Saving America: Time to hit the streets?

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Jim DeMint's gentlemanly air and refined tone belie a power and an urgency in his words.

The stately senator from South Carolina sees America's unique centuries-old system of freedom dying out.

And he thinks we may have to take to the streets to save it.

"I would think it's time to start thinking about peaceful demonstrations," he told us last week.

Seriously?

"Seriously.

"The power of the people is there. Freedom is in the people's hands right now, and it's about to slip through."

Of course, the recent "stimulus" debate is what's fresh on DeMint's mind. Despite DeMint's putting 15 aides on it overnight, no one in Washington was able to read the bill, which was the most expensive in American history -- as well as being perhaps the most irresponsible.

The worst since the adoption of the income tax, DeMint figures.

It's not just the amount of money involved, some $780 billion -- although that, alone, is corrosive enough to American freedom. "I've seen it happen inside government agencies: 'What can we do to get it spent?' It's the only way (the agencies can get money)," DeMint says. "I see that happen in Afghanistan and Iraq, where our aid programs are basically based on people being able to spend the money within a certain period of time so we can say we did something. And it just leads to a bunch of waste."

Perhaps even worse than the money is the strings that come with it. It's the growth of the federal government's reach and influence too. The "stimulus" bill has increased the federal role in, among other things, education -- and gets the government's nose fully in the tent of private medical decisions.

The slab has been poured underneath what some want to become nationalized health care.

"Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system," writes Betsy McCaughey, adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. "Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

"But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and 'guide' your doctor's decisions."

In short, rationing.

In truth, the leviathan that is the stimulus bill is just the most recent in a chain of actions by an aristocratic and arrogant Washington that is eroding our freedoms.

With our tacit permission.

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism," American socialist Norman Thomas famously once said, "but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened."

DeMint sees it -- from a front-row seat in the U.S. Senate.

"We're being drawn in with a lot of promises -- and the fact that so many people are already dependent on the government and so few actually pay taxes," DeMint says.

Sadly, DeMint saw that dependence in full bloom -- in the faces of South Carolina leaders who tried to twist his arm to vote for the stimulus bill to get their own goodies.

"Just about everybody who came in my office, even the mayors from all over the state, they would usually say, 'DeMint, I agree with you -- this is a bad bill. But it's got this in here for us, and we want our piece.'"

Historically, the federal government has been about 18 percent of the gross domestic product. By next year, it could grow to nearly 40 percent, according to Newsweek .

"The late sociologist Seymour Lipset," writes National Review editor Rich Lowry, "wrote a brilliant book on why the U.S. didn't embrace socialism, called It Didn't Happen Here. In a few years, its conclusion might look premature."

DeMint is hopeful -- but not when he looks around Capitol Hill.

"I've become increasingly aware that the thoughtful, well-informed leaders are very few and far between in the Congress -- people who seem to be well-read and continuing to kind of grow their skills. It's become rhetorical and political ..."

Instead, DeMint is looking to the people -- where he still sees a "remnant" of freedom-loving still stirring.

Only a remnant?

"That's all it is," he concludes. "But that's all it takes.

"Freedom is in our hands; it always has been. We've entrusted it to people in Washington, and increasingly they have picked our pockets and pulled power from us. We're just going to have to take it back.

"The real shame of all this is, I feel Republicans had said that we were going to carry that banner of freedom -- and they completely betrayed that. And it's going to be hard to get it back."

But with all except three Republicans in Congress voting against the stimulus bill, perhaps getting that banner back has started. There are a few rising conservative stars on the national scene, including Reps. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Mike Pence of Indiana.

Still, DeMint says star power isn't what we need. "I think what we need to look for first is to find the principles that will bring us together. I'm not looking for a face right now."

One thing he is looking for is a strong governor or two.

States need to stop putting their hands out to the federal government and start pushing it away, DeMint figures -- and maybe start questioning some of the modern dogma that says the feds can prevent offshore drilling, or withhold gas tax money or inject themselves as much as they want in education, health care and other issues.

Don't hold your breath.

The sad fact is, the people who understand American freedom can't rely on their leaders anymore.

"Really, I think the hope right now is not in Congress to make the right decision, cause they're not," DeMint says. "It's just whether or not the American people are going to stand up and say enough is enough.

"People don't need to look to Washington. It's the people's government. And the people are going to have to take it back. They can do it with their voices and with their votes -- and they may have to do it with their legs. People are going to have to show that they're not going to take it anymore."

By "legs," he means what you think he does.

Demonstrations.

Noting the tactics of left-wing organizations such as Code Pink, which like to send handfuls of noisy people to a lawmaker's office, DeMint suggests such things do get the attention of congressmen and senators.

