Senator Jim DeMint On Why The GOP Needs To Become More LibertarianSubmitted by emalvini on Thu, 04/12/2012 - 13:17
Senator Jim DeMint On Why The GOP Needs To Become More Libertarian
Sen. Jim DeMint talks about the looming fiscal crisis and the future of the GOP.
Nick Gillespie & Matt Welch from the May 2012 issue
“A lot of the libertarian ideals that Ron Paul is talking about…should not be alien to any Republican,” Sen. Jim DeMint said during an interview at reason’s Washington, D.C., offices in late January. Encouraging words from a South Carolina Republican who has earned a reputation as one of his party’s strongest voices for fiscal conservatism during his six years in the House of Representatives and six years in the Senate.
Yet right after the 2010 midterm elections brought a wave of DeMint-backed Tea Party freshmen to Capitol Hill, the Palmetto State’s junior senator proclaimed that “you can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative,” a comment that was widely viewed as a slap at libertarians. DeMint, a reliable defender of the PATRIOT Act and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is an avowed opponent of what he calls the “destructive forces of secularism.” He is a staunch pro-lifer, has favored a constitutional ban on flag burning, and is on the record saying that gays shouldn’t be allowed to teach in public schools.
But DeMint’s new book, Now or Never: Saving America From Economic Collapse (Center Street), is an urgent warning about fiscal, not social, issues. To write the foreword, DeMint picked Ron Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)—a man who bridges the gap between his father’s more ideologically libertarian stance and the mainstream GOP. Now or Never calls for a new coalition in favor of radical budget cuts—including reductions in military spending—aimed at avoiding irreversible economic decline.
After backing Mitt Romney in 2008, DeMint has declined to endorse a presidential candidate so far this political season. reason’s Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch interviewed him on the afternoon of the Florida primary. For a video version of the conversation, go to reason.tv.
Continue readong more: