The Conservative Movement Enters A New Phase – With Jim DeMint: What exactly are conservatives trying to conserve? Is what your children are learning in schools hostile to your own beliefs? Tune in today to hear Jim DeMint discuss how to save America from socialism.
Air Date: 04/28/2018
Guest: Jim DeMint
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Jonathan Richie
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live and we’re tackling today’s hottest topics on policy, faith and the culture, always from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Now, this is a great opportunity for you to take that perspective and share it with others.
One of the things WallBuilders does so well is teach truth. We go back into history, we look into the Constitution, we look into the Bible and we get the right perspective on all the major issues of the day. And certainly, at a time like this in our nation’s history, where we have veered way off course from those constitutional jurisdictions, it is an important time for us to restore those things to come back to those things and remind ourselves what’s so important about these conservative values that produce freedom and prosperity and what we as citizens must do to participate in that.
Here on WallBuilders Live, we have David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And we want to bring you these truths and we need your help to do that.
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Alright, guys, we’re going to have Senator Jim DeMint with us later in the program. And right now, we’re here with Jonathan Ritchie and David Barton. And guys, Senator DeMint is going to be talking to us about how to preserve conservative principles and how to push back on socialism. It is pretty shocking when you think about it that the Democratic candidate for president was almost going to be a socialist, an avowed socialist, willing to admit their socialist, has praised communist dictators. Do you think a person like that, you know, might get 1% of a major party vote in America, but Bernie Sanders, you know, nearly got the nomination and you see stadiums filled? So, what does that say about where our education system has gone in terms of teaching whether socialism or free enterprise is best?
The Philosophy of the Schoolroom Will Be…
Well, you go back to a statement Jesus made where he said in Luke 6:40, every student when he’s fully trained will be like his teacher. You go back to a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, where he said, the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. And you take the current stats that say the 75% of students in college right now support socialism, open, full blown socialism, that’s the Bernie kind of socialism. 69% of millennials and 41% of Americans. How did we get there? Well, education is where this comes from.
Now, that means that if professors took my kids in a direction, then I didn’t do a good job of grounding my kids in the principles and the views and that’s what we’re finding right now. A lot of parents just assume that education was reinforcing what they believed. Well, no, you can’t make that assumption. You have to look at education as being extremely hostile to what you believe everything and If you do not equip your kids to be able to stand on their own merits, on the apologetics of what you believe and what you’ve taught them, then they’re going to be in trouble when they get there.
So, you have socialism taking over. Now, on the other side of that, is what we would say is conservative political philosophy. And, you know, when you look at conservatives as a movement, you know, when did they become a movement? What are they and what do they believe and etc? There was this thing of conservatives is trying to conserve something. Well, what are we trying to conserve? Generally, we’re trying to conserve basic principles that are proven across time to be the best for freedom and the best for liberty and the best for personal prosperity. And so those principles that we try to conserve are not the principles of socialism advocates. Now, socialist is all in the groups. Everyone is treated equal in groups, because you have the group of the elites and you have the group of the people. So, we the leaders will tell you what you people need to know. So, even though they say socialism brings full equality, you can’t find a single socialist country in the world where there’s equality between leaders and people. I mean, just it doesn’t happen.
Examples of Socialism
What about Venezuela?
Yeah, thank you very much, point made. Name some other good socialist countries where you have equality?
The USSR, of course.
Yes, that’s right. Russia.
I mean, why don’t we just go honeymoon there, right, with Bernie Sanders?
Oh, yeah. But that’s the problem, is there’s no logic. And so, I think we’re really and Jonathan, you can speak to this because you deal with it every summer at the LTP program. What we really like doing is we do not instill apologetics in people. They don’t know why they believe what they believe. And that’s the thing we see every summer with young people.
100%. I mean, growing up and going to college, when I went to college, I was still in university when the 2016 election happening, so, right Bernie Sanders and a huge socialist push there. And I remember the conversations that I would have with my classmates. And we’re sitting around and right, I went to a fairly conservative University and I was in the Honors College and there was maybe two or three people who really understood what socialism actually meant. I think there was an amazing study that was done not too long ago, where it said the top two, right, definitions that young people gave for socialism was like social media and sharing, which right…
Okay. So, if we use those definitions, Rick, I think you’re socialist you’re into sharing and you’re into social media, right?