"I think some of these folks might think twice if they had several hundred people standing outside one of their state offices asking, 'What in the world are you thinking?' "

If that doesn't work, there's plenty of room on the boulevard.

Comments (173) Add comment
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ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 02/22/09 - 06:14 pm
0
0
CS: Never. They will not

CS: Never. They will not claim failure. They will simply point back in history to some Republican who screwed up worse. It's their only bullet.

convertedsoutherner
2
Points
convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 06:17 pm
0
0
Is that the same thing as not

Is that the same thing as not taking responsiblilty for your own actions?

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 02/22/09 - 06:17 pm
0
0
It's really all so very

It's really all so very simple: People who wish to think and decide and provide for themselves don't want Big Government. Those who cannot, do. It's not race, not political party, just selfishness.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 02/22/09 - 06:18 pm
0
0
They won't ever take

They won't ever take responsibility. The ones that understand the damage he is doing, applaud it. The others are incapable of understanding the damage he is doing. When they finally see the damage, as you said, IT, they will blame it on the other side because they will be told that by the ones who understood all along.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 02/22/09 - 06:27 pm
0
0
Perhaps Diment is correct;

Perhaps Diment is correct; the American people should show unity through peaceful demonstrations. At least the congressional members of both houses and the big O will then understand that people are neither stupid nor willing to be led to the slarughterhouse like unsuspecting lambs.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 02/22/09 - 06:33 pm
0
0
The problem is that most of

The problem is that most of those people are rather busy earning a living and raising their children right.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 02/22/09 - 06:36 pm
0
0
Communication with elected

Communication with elected officials on all levels might be more effective. At least they will know they are being bombarded. They might not even know about demonstrations if the media doesn't carry the news of them.

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 02/22/09 - 06:36 pm
0
0
The only effect the porkulus

The only effect the porkulus pkg will have upon me is restoring the Homestead Exemption to my property tax bill. I will be donating that savings of $275 to Goodwill Industries. I don't want your tax money, I'll not accept it in any shape or form. I call upon all to follow suit.

convertedsoutherner
2
Points
convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 06:43 pm
0
0
The only problem with us

The only problem with us returning our little stimulus is that 'o' and the dims will just use it to pay off someone else, buy someone else's vote or give it to more of the Palestine people.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 02/22/09 - 06:47 pm
0
0
What is with 20 million

What is with 20 million dollars to relocate Palestinians to the US? Will they be screened? Will they be Hamas members or supporters? Will they go on welfare? Will they be able to vote?

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 02/22/09 - 06:50 pm
0
0
In 2012, "Change we can

In 2012, "Change we can believe in" will be replaced with "Vote early and often"

convertedsoutherner
2
Points
convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 06:53 pm
0
0
Will they be drawing Social

Will they be drawing Social Security, get medical care and all other benefits that hard working Americans have earned, after years of working? The government continues to draw from the SS system to use for their vote buying and then increases the deductions of the hard working American citizens.

convertedsoutherner
2
Points
convertedsoutherner 02/22/09 - 06:59 pm
0
0
Vote early and vote often is

Vote early and vote often is the rule in Chicago - not the exception.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 02/22/09 - 07:03 pm
0
0
CS, I'm concerned. I'm

CS, I'm concerned. I'm eligible for SS now. My husband will be in 2 months. Don't plan to start getting it, but what happens if it's not there when we do need it? Had we had all we have paid in, even with the stock market down, we would have a comfortable retirement.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 02/22/09 - 07:04 pm
0
0
The scary thing is that

The scary thing is that corrupt politics, the norm in Chicago, may become the norm for all of America.

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 02/22/09 - 07:07 pm
0
0
BTW folks: all those jobs

BTW folks: all those jobs this porkulus pkg will create are MANDATED BY LAW to only last while porkulus funds last. Read the law, I did.

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 02/22/09 - 07:11 pm
0
0
KSL: I am sorry for your

KSL: I am sorry for your loss. I opted out of SS when I became self employed. Don't ask me how, I won't share info, but I am LEGALLY fully funding my own retirement without depending upon those less fortunate than myself who are depending upon Social Security. Maybe if more people who don't really need it would refuse it, it'd be there. As much chance of that happening as the chance of Madoff giving back all the $$ he stole.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 02/22/09 - 07:30 pm
0
0
Dang, IT. My husband has been

Dang, IT. My husband has been self-employed since 1977. That is most of his earning life. Think of that. 15% every year. I remember the first year that he left employment. We could not contribute to an IRA because he had been covered for part of the year by an employee retirement plan, never mind the fact that he forfeited it by not being employed long enough for it to be vested. And of course, as a stay at home mom, I had no ability to set anything aside.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 02/22/09 - 07:32 pm
0
0
Had we known what you knew,

Had we known what you knew, Doc.

