Monday, February 22, 2010
Well CPAC has come and gone. I decided not to blog from CPAC simply because I didn't feel like pulling myself away from the event or blogging live while watching speeches since you could see them for yourselves. It's over now and I've spent my Sunday return catching up with my family and my Monday back at work. Here's what I thought of CPAC.
Attending CPAC is like plugging yourself into an outlet of conservatism and recharging for the political battles that lie ahead. If you come from a more conservative area then it's harder to understand how that recharge feels.
I'm not so lucky though. Since I come from extremely liberal Massachusetts, though Scott Brown's election gives me hope, you get accustomed to playing defense. CPAC serves as a 3 day run of offense for this Massachusetts conservative. Seeing Scott Brown win and Obama-care slow down certainly was great to see. There's no comparison between that and CPAC though.
In fact the only time I got into debates with others at CPAC was when I was speaking to some Ron Paul supporters regarding his isolationist foreign policy. They would take issue with the isolationist label but that's a debate for another day.
One of the best parts of CPAC are the people you meet from all over the country. I even got to talk to a doctor who travelled all the way from Canada to attend the conference. That was an interesting conversation about health care. Meanwhile, a Canadian official has come to the U.S. for heart surgery.
There were many great speakers and panels in attendance. Marco Rubio was fantastic as were many others. Personally, my favorite was Glenn Beck although I heard a few rubber stamp college Republicans saying they didn't like Beck, (probably due to the fact that Glenn is willing to criticize progressive Republicans just as fast as progressive Liberals).
I suppose they forget that it was conservatives bailing on George Bush in his later years that truly laid the foundation for the anger at the town hall meetings and the base for what became the tea party movement. Remember the election of '08? Several states did end up going for Obama over McCain because of disgruntled conservatives, libertarians, and independents that voted for Bob Barr. With regards to the tea party movement and the renewed rise in conservatism there are only 2 people who deserve the credit there: George Bush and Barack Obama.
The message of small government conservatism is without question the closest political ideology to the constitution and the founding fathers in general. The problem is that we haven't had a great leader to show what true conservatism is since Ronald Reagan.
Conservatism is a political position that doesn't belong to a party. If it did belong to a party then Ronald Reagan wouldn't have been able to win 44 states in 1980 and 49 states in 1984.
Also, perhaps Obama's election is in fact a good thing. Art Laffer, former Reagan economist, says on a regular basis:
"Without Jimmy Carter there would have been no Ronald Reagan."
The question that the Conservative movement currently faces, (notice that I said Conservative, not Republican), is this. Who shares the conservative values worthy of our support?
If we can stick to our principles and remember that conservatism isn't owned by a party. If we remember that conservatism is a political position largely connected to our founding principles. Then perhaps one day we will be able to look at our children and grandchildren and complete this statement:
"Without Barack Obama there would have been no ______ ______."
The conservative message currently on the rise in America must take the name that will one day fill in those blanks very seriously. You've probably heard the expression "RINO" (Republican in name only), we must be careful not to blindly trust a politician who is CWIC, (pronounced quick). Do you know what CWIC stands for?
Conservative When It's Convenient.