Yeah. Yeah, I guess so. I’m a full-blown socialist.
I guess, it depends on how you define it. I guess definitions do mean things.
So, if you’re against socialism, it means you just don’t care because you don’t share. Right? And boom, checkmate, there it is. That’s my political philosophy for the next 50 years of my life.
Well, what I’ve always seen in the summer that I enjoy watching you and Tim, particularly with young people is, in the first couple of days you really don’t care so much what they believe. You take what they believe and show them they don’t know why they believe it. And so, whether they’re for socialism or against it, you just start ask them questions about their beliefs and they cannot defend their own beliefs, which is what opens them up to be able to teach them apologetics. Is, you don’t even know why you believe what you believe, you had all these beliefs, where’d you get them? Why are you, supporter hold those beliefs?
Yeah, and I know we mentioned it a lot, but asking questions and asking questions in a non-aggressive way, right, not I got you question and say, well, just tell me a little bit more about that. If you just ask that question, like three times to a young person, more times than not, you’ll find out that they really haven’t thought through a lot of the talking points that they’ve heard on the television or, you know, even on a podcast. So, going in and digging deeper into what actually people mean, what do you believe and then what do we preserve from the past generations.
Welcome Jim DeMint
You know, one of the folks has been really good to help me know what we want to preserve has been Senator Jim DeMint. Jim, of course, was in the House for a while, then US Senator for a while and then it was Head of Heritage for a while and now has a great conservative group and he said a couple books out recently that really kind of cover what we’re talking about, is keeping America from socialism and knowing what to keep or what to conserve. As conservatives, what are we trying to conserve, what are we trying to keep? And so, since this is something that is so much a part of what the debate is now with young people and universities and education and where we’re headed, we thought it’d be really good to get Jim on to talk about it.
Yeah. Because you got to pick your battles, you got to know what’s worth fighting for and what needs to be preserved and Jim does a fantastic job of that. Senator Jim DeMint, our special guests when we come back WallBuilders Live.
A Wonderful Resource
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Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today, our good friend, former Senator Jim DeMint is with us. Senator, always a pleasure to have you, sir. Thanks for some time today.
Rick, it’s great to be with you. And it’s an interesting time to be watching what’s going on in Washington.
Conservative Partnership Institute
Well, you guys are doing incredible work at the Conservative Partnership Institute. You just had such a great impact on the conservative movement. I want to talk a little bit about where we are and you’ve made a great defense of capitalism and pointed out the failures of socialism in your book last year, knowing what to keep.
I guess, my first question for you is as a major leader in the conservative movement for the last several decades, when the State of the Union happened this year and Rush Limbaugh was given that Medal of Freedom, all I could think about was what a pivotal moment in the conservative movement, this guy being honored in that moment on that national stage says that our movement has really accomplished a lot. Were you thinking the same thing?
Well, I was. I think one of the first voices I ever heard that call themselves conservative was Rush Limbaugh on the radio before I ever considered getting into politics. So, he probably inspired this millions of Americans to understand what this country is all about, what are those things that we want to keep, as we talked about in the book. And to see him honored like that, it was meaningful to all of us.
I mean, certainly, the battle is ongoing and there are a lot of forces in our culture and politics pushing in the wrong direction. But I do feel like the movement is coming together in a very positive way across the country. And I know, I’m a small part of that, but there are a lot of great new leaders emerging. And I have to say, Rick, talk radio from Rush to what you do and what so many others do has been the one source that we can all turn to find out what’s really going on.
Well, it’s been interesting to watch even the last three years with a totally different, I mean, opposite ends of the spectrum for a president and how that has changed the direction of the whole country. And in your book, ‘Knowing What to Keep’ I mean, you lay out really, it’s almost like a conservative manifesto, if I could say that in terms of really knowing what we believe, knowing what’s worth fighting for, picking those battles and looking at victory moving forward. So, I really want to encourage people to get that book. Now, that’s the one you did, I guess back in August of last year. You’ve got a new one coming out this year, can we get it, I know it’s not out yet or anything, but can you give us a sneak peek on it?
