- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 2, 2009

DeMint’s crusade

Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, is calling attention to the growing sense of “socialism” he’s seeing in Washington in a new book, “Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America’s Slide Into Socialism.”

Mr. DeMint, who was ranked as the Senate’s most conservative member in 2006, is often a lonely voice in that chamber, waging war on earmarks and big spending bills as well as protecting traditional marriage and the unborn.

“We have been told we can ban religion, prayer and faith from schools, business and public places and continue to be a strong, moral nation,” he writes. “We have been told we can educate our children in godless government schools and still have productive citizens. We have been told we can subsidize unwed births and teach safe sex to teenagers, and still maintain strong families and a commitment to the institution of marriage. We have been told what cannot possible be!”

The senator said he was inspired to write the book mainly on what has happened recently related to the expansion of government.

“This is an idea I’ve been working on for several years, but last year when all this spending started with the bailouts, there was a new sense of urgency,” Mr. DeMint told The Washington Times in a phone conversation. “Then there was last spring when we sent out stimulus checks to people because there seemed to be an economic downturn. We had the mortgage bailout, the farm bill, the foreign-aid bill and the huge spending bill. The biggest thing is the huge TARP plan, which is an incredible amount of money.”

Mr. DeMint said he worries Americans feel that freedom is something ingrained into American culture that could never be lost. He believes it’s something that must be continually protected. “Freedom is not automatic in our country just because we are America,” he said. “People have to understand what makes freedom work.”

The first steps toward restoring freedom are simple, he said.

“Reduce dependency, reduce spending, have more choices in health care and create a competitive tax system,” he said. “Those things can be done.”

Tea partying

The anti-tax protesters who rallied across the nation April 15, also known as Tax Day, are seeking to reprise those events on the Fourth of July.

Organizers, some of whom are using the acronym TEA (which stands for “Taxed Enough Already”) on publicity materials, are planning activities in more than 1,000 cities.

“[President] Obama and liberals in Congress are taking us down the road to socialism, seizing control of key banks, insurance companies, the automobile industry, etc.,” reads a message at www.teapartyday.com. “They are currently working on a government funded national health care program, which is expected to cost roughly $2 trillion while rationing services.”

Another set of rallies are being planned by others, including radio talk show and Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck and the anti-tax advocacy group FreedomWorks, on Sept. 12.

Fireworks still spark

Fireworks sales have remained steady despite budget struggles in cities and towns across the country, ensuring annual Fourth of July displays will survive the recession, the American Pyrotechnics Association said.

“Despite the current economic burdens, professional display fireworks companies will weather the economic roller coaster and deliver their patriotic red, white and blue tributes to America across the country this Fourth of July,” said Julie L. Heckman, executive director of the association.

She said that because many families could not afford to travel out of town for the holiday, “hometown celebrations have never been more important to bring communities together, give them hope, and restore optimism.”

• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at [email protected] times.com.

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