As President of The Heritage Foundation, a powerful conservative think tank, former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint can’t endorse a GOP candidate at this time. So early in the race, it would be inappropriate and damage the credibility of his organization. However, he can tell Republicans what he would like to see in the next President. In doing so, he precisely described one candidate: Ted Cruz.
His article on the Washington Times details the traits he’d like to see from a policy perspective in the Republican nominee.
— Jim DeMint (@JimDeMint) February 5, 2016
Let’s break down his policy statements. You’ll notice that he’s either promoting an idea that Cruz espouses or denounces an idea that other top candidates attempting to claim the conservative mantle are spewing.
If you want prosperous citizens, don’t overtax them — and don’t burden them with artificially high consumer costs arising from excessive regulation.
While Marco Rubio and Donald Trump have tax cuts in their economic plans, they don’t address these cuts as conservatively as Ted Cruz’s flat tax. Moreover, the comment on excessive regulations is a direct attack against the type of support that Rubio has given and that Trump has supported regarding mandates and regulations in business. Big Sugar and Big Corn are perfect examples of this, not to mention Trump’s desire to impose tariffs on China that will dramatically increase the cost that American citizens pay for products.
If you want more people to have good-paying, full-time jobs, then don’t burden employers with mandates that price full-time employment beyond their reach.
This is an attack on Obamacare. While the allegedly conservative candidates all call for an end to Obamacare, Trump has vowed to replace it with another version of socialized health care.
If you want to treat everyone fairly, don’t tailor laws to help certain industries or hurt others.
Again, this goes back to the subsidies and regulations that Rubio has built and that Trump has supported. Specifically for Rubio, it’s the Big Sugar puppeteers that have had Rubio protect their own business from the “evils” of a free market economy but that hurt other industries such as candy manufacturers, soft drink retailers, and pretty much any company in the country that uses sugar.
You might notice a common theme between these points: they all involve reducing the power of government to dictate the terms of everyday life and giving citizens more power and responsibility for running their own lives.
Donald Trump has never spoken of reducing the power of government. He has unabashedly bemoaned the management of Washington DC, not the overreaching that they’ve done or the power they’ve accumulated. His authoritarian style is the exact opposite of what the conservative movement really wants, but he’s pulled the wool over many conservatives’ eyes because they don’t understand what he truly represents. Rubio is better than Trump on this issue, but his proposed increases in spending do not speak well towards a true desire to reduce the size of the federal government.
Fortunately, we have an excellent set of guidelines for getting there. It’s called the Constitution of the United States. Conservatives don’t revere the “Supreme Law of the Land” around just because we love tradition. We revere the Constitution because we recognize it as a comprehensive blueprint for a freer society. The Founding Fathers left a lot of power in local hands for a reason: They knew just how bad things could get when a distant, out-of-touch government called the shots.
Marco Rubio uses the Constitution as a campaign prop. Donald Trump has never read it. Ted Cruz has literally memorized it. He’s fought for it on multiple occasions in front of the Supreme Court. He adores it as his guiding principle, second only to his Bible.
DeMint would jeopardize the impartiality of his organization by making a direct endorsement, but this is as close to an endorsement for Ted Cruz as he’s allowed to make. It isn’t just pointing us towards Cruz, though. It’s a reminder that conservative values will work if the voters do what it takes to make them the most important issue in this race.