Well, actually, I’m glad you asked about it. About 10 years ago, I wrote a book titled Saving Freedom. The subtitle was We Can Stop America’s Slide into Socialism. At the time, even though it did make the bestsellers list, a lot of folks just thought that was hyperbole that socialism was nothing like a threat in America. But I think we all see now that there’s far too many people taking it seriously. And even if they don’t call it socialism, a lot of what the democrats are talking about in terms of policy, very government centric, economics and cultural pressures.
So, I’ve rewritten and reintroducing the book under the title of ‘Saving America from Socialism and it’s going to come out July 4th. Hopefully, folks can pre-order it. But it really goes back through, what are the basics of our prosperity? What are the free market concepts that really work? And it’s not theory, we use a lot of examples and I try to use a lot of simple stories that folks like me can kind of understand what it means.
And I had the privilege, let’s say, of starting a small business and keeping it for 15 years. And I really came to see that our whole culture, our whole society, the whole American way is built from the ground up and that certainly includes economics. But as conservatives, Rick, we’ve got to know what we believe, we’ve got to know what works. And it’s not about political ideology, it’s really much bigger than that. It’s about everything that matters, that’s worth keeping that we understand what it is and how to keep it.
And if you and I know and I think many Americans know, that begins with our faith. That what we think about God determines what we think about everything else. And that’s one of the reasons that dictators try to root out religion from, you know, call Karl Marx calling it the opium of the people to what you see in China today. And so, we have to understand as believers and as Americans, how all of the ideas of Judeo-Christian values are integrated into the things that really make our country great.
We Must Be Ready to Defend Basic Truths
We have to not only know it, but these basic ideas of faith in God and God’s role in a society to free market economics versus socialism. We used to think we didn’t have to defend those things. But you knew 10 years ago when you wrote that book, this stuff has to be defended and it has to be, probably the wrong word, but it has to be sold, it has to be marketed. You have to teach each generation hey, here’s why free enterprise is better than socialism and you got to do that. We haven’t done that with our civics and America for so long that the need for what you’re communicating is greater than ever and we see people hungry for it.
The last president was a socialist, but didn’t use the term and like you said, it was in the policies more than the rhetoric. You know, these candidates now, I mean, they’re calling themselves socialists. And so, that will progressively get worse on the left, unless we do a good job of again, selling, I mean, marketing to the American people and saying, here’s why free enterprise is better than socialism and that’s what you’re doing.
Yeah. And that’s what we’re seeing from the Trump administration. Now, you know, my perspective, he’s kind of an unlikely salesman here of our ideas. I didn’t expect that even though we did a lot of work to try to get the right policies in his hands, but I think what Trump has shown through just being bullheaded and kicking down doors is that our ideas actually work if you use them and they not only work, you can sell them politically.
You know all the Romney people in their post analysis said unless Republicans agree on this giant amnesty, we’ll never win another election. And Trump came in and said, we need border security. We don’t need illegals and everyone said he was going to lose. But he’s proven that if you speak the truth on things, that Americans will come with you.
So, again, we’re not there yet and the country is pretty equally divided, which is kind of hard to believe. If you look at what’s happened with our economy, how Trump’s policies have helped minorities and women, that even though the truth is right in their face, you still have about half of Americans who don’t see it as something that’s good for our country. So, we’re not anywhere close to bringing this back to home base.
But Rick, I am encouraged just as I work with hundreds of conservative groups around the country, but more and more are communicating in a positive, forward looking way and we’ve got more and more young people now who are listening, even though I guess our woke culture is pretty impressive and I find a lot of young people are afraid to even ask questions. But a lot of this is going to have to come from our churches and one of the things we need to do is convince the Christian leaders around the country to weave in our stewardship as Americans as we look at government in our culture, that we have to integrate our faith and into all areas of our life, not to use the force of government to push our ideas, but to make sure that government protects our ability to live out our faith in all areas of our lives.
