Party events and made my way through the crowds, I would often hear 3 things: "Thanks for fighting. Don't back down," and "We're praying for you." And of course everyone would ask, "What can we do?" These folks came from all walks of life, but they were all eager for political leadership from elected officials serious about stopping the federal government from bankrupting our nation.
Freedom operating within the constraints of law was the only rational way to deal with individuals whose natural tendencies were bent toward selfishness and corruption.
These competing visions of human nature and societal arrangements are at war in America today--and the progressive view that mankind is inherently virtuous is infinitely more attractive to the uninformed voter.
The Judeo-Christian view, which is essentially synonymous with today's conservative view, is that a decentralized societal structure based on individual rewards and punishment is the best way to harness the good and redirect the negative tendencies of human nature.
These are the character traits that make people governable with only limited government and external control. This is what compels one neighbor to help another. And these are also the characteristics that provide some measure of restraint to elected leaders who are given the power to govern.
I once asked him: "You agree with Republicans on almost every issue, so why are you a Democrat?" His answer: "Because I want to help people."
My friend's answer reminds us there are many good people in the Democratic Party who are sincere in their desire to help others. They honestly believe that despite all the evidence to the contrary, the federal government can balance the playing field of life, ensure fairness, improve education, eliminate poverty, and redistribute wealth and prosperity from the haves to the have-nots.
In politics, ideology and rhetoric are useless unless elected leaders have character, courage, and competence. Character means you are accountable to a set of principles that don't change for expedience. And, for me, it means being accountable to God.
Character cannot be determined by claims and promises--it is revealed over the course of one's life. Every candidate for public office will have a record of performance in their family life, their professional life, their church, their community, and their voting record and behavior in office. It is important that we evaluate the character of candidates. We shouldn't expect perfection, but there is usually a discernible pattern of character. If a candidate has not been honest with those closest to him--his family, friends and community--we should not be surprised if integrity is also lacking in his public life.
DEMINT: Well, let me clarify what I mean by conservative. I'm just talking about common-sense people who don't think balancing a checkbook is a radical idea. What I'm talking about is where mainstream America is, and it's just common sense
Q: A poll said about 19% of Americans support the tea party movement. That's not mainstream. That's not most Americans.
DEMINT: The interesting thing is, for instance, in Delaware, there are probably at most a few thousand tea party activists. But ten times that many voted for Christine O'Donnell in the Republican primary. So for every person who takes up a sign and goes to a tea party rally, there are thousands of Americans who agree with them, who don't like Republicans or Democrats, but they're concerned about the incredible spending.
Few in America and in Congress would call themselves socialists. They believe they are liberals, progressives, Democrats, compassionate conservatives, moderate Republicans, or obedient religious adherents.
While they would never admit it, most members of Congress lean toward socialist policies. They're not involved in a conspiracy. Nor are they intent on destroying freedom. They are patriotic Americans who want the best for our country and our people, but they just don't understand how freedom works, and they don't understand the dangers of socialism.
The socialist principles of "equality" and "justice" sound like ideas we should all support, but the socialists' definition of equality is not equality of opportunities but an equality of outcomes. They are not speaking of equal justice under law. Socialists promote a more arbitrary "affirmative justice" government action to combat perceived discrimination or suspected prejudice. To save freedom, Americans must understand these advocates of government-imposed social and economic justice want to transform America into a social democracy that whether they know it or not, advances the cause of socialism.
It is not an overstatement to say freedom describes the highest state of human existence. For more than 2 centuries, this elusiv treasure has thrived in the US. Freedom is hard to define. We can't see it or touch it. Yet freedom has been written about and spoken of throughout history as the height of individual achievement and the ultimate goal of civilization.
By all objective measures freedom is on the decline in America. The philosophy of socialism has crept into almost every aspect of American life, and this philosophy has slowly and indiscernibly stripped many American of their prosperity, dignity, and hope for the future.
This personal conflict encouraged me to think more clearly about the difference between a secular government and a secular society. One is good; the other is destructive. We do notwant a government that represents a particular religion or forces a particular religion on its people. Our government should be religion-neutral or secular.
But we also do not want a government that purges religion from society. We do not want a government that prohibits religious-based moral judgments by individuals or private institutions. We do not want a government that excludes constructive values and principles. And we do not a government that promotes destructive behaviors opposed to the traditional values of our nation.
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).
Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.
The GOP controls the Senate by just one vote. Even with today’s margin, the GOP doesn’t have effective control of the agenda as the Democrats use the filibuster to kill pro-growth reform or crucial judicial appointments. The next Senate could confirm two U.S. Supreme Court justices.
If the Republicans do manage to pick up a few extra seats in the Senate, there could also be an ideological shift toward pro-growth issues. Right now, the balance of power is in the hands of the RINO Republicans like Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter. With a seat pick-up for the GOP, plus the addition of GOP superstars, Olympia and Arlen would no longer be deciding votes. We could move away from watered-down Republicanism toward a genuine pro-growth agenda.
Members of the Club are economic conservatives, like-minded political contributors who are frustrated with the ideological drift of both parties today. Club members have a shared goal of contributing to and electing more Reaganites to Congress who are willing to stand for the issues like: cutting taxes, controlling federal spending, personal accounts for Social Security, ending the death tax, eliminating the capital gains tax, fundamental tax reform, providing true school choice and minimizing government's role in our daily lives.
The stakes are mighty high in the Senate elections. That’s why we’re providing you now with our outlook for every competitive Senate race and a list of our top tier choices. The “A” List Candidates make this list because their races are competitive and they are the very best on economic issues. The “B” List Candidates are all in hotly contested races too, but they are not as rock solid on economic growth issues.
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 AU scores as follows:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom. AU is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.
Americans United is a national organization with members in all 50 states. We are headquartered in Washington, D.C., and led by the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director. AU has more than 75,000 members from all over the country. They include people from all walks of life and from various faith communities, as well as those who profess no particular faith. We are funded by donations from our members and others who support church-state separation. We do not seek, nor would we accept, government funding.
The Tea Party movement is a populist conservative social movement in the United States that emerged in 2009 through a series of locally and nationally coordinated protests. The protests were partially in response to several Federal laws: the stimulus package; te healthcare bill; and the TARP bailouts. The name "Tea Party" refers to the Boston Tea Party of 1773, the source of the phrase, "No Taxation Without Representation."
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