Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jim DeMint's Demented Ideas On Slavery

Let's start this post off with a list of big Jim DeMint's conservative bona fides. Jimbo started out serving as a United States Representative for South Carolina's 4th congressional district from 1999 to 2005. From there DeMint set his goals higher and became a powerful South Carolina Senator. After that bad old Barack Obama was elected President in 2008 DeMint became a leading member and very vocal advocate of the Tea Party movement. This was all fine and dandy but Jim wanted more... so he did what any self respecting Senator would have done and resigned. You see DeMint wanted "real" power and control. So after his resignation from the Senate he became the president of a hyper conservative think tank named The Heritage Foundation which was willing to give him the power, money and respect he so richly believed he deserved.

Now as a fiercely conservative Republican and loyal Tea Party advocate you know old Jimmy is gonna' have some strange ideas floating up in that right wing dome of his but this one is just a stunner. You see DeMint has gone and said that he believes that the American government had no role in ending the institution of slavery. According to DeMint slavery ended due to God (i.e. Jesus) and the words of the Constitution. Yes indeed, it was the kindness of Christians and some words the founding father's (who pretty much all owned slaves!) wrote in 1787 that done freed them slaves.

So lets take a look at exactly what DeMint said while on the radio program "Vocal Point with Jerry Newcombe of Truth In Action Ministries"...

"Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like [British abolitionist William Wilberforce] who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God."

You can listen to DeMint's dementia here...

Ok, let's begin to sift through this hefty pile of bullshit shall we.

First of all let's look at DeMints assertion that the "federal government" had little to do with ending slavery. If I remember correctly there was a war... A Civil War... fought to free the slaves. You see, going to war with secessionist states to force them to remain a part of the nation and then freeing the slaves by presidential fiat is done only under the auspices of the federal government. Even the Confederate leaders insisted that the Civil War was a “war waged by the Federal Government against the seceding States". I guess DeMint missed that class in grade school history.

Second, The idea that it was the "people of faith" that were the driving force behind slavery's demise is an absolute canard. While I am quite sure many people of faith fought to free the slaves during the Civil War I am equally as sure that just as many fought to keep them enslaved. In fact many of those god fearin' Christians regularly used the Bible to argue for the institution of slavery... Many pointed to the Ten Commandments "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, ... nor his manservant, nor his maidservant." Some pointed to Ephesians 6:5 "slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling" Others quoted Titus 2:9 "tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect". So let's just put that whole people of faith bullshit to bed right now. You can read more about this at

Finally, lets look at the words from the Constitution that DeMint claims called out to the people of the united States to put an end to slavery. I believe Jim said "The Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God." For those of you who might try looking for these sage and wise words in The Constitution... Don't bother. You see they are in fact from the The Declaration of Independence... Whoops.

Demint is so wrong on this basic subject on so many levels that I find it hard to believe a man who is so ill informed would be tapped to head a premiere conservative/Republican think tank like the Heritage Foundation... Wait a second... I take that back.

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