KSL
124782
Points
KSL 02/22/09 - 07:37 pm
0
0
And yes, Doc, it is a huge

And yes, Doc, it is a huge loss. Because we, as boomers, are going to be resented by our children and grandchildren because of our wish to at least get back what we paid in, costing them dearly. What they will not realize is that we were the generation hit with the heaviest increases while the generation before us included people who received without paying anything in as a vote buying scheme.

curly123053
4489
Points
curly123053 02/22/09 - 09:04 pm
0
0
Get your heads out of the

Get your heads out of the sand and go to www.fairtax.org and get yourself educated in the Fair Tax ! The ONLY reason politicians of all stripes and colors do not like the Fair Tax is because it takes the taxing power out of their hands and gives it to you and me, the taxpayers. It does not matter whaich party either....Republicans, Democrats, and Liberterians who oppose the Fair Tax will call it an "oppressive" tax. When anybody uses the "oppressive" label on the Fair Tax Amendment then I know they have not even looked at it, or they looked at it and saw where the amendment dilutes the power of Congress where taxes are concerned. There is nothing oppressive about the Fair Tax. The Fair Tax as written will completely fund SS, Medicare, and the Federal Government. If in doubt attend the monthly meetings of the local FairTax group at Advance in Martinez. You would get all your questions answered and be educated on the FairTax. As stated earlier this amendment will cause the creation of millions of jobs and everyone from the welfare recipients to retirees and working class will end up with more money per month in their pockets.

curly123053
4489
Points
curly123053 02/22/09 - 09:08 pm
0
0
There are blacks, whites,

There are blacks, whites, retired couples, working class, business people all attending these Fair Tax meetings becoming educated. Once you learn about this amendment there is no way you could be against this bill. Quit listening to your elected reps telling you it is no good. They are afraid of losing power over our money.

Just FYI
0
Points
Just FYI 02/22/09 - 09:38 pm
0
0
Any tax which collects from

Any tax which collects from some and rebates to others is no different than the system we have now. I've studied the "FairTax", debated it, studied it more, debated it more. Any tax which collects from some and gives to others is not fair. Just because I do not agree with you makes neither of us less educated.

Geistlich
0
Points
Geistlich 02/22/09 - 10:01 pm
0
0
"Obviously, he is

"Obviously, he is anti-stimulus, anti-tax, anti-healthcare, anti-democrat, anti, anti, anti... So, what does Sen. DeMint actually support? Remember, actions speak louder than words. GGpap" Senator DeMint is anti-big-government. He wants American taxpayers to keep more of what they earn, and non-taxpayers to get nothing from the government. Sounds like a good man to keep in the Senate. Too bad you and others do not understand that the only way the government can give away money is to take it from us first. I am proudly anti-tax, anti-stimulus, anti-government-healthcare, anti democrat, anti-welfare, and an avowed unreconstructed southerner. Are you as clear in your beliefs as I?

Many Arrows
-1
Points
Many Arrows 02/22/09 - 10:22 pm
0
0
Hey Curly, have you ever

Hey Curly, have you ever wondered WHERE the $100 million came from to promote the fairtax?

Fair....hahahahahahahaha......

curly123053
4489
Points
curly123053 02/22/09 - 11:36 pm
0
0
You can laugh all you

You can laugh all you want.......this would be the best thing to happen to you and me and this country....going back to pogo..

Nammy
2
Points
Nammy 02/22/09 - 11:58 pm
0
0
Just thinking I want to even

Just thinking I want to even the score.....lol

willistontownsc
55
Points
willistontownsc 02/23/09 - 12:21 am
0
0
curly, NEITHER one of the

curly, NEITHER one of the senators make sense. You want a common sense Senator, go up the state line and look at Kay Hagan.

willistontownsc
55
Points
willistontownsc 02/23/09 - 12:25 am
0
0
Iraq is NOT my war and it is

Iraq is NOT my war and it is NOT the war of the American people. This is Bush's war and the war of the cons who have sent nothing but pork barrel money there since the beginning. More than 4,200 dead over lies that were told between January 16 and Saint Patrick's Day 2003. END THE WAR!!! SEND OUR SERVICEPEOPLE HOME NOW!!!

jedex6
18
Points
jedex6 02/23/09 - 01:19 am
0
0
You can be quite that the

You can be quite that the 60's radicals saw "America's unique, centuries-old system of freedom dying out" also. Right wingers like yourselves did not listen to them. Now you expect to "take to the streets" and be listenened to? You are nothing but crybabies. This editorial is the worst piece of editorial journalism that the AC has come out with yet. Nothing but covert racism. You are all lunatics of the right wing fringe every bit as much as you accused the left wing of being in the sixties.

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