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It's time for the grassroots conservatives gathered at CPAC to again lead the fight for the principles of freedom.

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Stirring Up the Grassroots

It’s time for the grassroots conservatives gathered at CPAC to again lead the fight for the principles of freedom.

It’s time for the grassroots conservatives gathered at the Conservative Political Action Conference to again lead the fight for the principles of freedom that have propelled America to greatness.

"Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question." ~ President Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

There has been a constant battle throughout history between those who wish to control others and those who resist being controlled. For more than 200 years, Americans have resisted control and fought for freedom. That freedom to succeed or fail based on individual achievement has unleashed the greatest prosperity the world has ever known.

But today, we are offered an alternate vision for America’s future: trust in the government, not your own ability.

With our economy in a tailspin, Democrats see an opportunity and have seized it. President Obama declared the private sector was too weak and "only government" can help us now. Using dire warnings of "national catastrophe" and global "chaos," they scared three Republicans into helping them rush through the most sweeping changes to our economy and public policy in decades.

The trillion-dollar spending bill passed last week won’t create jobs, but it will accelerate an already disturbing trend of government dependency.

As our debt already tops $10 trillion, the stimulus nearly guarantees inflation, rising interest rates, and higher taxes (on the 50% of "patriotic" Americans who still must pay them, liberal cabinet nominees excluded of course).

The real legacy of the "stimulus" is not the price tag, but the policy.

It expands entitlements. It reverses historic welfare reforms, by rewarding states for increasing welfare caseloads instead of helping people find jobs. It funds more than $1 billion for research used for health care rationing, the foundation of socialized medicine. It explodes federal control of education by nearly doubling funding of the Washington bureaucracy and banning the use of any funds for school choice.

Despite President Clinton’s declaration to the contrary, the Era of Big Government isn’t over — under President Obama, it’s just getting started.

But there was a silver lining in the stimulus fight: Americans have now awakened to the real and urgent battle between socialism and freedom. Thousands of informed citizens called, emailed, and wrote letters because they realize now what is at stake.

During the debate, Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) expressed with clarity the liberal philosophy of control. He said Americans couldn’t be trusted with their own money through lower taxes because "none of those people are guaranteed to invest that money in any of the new projects the way we are. So government — yes, government — has the ability to be able to make a decision that the private sector won’t necessarily make today."

Democrats believe they have finally found their angel king to make the decisions for the rest of us. But history has been cruel to those who traded liberty for the hope of a utopian collectivism.

We don’t have to hope freedom will work — we know that it will, because it always has.

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Written By

Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican, is the junior senator from South Carolina. He previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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