Yeah, it’s so true and it’s even more important than ever, maybe even to be strategic about how we do these things. It’s what I love about you and you know, the things you’ve done over the years. Even with Trump, I mean it’s a great example of this, is that you know, we had our some of our friends that were, you know, never Trumpers, and we weren’t excited about him in the primary, of course, and then of course, once you got the nomination, we all got behind him.
And then when he got in, you were so instrumental in coming alongside and helping, like you said and putting the good information there and helping to steward in many ways this administration. I just want to thank you for not being one of those guys that says we’re not ever working with him and you know, like some people in the conservative movement did. And so, thank you for being a part of, because I think that’s been a big part of why this administration has done so much good and that strategy, that’s really what we’re talking about moving forward. You guys are even doing a great job of that on the technological side and all fair we talked about this briefly. Give us a little teaser about this and then we’ll do another program about it. But you all are really targeting the social media outlet for influencing the culture.
Conservatives Must Communicate Better
I mean, unless we learn to communicate better as conservatives, we’re not going to win the culture. We have to win the culture before we win politics. But at the conservative partnership, our job is to unify, build, unite and equip conservatives all around the country. And one of the areas that has been missing is on the digital social media front. And so, we’ve taken a couple of the best people that have been working in the White House the last couple of years, and brought them in to teach young people on the Hill and in conservative groups, how to use social media in a way that can help us break through to all people across the country, but especially young people, so many people get their news there.
And Trump has shown us, again, I use to vary some for myself and certainly, for Donald Trump, God uses the foolish things in the world to shame to the wise. I mean, he’s proved a lot of things that weren’t used, can be used to circumvent a very liberal, dishonest press. And so what we’re doing is we’re going to have class after class of a lot of young communication people to get them in a place where they can use this tool in a positive way.
And so, we’re starting that right now, we’re going to do it all the way up to the election. We’re also working on helping to get good staff for the second term of the Trump administration, as well as members of Congress. Because I found that staff is really well over half of what makes a good member of Congress. So, we’ve got a lot of work to do. Most people are just working on trying to elect the right people. What we’re doing, Rick is get ready, when they get there is to make sure that they can move the ball across the goal line.
It’s vitally important. The website for folks to learn more and to support, get on their email list, make donations at conservativepartnership.org. That’s conservativepartnership.org. Senator Jim DeMint, brother, so appreciative of you, keep up the great work. Look forward to having you back again soon. And also, the book Conservative: Knowing What to Keep, I encourage people to get that and study that as well. We’ll have you back again soon, sir.
Thanks, Rick. Thanks so much.
Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Hey friends, this Rick Green from WallBuilders Live and I have had so many requests about, what in the world could we be studying at home right now you know I got the kids at home, they’re normally in school? Or if you homeschool, you’re looking for additional material. One-Room Schoolhouse. It is a great new series WallBuilders is putting out where you literally get a tour of the WallBuilders library as Tim Barton and Jonathan Ritchie bring history to life. There’s a couple of resources on this.
You go to YouTube and search for WallBuilders and look for a One-Room Schoolhouse. You can go to our Facebook page and get it right there on Facebook as we do it live each Monday and sometimes additional days from there. And then you can also just go to wallbuilders.com, scroll down to the bottom and we’ll be posting the videos as they come out. This is such a great way to learn and a great way for you to share with others. Gather the family around, watch the One-Room Schoolhouse and learn some great history. It’ll be vitally important to restoring our nation and bringing back these principles that made America great in the first place. Check it out firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with a special thanks to the former Senator Jim DeMint and Conservative Partnership Institute, is something you ought to check out. We have a link today at our wallbuilderslive.com website. We’re back with David Barton and Jonathan Richie. Guys, most of our listeners would maybe label themselves conservatives, I don’t know that, you know, labels are always such a good idea. But certainly if they consider themselves, you know, pro-family, prolife, pro-religious freedom, that typically means they’re a conservative and they can be engaged in saving these things, but they’ve got to get educated, these books that Jim was talking about a great way to do that and then supporting good causes out there.
