Resentment may eventually replace love of country, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday — saying that if left unchecked, government could destroy love.
"When power is taken from individuals and concentrated in Washington, the fundamental building blocks of our public service and public affection crumbles,” DeMint told the audience “And so government dependence replaces community support and self-reliance. Handouts replace hand-ups. Resentment replaces love of country.”
DeMint, in a rather subdued speech, said events happening in America are making him wonder if his grandchildren will be grateful to live in the United States, the most free nation the world has ever known.
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"Will America will still be earning the right for its citizens to be grateful?" DeMint said .
Every year, the government destroys things like jobs, security, and hope, said DeMint, adding that it seems strange for him to say the government can damage something as abstract as love.
But to make love of country possible, said DeMint, referring to the famous 1700s Irish statesman Edmund Burke, public affection comes from love of what is nearest, such as family, church, charity, and "through our investment and loyalty into these institutions, we have affection. It sustains our love for America."
When politicians enact laws that affect those things, or how to believe and live, "we feel divided and even angry with those views that are being forced down our throats."
And what's happening today, said DeMint, is "enough to depress the most optimistic Americans."
The current generation may be the first Americans in history to be worse off than their parents, DeMint said, and the government's tendency to "bludgeon" people with "one size fits all laws" doesn't benefit anybody.
"None of us have fallen out of love with the American dream or America's vision," said DeMint, adding that most people have fallen out of love with a political system favoring special interests.
But Americans will unite around the core ideas from the founding fathers, including free enterprise, limited government and traditional freedoms, he said.
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