From the moment Jim DeMint first ran for the Senate on a platform of banning teachers who are gay or pregnant, I knew he would be one to watch. He may even be the wingnut equivalent of the Chosen One, the one who is foretold in ancient tales who would say things so breathtakingly stupid that it would cause a black hole to open up and swallow the earth. Enjoy this idiotic diatribe from an interview he did with Jerry Newcombe:
DeMint: This progressive, the whole idea of being progressive is to progress away from those ideas that made this country great. What we’re trying to conserve as conservative are those things that work. They work today, they work for young people, they work for minorities and we can change this country and change its course very quickly if we just remember what works.
Newcombe: What if somebody, let’s say you’re talking with a liberal person and they were to turn around and say, ‘that Founding Fathers thing worked out really well, look at that Civil War we had eighty years later.’
DeMint: 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. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God.
Uh, Jim, allow me to make a few key points. First of all, Wilberforce was British, not American, and he died more than 25 years before the Civil War started. Secondly, are you seriously claiming that the federal government played little role in freeing the slaves? Do we need to send you back to junior high school for a refresher course in American history? And thirdly, you quoted the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. Other than that, though, you were spot on.
Seriously, if you turned in that statement on a high school history test you’d get an F. This was said by the president of the most prominent and influential conservative think tank in the country. The mind boggles.