Letter from Me to Jim DeMint

Writing in response to this letter from the Heritage Foundation. 

Dear Mr. DeMint,

There’s probably not another person whose motives I find more unquestionable in Washington (with the exception perhaps of Ron Paul) than yourself.  I have a great respect for your intentions, principles and desire to strengthen America, her institutions, and her people.

Yours is a good letter.  It’s not just a sorry piece of political machination like I’m used to receiving from the Republican party.  Respectfully, as a former Conservative, could I help you craft your message differently to reach moderates like myself?

1) “Tax Day is April 15. It’s a reminder of a grim fact: you’re surrendering a portion of what you have rightfully earned to Washington lawmakers, who squander it on wasteful government programs.

Washington doesn’t just control my money, it controls many aspects of my life.  It tells me how to pack my luggage and how much time I will wait in line to get on an airplane.  It tells me I can get married and pass social security benefits to my wife, but a gay friend cannot transfer benefits to his partner.  It prohibits 23andMe from giving me information on my genetic medical risks.  It tells my employer to cut my medical benefits.  Taxes are just one piece of a big pie.

2) “Like you, we believe that the government should be limited and accountable.”

Let’s step back and ask, “What is the purpose of government? ” Maybe it would be better to define that first and then ensure the government is capable of carrying out its purposes.  I believe a government should protect the citizenry and the things we hold dear.  It should be big enough to do that, but obviously not so unnecessarily big that the government itself becomes a threat to us and our value.

3) “We also believe that taxes should be simpler, fairer, and lower…”

Again, all of this focus on taxes.  What I want to hear is, “We want you to be more strongly protected, more equally protected, and have more control over the things that are important in your life: your liberty, your speech, your travel, your time, your labor, your money.

4) “…– and that government should get out of the way to allow free enterprise to flourish.”

Here, we part ways I’m afraid.  Can’t you see that everyone wants to control more and more value?  Did you notice how Steve Jobs controlled a multi-billion dollar corporation but still wanted more — wanted to ensure that former Apple employees didn’t work for Google?  We don’t need the government to “get out of the way”, we need it to strongly and equally protect us and our value.  That is when we can get on with the flourishing part.

I assure you Mr. DeMint, you and I want the same things.  With a more robust message, you’d have a lot more success reaching young people.