The third and last day at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2013 had not lost any of the initial steam and enthusiasm. The music, the robust energy, the youthful excitement were vibrant and bursting at the seams. The speeches were fiery and motivating.
The leitmotif of every speech was the loss of the GOP’s core principles of conservatism in the eager race to pander to and win the hearts and minds of various voting blocks that self-segregated long time ago from the population at large. Orators agreed that the GOP has become a miniature Democrat party in their haste to please and earn the trust of voters who are now used to the Democrat promise of more government dependency and helplessness.
The first speaker of note, Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, remarked how he had never thought that he would run for office twice during the same term and that he would win the second time with more votes in spite of the national unions’ and the Democrats’ opposition and the disruptive and destructive moves by Wisconsin legislators who ran away instead of doing their jobs to protect the interests of the people who elected them.
He reminded people that the federal government did not create the states, the states created the federal government, and real courageous reforms happen in the states by creating economic prosperity at the small business level and citizen level by cutting taxes and creating jobs.
By eliminating union seniority, tenure, changing health insurance plans, he has saved taxpayer money in his state, creating a surplus. He believes that able-bodied adults should not receive welfare and food stamps. His 75,000 Wisconsin residents on food stamps have to work or sign up for employment training in order to receive food stamps.
The second speaker was Newt Gingrich, introduced by his wife Calista. She emphasized their foundation’s work, the many projects and books that celebrate the greatness of America, and the children’s books she writes to promote our Founding Fathers’ principles with the help of a “time-traveling pachyderm named Ellis the Elephant,” the true history of our nation, American values, and capitalism, the only way to lift people out of poverty and create long-lasting prosperity for our large middle-class. Newt is currently working on “God Loves You, The Life of Billy Graham,” a book about the life and legacy of our most beloved and influential spiritual leaders in America.
“The Republican establishment is just plain wrong about how it approaches politics,” said Newt. “It is mired in the past and mired in its own stupidity.” In his opinion, Pat Caddell, famous Democrat pollster, raises the right questions. “The changes we need are vastly different.” We have to disengage ourselves from the “consultant culture” of running ads to attack somebody. We do not need new principles, we need new ideas to implement our principles, to “empower people to leave poverty,” to create jobs and to get government out of the way.
Channeling Edison who said, “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles,” he juxtaposed Edison’s idea to President Obama’s idea to skyrocket electricity prices by destroying the use of fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil.
Newt recommended Gavin Newsom’s book, Citizenville, recommendations on how to move out of government bureaucracy and into citizen empowerment in the Toquevillian model, where “you become the citizen activist in the new world.” I found his recommendation surprising since Gavin Newsom is the mayor of San Francisco, the most liberal city in the country with a City Hall that pays for every liberal pet project but cannot afford to fix its roads. Is this the kind of city we want? Is San Francisco a model to be emulated?
The Honorable Michelle Bachmann took the podium next. The most ardent conservative who stands on principle, Rep. Bachmann supports no debt ceiling and the unilateral repeal of Obamacare. She opposes any Democrat or Republican who does not stand on principle.
Welcoming the enthusiastic crowd to Washington, D.C., “a very unique city where you have to show a photo I.D. to tour the White House and then they demand you put your photo I.D. away before you vote for the man standing in the White House,” Rep. Bachmann defines D.C. with sarcasm as the city of “care and compassion.” She defines Republicans as the real care and compassion people because they want everyone to succeed economically; they want cheap gasoline, and second amendment rights to protect anybody’s sister.
Recounting Benghazi, Rep. Bachmann described the sacrifice of Tyrone Woods and Glenn Dougherty who cared enough for their fellow Americans to defy orders and to fight for 7 hours while saving many American lives. They begged for help and help never came. She recounted how the President knew about the attack in the first hour but he did nothing to help these brave men. The very next day, she said, he flew to Vegas to meet with Jay-Z and Beyoncé.
She also recounted how our President went to United Nations in New York and told the delegates that “The future must not belong to those who insult the Prophet of Islam.” Rep. Bachmann said that the President should have stated instead, “The future does not belong to the low-life murderers who kill innocent Americans.” The future belongs to Americans, she said, who will never give up their right to free speech and the right to bear arms.
The President is “presiding over a war on the young” by putting their future in serious debt through the $16 trillion wasteful and out-of-control spending. Borrowing money from our enemies is “a generational injustice of epic proportions. It is the greatest transfer of wealth in history from the young,…to whomever our President wishes to give our money.” How does that help the poor, she asks. She describes the “imperial presidency” and the excessive spending to maintain it. Yet a disabled veteran can no longer take a White House tour.
Caring is exemplified by individuals like Dr. Jonas Salk who teamed up with a private group to develop the polio vaccine in order to save millions of lives. Developing cures for diseases like Alzheimer, diabetes, and cancer represents caring. “It is our duty to pay it forward for the next generation,” not bankrupt it, she concluded.
Millie Hallow introduced Dr. Ben Carson and Eric Metaxas as “President Obama’s (Prayer) Breakfast Club” to the roaring crowd and thunderous applause. Dr. Carson, in his gentle professorial tone, lectured on the importance of common sense and the message to government that it works for the people.
Many “nasty grams” later, received after his famous breakfast prayer speech, Dr. Carson explained that he refuses to talk about race because “he is a neurosurgeon.” Neurosurgeons operate on the interior, after removing the exterior scalp and the dura. It is this interior who makes us who we are, not the exterior.
Emphasizing the importance of turning off the TV and reading books, he recounted his hard-working mom telling him, “Benjamin, you are too smart to bring home grades like this. And I brought them home anyway.” Education was so stressed in his home through discipline that it changed him from the “dummy” in 5th grade into the kid to whom all other kids came for help with math problems. “Education is so fundamental to the success of America.” Our system of governance was based on a well-educated and informed populace and we are no longer so, we are on our way to a different country.
