South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint will step down from his Senate seat in January to become president of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. South Carolina governor Nikki Haley will find his replacement and there will be a special election in 2014. DeMint has a background in market research and will now lead a conservative think tank with an annual budget of $80 million.
His goal at Heritage is to demonstrate the practicality of conservative ideas that are actually working in the real world. He will look at state-level policy and research as well as the standard traditional research and “translate those policy papers into real-life demonstrations of things that work.” The Senator has stated his preference for decentralization of power in the past. Significantly, he has pointed out that the Republicans have often been just as guilty as the Democrats in centralization of power. The bipartisan compromise in policy always leads us to more government spending and more debt. Hopefully DeMint will direct the Heritage Foundation’s research with the importance of decentralization always on his mind.
Jim DeMint is heading into the battle of ideas full-time because he views this to be an “urgent time” to spread solid conservative ideas to the American public. The re-election of Obama shows that Americans are not hearing a real conservative alternative to collectivism. DeMint recalled: “We saw in the last election we were not able to communicate conservative ideas that win elections.” The Senator must feel confident in his abilities to alter public thought if he is willing to give up years in the Senate to fulfill his new role. With the Republican leadership booting out Tea Party favorites from internal debates on the fiscal cliff, DeMint sees the pressing need for a massive spread of economically sound ideas amongst Republican voters. The Heritage Foundation gives him a huge platform to speak to American conservatives and sell important ideas.