Be the city

Politics | WORLD interviews Sen.
by Eric Burk
Posted 9/20/11, 05:20 pm

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a conservative gatekeeper within his party, told students Monday at Patrick Henry College that "there should never be a Palestinian state unless the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist."

He was responding to a question in the audience about Palestinian efforts to gain recognition as a state at United Nations meetings in New York this week.

DeMint's appearance Monday kicked off a week of interviews at the college by Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-Chief of WORLD and holder of a new Distinguished Chair in Journalism and Public Policy.

The senator also told the audience that he has learned to be skeptical about American efforts to transplant democratic values overseas.

Asked about America's role in world affairs, he said the U.S. "has not had good results" when it has tried to set up democracies around the world and would be better off serving as a beacon for home-grown democracy movements and getting its own fiscal house in order.

"I think the best thing we can do for the world is to be that 'city on a hill,'" he said.

"There is no one tea party," DeMint added, noting that the tea partiers are "not a right wing group." Instead, he said, they are "people just worried about the future of the government," who want to return to more of a constitutionally limited government. "They are what Benjamin Franklin meant when he said, 'You have a republic if you can keep it.'"

Other interviews this week include Jay Hein, the president of the Sagamore Institute and former head of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives under President Bush and Rep. Trent Frank (R-Ariz) on Tuesday, Ann Voscamp, author of One Thousand Gifts on Wednesday, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) on Thursday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, and Thomas Kidd, Associate Professor of History at Baylor University, who is currently writing a biography of Patrick Henry on Friday. The interviews will be published in WORLD, with transcripts available at a later date from Patrick Henry College.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.