“Our Ideas Work!”

In light of the myriad attacks on conservatism by liberal media – and the praise they have lauded upon those on the Right who abandon conservative principles – it is uplifting to hear from a true conservative leader, Heritage Foundation President-Elect Jim DeMint.

Mr. DeMint spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC, and his entire speech is available on the Foundry.

Let’s just highlight a few great points he made about conservatism.

The conservative movement must get its act together and act now to save our nation.

After the last election, a group of downcast conservative leaders here in Washington asked me to speak to them about the future of the conservative movement. They wanted to know what conservatives should do. My answer was simple: get up, spit out a few teeth, wipe the blood off your lip and get back in the fight.

DeMint drew clear distinctions between conservatives and Republicans – they are not one and the same.  And it was conservatives, not Republicans that made 2010 a successful year for the Right.

One point in particular that he made is also a great rebuttal to the Left’s offensive tactic of claiming to identify better with the average American than conservatives:

We must tell the stories about real people whose lives have been transformed by conservative policies and contrast them with the stories of the people who are being victimized by liberal progressive policies.

People like Joe Kelley, a single father here in Washington, calls the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program a “blessing” for his children. By the fifth grade, his son Rashawn was three years behind in the public school system. Kelley had to get a court order for the school to provide Rashawn with a tutor after finding out that the school hadn’t fulfilled its requirement to update his son’s individual education plan.

Beyond the academic failures, Kelley says the school was so bad that “eight police officers patrolled it every day, yet kids were still scared of getting jumped.”

As a result of the scholarship, Rashawn was able to switch to a private school. He caught up to his grade level within two years and is today a high school graduate attending the University of the District of Columbia.

We must do more for the other Rashawns out there who need our help. The good news for us is that conservatives now control more states than ever before. Bold governors and state legislators are proving that our ideas work.

It was particularly invigorating when he said, “Our ideas work!”  This is a stark contrast with the ideas of the Left, which have failed the American people time and time again:

We know where Obama’s policies end up. Look at Greece and Europe. Look at California and Illinois. And look very closely at Detroit where big government liberals and union bosses have controlled city government for over 50 years. Detroit is bankrupt and elected officials have been replaced with a dictator … I mean director. Their population has decreased by more than half in the last 50 years. Only 7 percent of eighth graders read at grade level. Unemployment for Hispanics and African Americans is near 40 percent. Gangs and violence are rampant. There are over 400 liquor stores in Detroit, but not one chain supermarket. Detroit is a showcase for the liberal agenda. Like I said, “we’ve got em right where we want ’em.”

The bottom line is that liberals and conservatives are totally different, and here’s why:

Our ideas make life better for everyone. Their ideas destroy lives and bankrupt cities, states and nations. If we can’t convince people of these facts, we are failing our fellow citizens.


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