Scoop from CPAC: Artur Davis on Conservative Inclusion

Day One of CPAC 2013 is over, and it is a great start to a conservative feast. The afternoon session “Conservative Inclusion: Promoting the Freedom Message to all Americans” was a panel discussion, whose members included The Honorable Artur Davis (an African American former Alabama Democrat Congressman, now ardent conservative Republican), Corey Stewart (candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, current Republican Chair of the Prince Williams County Board of Supervisors), Stephen Fogg (Chairman, Asian American Congress), and Manny Rosales (Latino Coalition/former Director of Coalitions, RNC). All were excellent.

Some highlights of comments by Artur Davis, who spoke about the high road conservatives must take to persuasively bring the Republican message to all Americans:

  • What we ought to be doing as conservatives, instead of figuring out how we reach out to people in different groups… of different kinds and different types… we need to figure out how we best make the case about our philosophy, a case about our principles. And if we do that successfully, .. it will then be secondary and natural to explain how those principles work for all kinds of people.
  • That’s the opposite of what our friends on the other side do. They go to each group in their party, go to different kinds of people in their party, and they basically ask them what do you want, what do you want from government, what do you want from politics, and they cobble that together and that gives them a political platform. Davis said that is not only morally wrong, it it does not reflect what people want this country to be.

Corey Stewart, conservative candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, current Republican Chair of the Prince Williams County Board of Supervisors, spoke about the term “minority outreach” as distasteful and inappropriate. As he said, you don’t “outreach” to a friend or your grandmother, you develop genuine relationships. That’s what we need to do in connecting with all voters, of all backgrounds. His past electoral victories reveal that he practices what he preaches: he won elections in a majority minority district at times when other Republicans lost.

Great stuff from some great thinkers.

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