Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) spoke after a great red meat (no really, it was steak) dinner at a banquet at the end of Congressman Steve King’s Conservative Principles PAC Conference.

The election of 2012, DeMint said, “may be our last chance” in order to stop our current downward slide.  He emphasized that we need to get it right.

The most important question that we have to ask DeMint noted is “do we have the courage to live free?”  Every decision we make, he said, will be based on how we answer that question.  “The noble path forward is a hard one” since it means making tough fiscal choices and truly limited government.  He said the keys to living free are religious liberty and free enterprise.  They allow us to have the courage to live free, he said the enable people of character.

He said the welfare state has led to the rise of unwed mothers and an entitlement mentality.  He said we have seen religious freedom scrubbed and free enterprise giving ground to more regulation.  People had lost courage to live free.

He said America is waking up.  He noted that in last election that people didn’t join the Republican Party, it is that Republican Party joined them.

He said there are only a few things the federal government must do. He said Congress has not in his time ever voted to cut anything, but he said they need to learn to let go of certain things and make cuts needed.

  • Health care – Obamacare needs to be repealed.  We need a system where people can buy and own their own health care plan.  Get federal government out the way, even block grant back to states.  But regulations that don’t allow companies/groups to pool together or get insurance across state lines are an impediment.
  • Education – “if the Federal government would eliminate the Department of Education that would be the most pro-education thing we can do” as it would free up money for local schools.
  • Roads and Bridges
  • Energy – let freedom work in the energy sector… get out of the way of innovation and developing our resources.
  • Social Security – Keep promises to seniors and allow choice for younger generations.
  • Tax reform – Fair Tax or Flat Tax

“Freedom will work if we let it.”

About choosing candidates – “We must select the right candidate to run in 2012.  We need a President who will effectively defend our country and run our government effectively.  He is not elected to run our families.”  The President needs to embrace a limited government.  What do the candidates say about spending cuts?  What are they advocating in terms of the budget?  What are they saying about the debates in Congress, where do they stand on Libya.  “Do they have the courage to live free.”  “They only thing that can defeat America is apathy from its citizens.”

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