Review – “The Great American Awakening” by Senator Jim DeMint

Review – “The Great American Awakening” by Senator Jim DeMint

It’s hard to believe it’s only been three years since Barack Obama was elected president, and not even a full year since the American public soundly rejected his socialist policies with a stinging election night rebuke in 2010.  The day after that election, Jim DeMint published an article outlining what the incoming Republican senators should expect in Washington.  I linked to that article on Facebook and posted the following thought –


You should read this article from Jim DeMint. I have to say – I wouldn’t mind seeing him challenge Obama in 2012. DeMint/Rubio 2012 anyone?


After reading “The Great American Awakening” by Senator DeMint, I believe it even more strongly that he has the answers to many of the problems we are facing today.


In “The Great American Awakening”, Senator DeMint chronicles the two years between Barak Obama’s election and the landslide Republican Congressional victory in 2010.  Looking back now, it’s easy to see the path from one Tuesday in November to the other.  Those two years, however, were a long march for conservatives.  People were enveloped in a self-congratulatory haze after electing America’s first black president.  Pundits were pronouncing an end to conservatism and the advent of permanent rule by the Democratic Party.  The future looked bleak.


So many were caught up in the promise of Obama, they never stopped to look at the substance of Obama.  But – you can’t be a blank slate forever.  2009 quickly saw the country awaken to the mistake it had made.  Obama and the Democratic Congress spent money at a previously unheard of rate in the opening months of 2009.  The passage of the stimulus bill in February and the announcement of a mortgage bailout for homeowners was more than CNBC anchor Rick Santelli could stomach:

This is America!  How many people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?  President Obama, are you listening?  We’re thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July!  All you capitalists that want to show up at Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing it.


And with that, the Tea Party movement was born.  A grassroots movement of average, ordinary Americans fed up with the profligate spending in Washington.  Fed up with the none too subtle shift towards socialism the country had taken.  Fed up with a two party system that paid lip service to their constituents’ values, while worrying more about their ability to secure earmarks than their responsibilities to future generations.  In short – a movement that saw the political class in Washington in much the same way Senator Jim DeMint did.


In the book, DeMint discusses the rise of the Tea Party movement and his decisions to take on the Washington establishment – in both parties.  He lays out the tough choices he had to make, and the reasons he had to make them.

I decided my work could no longer be with other senators.  I would have to find ways to work with the American people to elect a new class of senators who would help me stop the spending, debt, and the expansion of the federal government.


He talks about his PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), and the fundamental reasons it chose to support truly conservative candidates – sometimes at the expense of incumbents or the chosen candidates of the party.  Remember – DeMint was among the first to endorse Pat Toomey and Marco Rubio.  This ruffled more than a few feathers, but they were principled decisions and he stood by them.  When Charlie Crist and Arlen Spector ultimately left the party, he saw it more as a vindication of his beliefs than an indictment of his decisions:

The Crist and Specter defections from the Republican Party helped make a point to my Republican colleagues:  when the Republican Party is more interested in numbers than principles, we shouldn’t be surprised when our candidates are not loyal to either party or principles.


While following DeMint’s strategy to find and elect principled conservatives to oppose Obama’s leftist agenda, the book provides a keen insight into the back room dealings in Congress.  It draws back the curtain to show why the Establishment has become the one true ruling party in Washington.  It exposes the “moderates” in the Republican Party as true “purists” who would rather see a Democrat elected than support a conservative candidate after a hard fought primary.  It shines a light on the career politicians who care more for their own re-election than the good of the country.


It also shows how one man can make a difference.  DeMint honestly talked about the doubts he faced at times and the personal toll 2009 and 2010 took on him.  Through it all, however, he relied on God for strength, his family for support, and his principles for guidance.  He chose to stand with the American people, not with the political class in Washington.  He listened to the wake-up call the Tea Party sent to Washington, and then chose to begin ringing the bell himself.


I used to scoff at those who contended there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans.  After all, they all had a handy (D) or (R) after their names – useful for keeping score and choosing sides.   It was all great sport; pick your team, wear their colors and their mascot, and boo the other guys.  It was an easy way to navigate the murky waters of politics.  It was also dead wrong.


I’ve come to realize over the last few years that the real choice isn’t between Democrats and Republicans, it’s between liberals (and moderates) and conservatives.  To put it more clearly – it’s between the Establishment ruling class and conservatives.  Jim DeMint has shown himself to be a strong voice for those conservatives.  More importantly, he’s backed up those words with actions and worked to elect conservatives to the Congress.  As we move into 2012 and the next Presidential election cycle, DeMint is again pointing the way to what America needs:

We must elect a president who will tell Americans the truth: federal government must do less – much less.  No more promises about how the federal government is going to create jobs, improve our schools, provide health care for everyone, build our roads and bridges, and define our values.  Republicans must nominate a presidential candidate with the character and courage to take on every special interest group and to focus the nation on one interest:  America.


Conservatives in this country have been looking for the next Ronald Reagan since January 20th 1989.  Now, more than ever, we need a strong conservative leader to rein in Washington and put the People’s needs ahead of the government’s needs.  We need to continue the Great Awakening that started two years ago.  America doesn’t need Barak Obama, or Joe Biden, or Mitt Romney, or Rick Perry.  America needs Jim DeMint.



My favorite words from “The Great American Awakening”


These words are truer today than they ever have been.  America is not a great country because of the laws we pass or the men and women we elect.  America’s greatness comes from the passion of our people for the right to self-government and because of our God-given rights.


But money from Washington is not “free”.  It must first be taxed from a hardworking American who is struggling to make ends meet, or borrowed from nations like China and paid back with interest by our children and grandchildren.


Government only consumes wealth; it doesn’t create it.


The longer I live, the more I believe there are no great men, only average men who occasionally do great things.  Reagan’s love for his ranch in the mountains revealed a simple, good, and common man.  The accomplishments of this common man, however, suggest how strong character matched with bold ideas can transform a common man into a great one.  We sure could use a lot more like him.

There is no commonality between socialism and freedom.


You can find Jim DeMint online at –

You can follow Jim DeMint on Twitter at –!/jimdemint

You can find Jim DeMint on Facebook at –

You can support the Senate Conservatives Fund at –


*A copy of this book was provided to by the publisher for the purpose of this review

© 2011, The Word Zombie. All rights reserved.

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