CPAC's pure conservatism turned heads, changed minds

Subhead here and here and here and here

  • Follow Opinion columns

One of the young lions I met at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., last week was stunned by what he heard there.

So stunned, in fact, that it may have changed his life.

“I came in a liberal, really,” he told me. “I think I’m a Republican now.”

He was at a loss to explain his epiphany, except to say that the speakers at the largest conservative gathering of the year made so much sense.

I offered him another possible explanation: that for the first time in his life, he’d been exposed to passionate exhortations of traditional American values – individual liberty, property rights, personal responsibility, limited government, faith in a higher power and more – without the distorting filter of an unabashedly liberal media. Or perhaps a teacher with his or her own political bent.

This was conservatism, pure and unfiltered. And it spoke to him.

I have a theory: Many of us never left high school. And even as otherwise thinking, rational adults, we’re still letting the “cool kids” tell us how it is and whom to pick on. The cool kids in the media – both news and entertainment – are liberal and desperately want to be accepted by the other cool kids. So they beat up on conservatives (especially women), and give fellow liberals sanction and succor and a lifetime hall pass.

Just one example: The media can’t let go of “Bridgegate,” in which aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (a Republican) purposely impeded rush-hour traffic to punish a political foil. A contemptible act, for which they’re being punished. Yet, many in the media can’t let go of it – meanwhile not only excusing Democrat Hillary Clinton’s role in the Benghazi scandal, in which four Americans under Clinton’s care were killed savagely, and which the administration repeatedly lied about and covered up, but also simultaneously beating the drums to make her our next president.

That’s just one example of the nakedly partisan treatment in the media. They’re hardly going to give conservative values a fair and respectful shake.

And that’s why such values, which used to be celebrated, are now mocked and vilified and diluted in the media (see: Tea Party). And it’s why conservatism unplugged and unfettered speaks loudly to open minds.

Indeed, one of the speakers at CPAC was Erika Harold – a young attorney who fights for religious freedom, a congressional candidate from Illinois and, incidentally, Miss America 2003. She described how she came to conservatism from a largely apolitical upbringing.

“I was studying political science and American history” in college, she said. “And I had the opportunity to study our nation’s foundational documents for myself. I began to compare our country and our freedoms with countries where the government has more centralized power. And it quickly became apparent to me that those countries where government has centralized power – they are less prosperous, and the people’s civil liberties are not protected.

“I began to marvel at the genius of our Constitution.

“I wasn’t seeking to find a political philosophy. But all of a sudden, I realized I had one. I was a conservative – a constitutional conservative.”

My young friend has come to a similar conclusion – by going to a conference, rather than college. I believe that’s because of the power of those ideas and ideals embodied in the conservative movement.

I’ve often described my own evolution in thinking to audiences who ask me. I, too, started out fairly moderate to liberal. Two things changed that: having children, and writing editorials. The former made me more protective and forward-looking; the latter required me to think things through more. I found myself persuaded more and more by conservative arguments, which, it seemed to me, relied on logic, while finding the arguments of my liberal colleagues and friends, while emotional, less and less supportable.

Contrary to the dismissive messages coming out of the national media, which flow through a largely liberal sieve, I find the conservative, constitutional position vastly more compelling. And while conservatism’s messengers have not always been the best, and have rightly been criticized for being too white and too male, the up-and-comers in the conservative movement represent the rich tapestry that we know America to be.

Harold herself is of mixed race. Then there’s retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, former congressman Col. Allen West, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Bobby Jindal – and Marilinda Garcia, a New Hampshire legislator running for Congress.

When you add in the fact that half the 10,000-plus at CPAC were under 30, the conservative bench is clearly strong and growing.

And when unfiltered, they’re even better.

Comments (12) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
94520
Points
Riverman1 03/16/14 - 03:52 am
5
2
Excellent Report!

An excellent report from CPAC.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 03/16/14 - 08:17 am
0
0
there is no such thing as a
Unpublished

there is no such thing as a conservative. just more smoke & mirrors from the greedy grand OLD (& outdated) party

ymnbde
10768
Points
ymnbde 03/16/14 - 08:19 am
5
1
reality is quite conservative

if you add users to any system, without adding resources to the system
the system will become less efficient, and more expensive
that is reality and the liberals don't know reality
if you increase the pay of any worker
without an associated increase in work output
other methods to perform that work will be found
if you don't educate black kids
they won't be doctors and lawyers and engineers when they grow up
THREE SCHOOLS IN RICHMOND COUNTY
HAD ZERO STUDENTS PASS THE AP EXAMS LAST YEAR!
LIBERALS BUILT THAT!
and just like they use "evolution" as the code word for their racism in theory
it's practical application is shown in their results
THREE SCHOOLS IN RICHMOND COUNTY
HAD ZERO STUDENTS PASS THE AP EXAMS LAST YEAR!
Conservatism is the only thing that actually works in the world today
they should focus on school choice
the "war on the poor" is fought mainly by our public school system
and the poor aren't winning

