CPAC and The Unifying Theme Of Conservatism

I would name a handful of the weekend’s Conservative Political Action Committee convention speakers in Washington, that I’d describe as particularly important to see. Some or all of them can be seen at YouTube, TexasGOPVote, C-SPAN (Video Library), and the CPAC website (though there were some audio problems at the time I looked):

I’ve read George Will for 35 years. In a 70’s college Comparative Politics class, my self-described socialist professor said of Will, “I hate what he says, but the way that he says it…” and he clenched his teeth and inhaled deeply. Will is a writer who is pointed and colorful in his illustrations. And, he’s one of those men who absorbs literature and cites references from fiction and non-fiction literature with equal ease and precision. And, he speaks as he writes, with humor and obvious examples of common-sense conservative principles. I’ve come to differ with his disposition in some cases, but Will is more prone to accommodate the realities of contemporary popular perception.

Texans should be interested in seeing the address of our Railroad Commissioner and 2010 candidate for the US Senate, Michael Williams. And, Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio is a young man on the rise who has gathered momentum against incumbent governor Charlie Christ that it appears only a big gaff will blow. Williams is black and Rubio is Cuban, though of course as conservative Republicans they aren’t “real” minorities. Also, if you can’t reconcile yourself to Ron Paul, as I can’t at some points while he’s extraordinary on others, you should be concerned with how we are going to corral those young and exuberant voters They mustn’t be ignored. It’s probably fortunate that his son Rand Paul is running for the US Senate from Kentucky, with a following of the same brand of young voters though perhaps with a bit less stark rhetoric and detachment from other Republicans. And I faithfully watch Glenn Beck’s program, though he could be more nuanced and less dramatic for my taste. But, that’s why George Will for instance, writes columns for we relatively few oddball political activists, while Beck holds the attention of a record late-afternoon TV audience of VOTERS! I thought Beck’s speech correctly highlighted some destructive assumptions and virtuous ideals.

During the convention, there also was a young man who came to the lectern to explicitly “condemn” CPAC for inviting GOPride, a gay Republican group. This drew catcalls from the many young libertarians, whom popular culture and public education have taught to be more “tolerant.” To continued boos, the young man plead that natural rights inhere apply to “natural” status and conduct. He finally criticized their hasty protests and walked away. We should take a lesson from this. I actually agree with the speaker that homosexual behavior is unnatural and adverse for both society and the participant. HOWEVER, I disagree with his disposition and behavior. If anyone is interested, I can tell them why I think what I do. But, it is an individual’s their choice and I want their conservative camaraderie, help, and votes.

Protection of human rights like liberty are the ground floor of Americanism and Republicanism. One way or another, I wouldn’t keep a gay pastor, but I want every gay Republican possible. I’m not opposed to freedom for homosexuals. I’m opposed to government sponsorship and enforcement of particular ideals upon society. I’m not opposed to immigrants. I’m opposed to government failure to enforce laws and order the immigration process. I’m not opposed to trades organizing for collective bargaining. I’m against government imposition of union labor and standards. I’m not against the freedom to be an atheist. I’m against government imposing secularist standards on our communities and schools.

Glenn Beck also fretted calls in political parties for a “big tent.” I don’t want a big tent of seekers of government favors. But, I want a tent open to every person of every color, belief and practice who want the respect of life, liberty, and property.



Having spent much of the last 50 years in the music business, I have met and been on a friendship basis with many gays as artists and business people in the music world.

I showed respect for their chosen proclivities and they respected my position as a "straight" with no disharmony of any kind. I do not remember ever having any hostility from anyone.

You do not win people over to your point of view being unkind. In my opinion, always show patience and understanding of another's viewpoint from a position that promotes civil discourse.

I agree that we should encourage everyone to fall behind the Conservative cause to defeat the destructive forces that have assembled against the common sense freedoms we have historically enjoyed and for which we have always stood.
However, there should always be some tolerance for varying degrees of perceptions that can still comprise the Conservative values we all cherish.

... that you say you believe homosexuality is "adverse" to society and the individual - and yet you'd court GOProud camaraderie for the votes.

   So, once Conservatives have taken over, whatever will you do with your homo-comrades who are clearly a detriment to society?

   Hmmm....  You are interesting indeed (and not only because you watch Glenn Beck "faithfully"), sort of in the same way George Will  made your professor clench his teeth interesting. 