You know, I think Jim made a key statement, listen, jumped off to me as key of thinking. Why would you support unborn life? Why would you support any of the things conservatives do? He said, what we think about God determines what we think about everything else, which is why dictators and tyrants always try to root out God. Because our beliefs as conservatives come from the fact that God is the one who gives rights, that all men are created equal, they’re endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.
Conservatives Principles and God’s Teachings
We believe the conservative principles because they generally reflect what God’s teachings are. And so even conservatives who may not be religious people, they still embrace those religious teachings. Whereas on the other hand, if you look at we’re progressing, I’m going to use democrats now, because, you know, a few years ago, I couldn’t talk about democrats in this term, because there were still some really conservative Democrats, not in Congress now. I mean, just this morning, I was talking to a US senator and he was lamenting the fact that he really doesn’t have any modern Democrats to work with in the senate anymore. There’s nobody they can pick up. We were talking about even having a prayer proclamation by the president and he didn’t know of a single Democrat he could go to get help with a National Prayer Proclamation.
And so, you go back to a couple months ago or I guess now six months ago, where the Democrats passed a national resolution praising the largest religion constituency within the Democrat Party and that religious constituency with atheist and non-religious people and that’s their largest religious constituency.
So, when you look at where social progressives are and what they’re doing, whether it be with life or economics or anything that conservatives don’t believe, they really have become the party of we’re against what God stands for. And for the last five presidential elections, the greatest indicator of whether someone will vote Democrat or Republican, is not their race, it’s not their social standing, it’s not their economic income. The greatest indicator for the last five presidential elections has been how often you go to church. The more often you go to church, the more likely you are to vote Republican; the less often you go to church, the more likely you are to vote Democrat. And I think Jim put his finger on the whole conservative movement, again, that doesn’t mean all conservatives are God people. But all conservatives are embracing ideas that are taught by the Bible and that are taught by God that he laid down for all people.
A Moral Movement
Absolutely. I think one of the central things that people my age misunderstand about the conservative movement is that the conservative movement is really the moral movement, right? It’s the movement of compassion. It’s the movement of giving, of charity. I’m mean, there was a lot of conversation during the early stages of the Democratic primary on charitable contributions, right? And you find out that these socialist guys like, you know, Beto or Sanders don’t give anything in charity, which seems kind of contradictory to their protest statement of what they believe. But that’s something I think people my age don’t understand is that what does it mean to be conservative? Well, it’s actually the moral side of things. The one that represents God, the one that represents charity and love.
Now, a great point.
I wonder why would they give their money, even though they’re millionaires when Jonathan, they can just take your money and give it away? It’s so much easier and, you know, feel so much better on their part as you know…
As a twisted view of compassion, I feel better about myself when I make you give…
I mean, when you put it that way, it’s all about you…
It’s all about you, brother. They’re trying to help you, you know, feel better about yourself by taking your money…
Yeah, so kind. Not exactly a model that will last very long or work very well. We’ve seen it fail every time it’s ever been tried. In any nation, at any time in history, socialism does not work. And we’ve Of course seen the negative results of socialism during this whole COVID crackdown. That’s what caused socialism in medicine, it’s what caused so many of the backlogs with the testing and everything else. And this desire for government to save us has led to these overzealous crackdowns and these governors that think they have to control everyone’s life and everyone’s movements.
What Values do we Want to Keep? – With Jim DeMint
So, we need to move away from socialism and what a great time to be reminded of the values that we want to keep and the things we need to do to preserve those values. In fact, is a great time for you to help the conservative movement enter this new phase that we’re in by getting your friends and family educated on these things. Share the WallBuilders programs with them. Go to our website wallbuilderslive.com today and you can share the links to the programs. It’s also a great place to make a contribution. Invest in freedom by investing in WallBuilders Live and then become a Constitution coach and help share this information and actually teach it. It’s not hard to do.
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Thanks for listening today to WallBuilders Live.