jimmymac
48263
Points
jimmymac 03/16/14 - 09:14 am
1
0
YMNBDE
Unpublished

Obama is a prime supporter of business as usual in the education of American kids. As you so rightly point out our schools are currently an abject failure. The greatest form or racism is to allow black kids to go uneducated and that's exactly what out president is abating. Liberal education unions have destroyed the greatest educational system in the world. We've lost our standing due to the failure of our schools. Liberal feel good policies have allowed a few trouble makers to destroy the educational environment in the class room. Kids are not being taught to think for themselves but are being indoctrinated for political purposes. Time for a huge change that must start in November.

harley_52
26149
Points
harley_52 03/16/14 - 09:17 am
5
2
Great Editorial...

Mr. Ryan. Two the same day.

BTW, I share the "cool kids" theory. Have watched it in action for many years. You can see it in action all the time and it's a principal driver in the movement to hound and harass Sarah Palin, the subject of your other great Editorial today. She's not an "Ivy Leaguer," she's not "enlightened" enough to support abortion on demand, she hunts those smelly grizzly bears........

lovingthesouth72
1408
Points
lovingthesouth72 03/16/14 - 10:55 am
4
1
Pure and simple truth!

God bless this you g man for seeing conservatism as it is. The main problem now a days is that the media refuses to share the positive message of freedom, hard work, family values and self sufficiency. Fortunately with the abysmal job that Obama has done and the horrible state our economy and country are in, people can now see that liberal ideas do not work. Hopefully this youngsters will share the good news!

lovingthesouth72
1408
Points
lovingthesouth72 03/16/14 - 11:09 am
4
1
CSPAN

For those who wish to see the whole CPAC convention you can go to CSPAN online and type in CPAC 2014 . Get informed and them make up your own decisions. Don't let the biased media tell you how to think.

lovingthesouth72
1408
Points
lovingthesouth72 03/16/14 - 11:21 am
1
1
CSPAN

For those who wish to see the whole CPAC convention you can go to CSPAN online and type in CPAC 2014 . Get informed and them make up your own decisions. Don't let the biased media tell you how to think.

deestafford
32369
Points
deestafford 03/16/14 - 11:51 am
2
1
This editorial shows why the ACES is lacking...

This editorial shows why the ACES is lacking....lacking in enough space! It's daily editorial section should be at least two pages. We have the great fortune to have one of the best editorial sections of any in the county and I would put it up against anyone, anywhere. We need an additional daily editorial page.

I heard somewhere that our education ends when we get out of school and then our learning starts. That is no more true than in the area of politics.

Only the real world can rake the scales of liberalism from the eyes of the falsely "educated". When one has to leave the womb of someone else supporting them and have to fend for themselves do they understand how liberalism is a lie perpetuated by the guilt ridden.

corgimom
38900
Points
corgimom 03/16/14 - 05:48 pm
2
2
ymnbde, just wait until the

ymnbde, just wait until the Race to the Top funds run out.

The AP tests will be the least of those schools' problems, they are headed for state takeover.

corgimom
38900
Points
corgimom 03/16/14 - 05:50 pm
1
3
Well, Dee Stafford, I've been

Well, Dee Stafford, I've been supporting myself since age 18, and as long as those "conservative" groups want to harp on religion and abortion, I'll have to pass.

And my viewpoint is shared by millions.

As for me, I'm still waiting for the sweeping changes that the ACES said the Tea Party was going to do. They haven't done a darned thing.

Little Lamb
49391
Points
Little Lamb 03/16/14 - 06:38 pm
4
1
YAF

I started reading conservative literature when I joined a YAF (Young Americans for Freedom) chapter at college. YAF has transformed itself into CPAC some several years ago. It is heady when you are young and you are bucking the liberal college hordes after you get some conservative principles inside your head. They make so much more sense. In fact, if they made any sense at all, they would be more sensible than liberal mush.

I've moved on from conservatism into libertarianism. It's even more sensible and principled.

harley_52
26149
Points
harley_52 03/16/14 - 07:07 pm
3
1
" It's even more sensible and principled."

How so?

Do you think a Libertarian can be elected President running as a Libertarian?

Little Lamb
49391
Points
Little Lamb 03/17/14 - 07:35 am
2
0
Not at this time

No, Harley. Sadly, no.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs