EASTON – Former Senator and conservative leader Jim DeMint spoke about his political views and his new book in Easton on Thursday evening. Washington College’s Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture (IRPC) hosted the speech given to about 60 people as part of the second installment of “The Annual Os Guinness Lecture” at the Prager Family Auditorium on S. Washington St. DeMint, who served in Congress for 14 years, is the former president of the Heritage Foundation and is current chairman of the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI) in Washington, D.C.
DeMint focused on themes he promoted throughout his political career and addressed further in a new book “Conservative: Knowing what to Keep.” By his definition, conservatives are those who look at what has worked before and then promote that course of action going forward. He argued that five key institutions are “under attack”: religion and Christianity, marriage, the free market economy, civil society, and the Constitution.
DeMint currently heads the CPI, a group whose mission is to not only put good leaders into positions of power and influence, but to help them when they are there. “Young conservatives must compete, to fight for what works, it’s the only hope we have to win,” he said. “Think for yourself, be independent. You’ll see for yourself from your own experience and reading history what we need to keep.” DeMint continued, “We’re really all conservatives individually, because we all want to keep those things that matter to us.”
DeMint concluded his remark about what to keep: “If you’re serious about discovering the truth, you’ll find that what America really needs is just to keep America: our diverse people, our amazing culture, our freedom, and all our rich traditions. You’ll find what we need to change is the way that our government for decades has been interfering in what makes life better for everyone.”
The IRPC is directed by Washington College political science professor Joseph Prud’homme, who led in its creation to challenge student to live up to the Institute’s motto of “Loyalty, Service, Study.” Prud’homme said he hopes to impress upon students the “virtues of moral action” which he described as “unique and needed now more than ever.”
Dr. Charles Pinkett, a member of the clergy and an educator in Dorchester County, said that DeMint’s remarks were “very informative and eye opening.”
Washington College senior Sean Harashack, a participant of the IRPC who has been under Prud’homme’s tutelage since his freshman year, said that DeMint’s speech “provided a lot of great insight about the political culture in Washington and the dynamics between members of Congress.”
Delegate Johnny Mautz (R-37B) applauded DeMint’s goal of developing quality and trustworthy staff members, calling on his experience in the Maryland General Assembly and as a staffer on Capitol Hill to observe how much lawmakers must rely on those in their office to help them best perform their jobs during busy legislative sessions.