DeMint at CPAC: 'Now the Real Fight Begins'
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint spoke at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference about the unique opportunities in front of conservatives right now. This is a complete transcript of his remarks.
How many are here at CPAC for the first time? Let’s give them all a big CPAC welcome.
How many have been to five or more CPAC meetings?
How many voted last November?
Who did you vote for?
How many of you are grassroots activists who constantly work to make America great again?
Okay, now tell me why are you here, and why do you work so hard back home for our country?
I’ll answer that one for you: because America is worth fighting for. Freedom is worth fighting for. Our ideas of individual liberty, free markets, traditional values and a strong defense are worth fighting for. These conservative ideas make America great and make life better for everyone. And we will always have to fight for these ideas because freedom is a threat to all of those on the Left who want power and control.
We can see it all around us now — the Left is literally freaking out about the rejection of their ideas and their candidates. Isn’t it wonderful that we will never have to hear the words President Clinton again? The Left is not protesting bad policies; they are protesting an election and the man Americans selected as their president. And they will do everything they can to keep Trump from succeeding.
Last November Americans dodged a bullet and conservatives won a great victory. But never forget that there are no permanent victories in Washington, and all we won last November was the chance to get out of the stands and onto the field. Now the real fight begins.
As we gear up and equip ourselves for the fight of our lives, let’s always remember and warn everyone who will listen that Washington is extremely good at lowering expectations, and all the guardians of the swamp are already whispering in the ears of Republicans in Congress and the White House, telling them not keep their promises.
I’ve been in a lot of Republican meetings and I know what the lobbyists, consultants and pollsters are saying: they are saying that Republicans should not overreach, that politics is the art of the possible. What they mean is that politics is the protector of the status quo. Don’t rock the boat. Find the easiest road and take it.
They are saying you can’t build a wall and control our border.
You have to give amnesty and citizenship to the people who are here illegally.
You must reopen the big, crony Export Import Bank.
Tax reform is too controversial.
You can’t ever balance the budget.
And, of course, you can’t repeal Obamacare.
The list goes on and on, but our job as conservatives and as a national conservative movement is to make possible what the establishment says is impossible. We must think big and act bold.
That’s the American way. Remember our founders. When they signed the Declaration of Independence they weren’t practicing the art of the possible, they were dreaming an impossible dream to win their independence from the most powerful country in the world. But by dreaming, by believing, by working and by fighting… they made possible what was considered impossible by all the experts.
President Lincoln had an almost impossible dream of keeping America united. Many fought and died to save this last great hope of humanity, but they made possible what seemed impossible. Barry Goldwater dreamed an impossible dream by running a presidential campaign on conservative ideas. He lost, but his willingness to fight for the right ideas paved the way for Ronald Reagan to eventually win the presidency on the same conservative ideas.
All the experts and pollsters said that Donald Trump’s quest for the presidency was an impossible dream. But in America, nothing is impossible.
Fellow conservatives, this is our time. We cannot allow our representatives in Washington to squander this opportunity and again fall short of the promises we’ve made to the American people. We cannot allow the Left, the media and squeamish Republicans to tell us that policies that will make life better for every American are impossible.
Everyone should be pressing Congress to give up their recess — too many Americans have given up vacations and even necessities because they can no longer afford it. Congress should stay on the job until the people’s business is done.
Democrats are running out the clock on the nominations and Republicans are not fighting back with every tool they have.
Republicans must make sure that the big, crony, corrupt Export Import Bank has made its last loans to China, Russia and Iran.
We must cut taxes and simplify our tax code now. It will take a year or more for a pro-growth tax system to begin to rebuild our economy, so we must act now because Congress won’t touch taxes next year in an election cycle.
We must protect religious liberty in America and reverse eight years of abuse from the Obama administration. We can end government funding of Planned Parenthood, public broadcasting and other immoral and leftist organizations that don’t need government funding. And we can do it now!
We must and we can repeal Obamacare now. Every Republican in the House and Senate voted for a repeal bill in 2015 and they should send that same bill to President Trump now. This excuse we’re hearing that we can’t repeal Obamacare until we replace it is ludicrous. Before Obamacare, America had the best health care system in the world. Obamacare has become a cancer on our health care system. We don’t need to replace our health care system, we must remove the cancer. Once Obamacare has been removed, we will still have our doctors, nurses, hospitals, insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare plans and veterans hospitals. No one loses their insurance, and once we get rid of Obamacare can we begin to improve our health care system so it works for every American. Obamacare must be repealed now!
The opportunities for conservatives have never been greater and we cannot allow the loud voices inside Washington to lower our expectations and convince us that the dreams of all Americans cannot be achieved. Let’s all give Congress a big kick in the seat of their pants, tell them to get to work and keep their promises. Let’s keep dreaming impossible dreams, because in America everything is possible. I thank you and The Heritage Foundation thanks you because America is always worth fighting for. God bless you all.
Republished from The Heritage Foundation.