The Washington Times - April 4, 2013, 08:43AM

It has been more than three decades. When Ed Feulner became president of The Heritage Foundation some 36 years ago, it was a different world indeed. There was no din of the internet or talk radio, no cable channels, no social media. Conservative voices were few, but they were succinct, thoughtful and resonant.

Mr. Feulner left his office Monday, handing over the keys to the castle to incoming president Jim DeMint with good cheer. And a succinct, thoughtful and resonant farewell address.

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“Remain optimistic about the future. Yes, progressives are on the offensive, aggressively trying to remake our country using a Euro-socialist mold. But this is why we must now redouble our efforts, not lessen or abandon them,” Mr. Feulner said.

“I know that as a patriot, you will do all within your power to ensure that our society will take back the reins from Big Government. I know that you believe in the enduring truth of our ideas of limited government, free enterprise and individual freedom, and that they will eventually win the day. Freedom is man’s natural state; whenever he’s enslaved, all he thinks about is how to become free once again.”

And from Mr. DeMint came this succinct, thoughtful and resonant greeting upon the changing of the guard:

“Heritage has always believed the values that made America great - honesty, industriousness, courage, determination - should inform our policies and our public institutions. We must never forget the ideas and principles that made America the strongest and most prosperous nation in history,” he said.

“Our principles will stay the same, but we will constantly need innovative policy ideas to address our nation’s new problems. Heritage’s experts and researchers are busy every day working out solutions to our myriad national challenges. We don’t need new principles. Our values have stood the test of time. It’s important that we draw this distinction between timeless values that have been with us for centuries and new policies that we will need in the 21st Century,” Mr. DeMint observed.

But he’s ready to rumble.

“I promise you that Heritage will not let up,” he ultimately concluded.