the national interest

Think-Tank President James DeMint Struggles With the ‘Thinking’ Part of His Job

US Senator Jim DeMint, R-SC, speaks during The Family Research Council (FRC) Action Values Voter Summit September 14, 2012 at a hotel in Washington, DC. The summit is an annual political conference for US social conservative activists and elected officials.
I have been thinking real good. Photo: MAndel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

One of the older foundational ideas of the conservative movement is that Big Government is always evil. One of the newer foundational ideas of the conservative movement is that conservatism has no historical or intellectual relationship with white supremacy whatsoever. The latter piece, being newer, is still being worked out. Watch Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint attempt to bring together these two ideas when he is asked about the Civil War:

Well, the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to “all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights” in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves.

Bzzt. Everybody knows the slaves were freed by Ronald Reagan, and he did it by cutting taxes.

Think-Tank President Not So Good at Thinking