CPAC and The Unifying Theme Of Conservatism
by Larry Perrault on February 22, 2010 at 2:28 PM
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.