   Glenn Beck is a talented teacher and entertainer.  He probably could've been a wildly successful televangelist - he's that charismatic.  I just hope you do watch some opposing views.  Too much Beck, just like too much Olbermann, can give you a lopsided perspective on what the real world actually is as opposed to what we wish it to be.

   I watch both.  It keeps me seeing things as 'straight' as I possibly can. ;-)

I don't think homosexuals of themselves are a detriment to society (especially conservative ones! :-))  I think assimilation of the IDEA that homosexuality is normal and productive is a detriment to society.  I don't believe homosexuality OR heterosexuality are fixed at birth.  People are sexual and can be led by environment and circumstance to fix the sex drive in different ways.  Reproduction is both personally fulfilling and socially critical.  I don't like to see circumstance induce people away from it.

And, I WATCH Beck.  Politically speaking, I am led or guided by  NO ONE.  It's true as Beck stresses that the government social engineering impulse is component in a larger Western stream of thought, but Beck does not scrupulously distinguish those social impulses from personal character and intentions.  Even if he could and wanted to, his audience would no sit through the lecture.

Olbermann is a clown.  Matthews is more serious, realistic and practical, though he's a true believer.  But, I've watched lefties all of my life.  I think I understand the historic roots of their thinking and if I ever learned anything from one of them, it was before a was a conscious boy.  I think serious ones like Matthews are simply culturally abstracted from reality.

I know that guy!...:-)

It's not only important, to me, that we embrace and welcome gays into the liberty movement for their strength and energy, but also because it keeps us honest: we can't be for limited government and still want to regulate people's private lives. The bedroom door must be firmly closed to government so long as there are consenting adults behind it.

Some of the best parents I know are gay couples. I'm divorced and remarried, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that my failed marriage wasn't due to gay people loving one another. Neither have Newt Gingrich's marriages, Ronald Reagan's, Mark Sanford's, etc. Is Mitt Romney ready to say that his marriage would be in danger if gay people were legally wed? Mike Huckabee? Sarah Palin?

As long as we say we're for limited government but use it to deny equal treatment under the law to gay couples, we are losing the support of people who aren't bigoted in this way, and there are a lot of those.

You can't credibly argue that your opposition to "the homosexual agenda" (in my community, that means cocktails at 6) as being principled (as opposed to bigotry, fear, or lack of confidence in your own sexuality) when the first thing you do about it is jettison your core principles.

First, I agree with Bill Bennett about Glenn Beck's viewing of every issue in light of his own demons -- it really clouds Beck's views of things. I disagree with Beck's line that it's still morning in America  but it's like a bad hangover. Every morning in America is great and isn't hostage to whatever party or faction is running Congress and/or the White House -- if we (in the aggregate) err we usually swing the pendulum the other way and try  to correct our "mistakes." Sometimes we over-correct and swing too far in another direction. Either way it's not a dreaded hangover, it's the beauty of our system that we get to change it.

Second, I don't think freedom is a bad thing whether you look at homosexuality as "adverse," natural, genetic, or a matter of environmental factors that can be changed. The issue is whether this is a matter for politics. I don't think it is. What consenting adults do in privacy isn't a matter of national, state, or local importance. It's also not deleterious in our society to allow consenting adults to enter into contracts with one another; that includes marriage and all the privileges our society bestows upon those who marry -- from survivorship to taxation to anything else. They should also be allowed to serve our nation in the military.

This isn't about how you run your church. It's whether the way you'd run your church is also the way to run the whole country. Your church's views aren't diminished in the slightest if everyone else is free to accept or reject them. But your church's views are diminished if you're compelled to implement your teachings in authoritarian fashion upon everyone else.

Finally, I disagree that government is "imposing secularist standards." I see it the other way around -- in too many instances, people attempt to impose their religious sentiments upon others and seek to use government to validate religious opinions. From the extreme Right we get appeals to teach creationism in some form, prayer in schools, and demonization of certain groups like homosexuals (still waiting for the Religious Right to attack shrimpers and pig farmers in their zeal to end abominations). From the extreme Left we get endless appeals for bloated government programs to grant new entitlements to "the least of these" (Barry Lynn didn't hold back from criticizing Obama's interjection of religion into the healthcare debate). It's wrong when either side seeks to use government to push a religious opinion.

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