Jim DeMint “is a great American,” as Sean Hannity would say. The senator from South Carolina went to Washington much like Jimmy Stewart’s fictional Jefferson Smith of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” fame. We can assume Smith remained a purist, and if DeMint’s new book is any indication, he will, as well.
In “Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America’s Slide into Socialism,” DeMint says plainly that socialism is our enemy. Although he stops short of labeling the movement toward socialism a conspiracy, he comes awfully close. One can assume that this Washington insider, who functions almost wholly as an outsider – that is, a regular, hard-working American – knows very well what his colleagues have in mind for the United States.
A member of Congress since 1998, DeMint won his Senate seat in 2004. He had already spent six years in the House. His new book is an effort to fulfill a sense of obligation to tell us like it really is. This is a remarkable book that should be read by everyone from pastors to homeschool and even public school parents.
After dedicating “Saving Freedom” to his two grandsons, DeMint proceeds to tell us, in plain language, exactly where our government is and how it got that way.
Speaking very frankly, DeMint contends that our political leaders routinely implement politically manufactured crises, then use the ensuing panic to further erode freedom. This systematic trampling of the Constitution has brought us to the brink of being … France.
DeMint tells us that Americans want out of this “abusive marriage” with the federal government, but that slowly, we are raising generations so dependent on entitlement programs and earmarks that there will be a tipping point if we don’t stop it.
In fascinating detail, DeMint reveals just how pervasive is the mindset that allows an out-of-control Washington to convince voters that social programs are preferable to hard work, sacrifice and personal responsibility.
The product of a broken home, DeMint details briefly his mother’s influence in helping him become self-reliant. Working a variety of jobs and putting himself through school, DeMint eventually earned an MBA and started his own business. His entrance into politics came from a sincere concern for the direction of the country. While other idealistic politicians sweep in, only to quietly get out of town after a couple years, DeMint has rolled up his sleeves.
“The pursuit of freedom is focused on the individual,” DeMint writes. “There can be no freedom unless individuals have the capabilities, including skills and values, to live independently and succeed in a free society.”
He then speaks specifically, using discernment gained from years in the real world:
“While all people are of equal value before God, all behavior is not. Able-bodied people who won’t work must not be compensated equally with those who work hard.”
These ideas are obviously not going to get the South Carolina legislator invited to a Kennedy get-together at Hyannis Port, but they mark DeMint as a true reformer. He also identifies himself as a Bible believer, tracing his own faith journey and what that means:
“And once you allow yourself to believe the Bible might be true, you are in big trouble,” he writes.
At one point, DeMint takes the reader on a fascinating look at the start of America’s decline, close to its beginnings, then says our country was cursed by its blessing – great wealth – just after World War II.
He writes that both the country’s common citizens and her elected officials no longer understand who we are:
“The dual threat to America’s freedom,” he writes, “is the lack of understanding of the meaning of freedom in the hearts and minds of Americans and the public policies deployed by elected officials who have lost sight of why America is great.”
Perhaps the most fascinating chapter – in a fascinating book – is the sixth. DeMint explains in chilling, simple detail just what financial horrors await America. Explaining that our economy has slowed or declined whenever government spending exceeds 20 percent of the GDP, DeMint uses a chart to show that spending will exceed 40 percent in 30 years! The source for the chart? The Congressional Budget Office.
This is an important book. A great way to disseminate its ideas might be to find a handful of readers in a given church. Once they’ve absorbed the vital information in “Saving Freedom,” they can spread the discussion to everyone in the congregation. One can hope these ideas will then disseminate through teachers in civics classes to business leaders, to rising politicians like Jim DeMint who have the guts to fight for the greatest country on Earth.