Former South Carolina senator and Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint took the stage to a full ballroom at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday afternoon to talk to the audience about love.
DeMint warned that Americans’ love of country was being threatened by top-down policies coming from Washington. What Edmund Burke called “little platoons” of society — the family and civic ties that constitute the grounds of public affection and patriotism — are being “bludgeoned” by federal policies, he said.
“We feel divided and angry with those whose views are being forced down our throats,” he said. “When Washington stops trying to direct all aspects of our lives, Americans will fall in love with each other and our country” again, he added.
DeMint said that the solution was federalism — a return of power to communities and the people in the states, one of the few lines that earned sustained applause.
He cited school-choice policies in Louisiana and Florida, the energy boom in North Dakota, the jobs created in Texas, and the victories for workers’ freedom in Wisconsin and Michigan as hopeful trends across the country.
The former senator closed with a call on the “vast army of little platoons” to join him “in falling in love with America again and again and again,” an enterprise about which he has just written a book.