“If I were trying to destroy this nation, if you were to magically, so say, put me, you know, into the White House [long applause], … what would you do?” Let me tell what I would do. First of all, I would create division among the people, I would have everybody pitted against each other because a wise man by the name of Jesus once said that a ‘House divided against itself cannot stand’ and then, I would encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality, and the principles that made and sustained the country, and then I would undermine the financial stability of the country and drive it so far into debt that there was absolutely no chance that it could recover, and I would weaken the military, and destroy the morality of the military.” It appears coincidental that this is exactly what is happening right now, and can we stop it? It has happened for a long time and education is the key.
Dr. Carson continued, “Socialism started as a reaction to America” against its tremendous success. Redistribution of wealth in a fair way did not and does not work, but a mechanism and an infrastructure to create jobs and opportunity to enable people to succeed has created the largest middle class in the history of the world. Nobody starves in the streets, churches take care of the poor, the wealthy give a lot to charity, more than anybody else in the world. It is not the government’s responsibility to care for its citizens and everybody must have “skin in the game” and pay taxes.
Dr. Carson said that if the government controls health care, one fifth of our economy, “they can control everything.” Good health care can be provided by other more efficient ways. In his opinion, 80 percent of our care can be provided with the help of health savings accounts without the “need of a bureaucracy that sucks out at least a third of the money.” As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Carson understands Economics, it is certainly “not brain surgery.”[pun intended] “Corporations are not in the business of being social welfare organizations.” And that includes health organizations and doctors that provide medical services. Corporations are our friends, not our enemies.
Dr. Carson ended his speech with the wish that we end the war on faith, the war on God. We have freedom of religion and the PC police must stop imposing their beliefs on the rest of America. Likewise, the political class and the media must stop “creating friction and chasm” between Americans, creating problems and crises when none exist. Values and principles are important for our nation’s survival under God.
In 106 days Dr. Carson will be retiring and plans an active role in educating the next generation. Joking that he did not answer the question about politics, Metaxas said that Dr. Carson obviously entered politics by not answering the question. Dr. Carson is going to be 62 years old in September and would like to retire at the pinnacle of his career. “There is a reason why they retire pilots at 62, to keep them from crashing airplanes.”
Senator Ted Cruz introduced the next speaker, Governor Sarah Palin. A wiry, fearless momma Grizzly, size zero ball of energy, Governor Sarah Palin bounded onto the stage in skin tight pants and a smile to light up the room. The energetic hockey mom from Wasilla was definitely in the house. She talked about our second amendment rights and background checks that should have started “with yours, Mr. President.” She complained that “We don’t have leadership from Washington, we have reality television.” Everything from Washington seems like a con, she said, a scripted calculation, it is no longer about leading and serving.
She asked pointed questions. How does punishing the job creators create more jobs? What about the cost of living, the price of gas? What about inflation? Why does Congress refuse to pass a budget for four years in violation of our Constitution? Why does it not tell the American people what it intends to do with the taxpayers’ money? “Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever. Barack Obama, you lie,” said Governor Palin.
The audience went wild when Governor Palin brought out a Big Gulp soda and took several sips. He advised young Republicans to think Sam Adams not drink Sam Adams.
She demanded a stop to the pandering to different groups of voters, who are promised goodies and special perks. “We are all created equal, there are no Hispanic issues and no African American issues.” We are all Americans. We must believe in American exceptionalism. “Nobody is guaranteed success but everyone is guaranteed an equal opportunity at success.”
Governor Palin believes that crony capitalism must end, including the free Obama phones, green energy, and free prophylaxis. “If you don’t have a team of lobbyists in D.C., or a canceled campaign contribution check, well, you are not at the table, you are on the menu.” She urged politicians “to put a stake in the heart of too big to fail.”
She told Alaskans and Americans that “God’s resources are owned by the people, don’t let corporations own you, you have a right to those resources for our use.”
She emphasized that “our challenges are so big and our leaders are so small.” Our country is desperate for leadership, it is tired of campaigning, and it is tired of those in power creating and exploiting crisis after crisis. “You won, step away from the teleprompter and do your job.” We need leadership to stop government waste, to provide national security, to stop spending our money recklessly, to provide cheaper sources of energy.
Governor Palin told Washington to “get over yourself.” America belongs to we the people and it is high time that we take our country back by demanding accountability from politicians.
Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly, founder of Eagle Forum, took the podium to urge Americans to guard against voter fraud, pick winning candidates, and stop trying to create a third party. Nominate and elect the right candidates, she urged. She believes that the GOP wants candidates who vote the way they are told to vote, candidates who only discuss economic issues, not moral and social issues. “The social issues are the cause of our economic issues, issues like life and marriage.” We cannot win elections if we call GOP candidates “moderates.” Spending money on ads is wasteful since most people don’t watch TV anymore.
The breakdown of the family is costing us dearly financially. According to the Heritage Foundation, there are 79 welfare programs. “I have not figured out which agency hands out free cell phones yet.” We do not need so many people dependent on government.
President Obama wants a “baby-sitting service,” national education core standards, and comprehensive immigration reform, a code word for amnesty. Interestingly, the panel on immigration recommended comprehensive immigration reform. I will write a separate article detailing that panel discussion.
Mrs. Schlafly also described the challenges the country faces in regards to confiscation of guns and zero nukes policy. She reminded the students of the bumper sticker that says, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” and “when nuclear weapons are outlawed, only terrorists will have nukes.”
She concluded, “We need your help to take back the Republican Party for the grass roots. We want candidates that we nominate instead of those who follow the dictates of the establishment.”
Senator Rick Santorum personally introduced a 53 minute documentary, Our Sacred Honor, “a journey into our past that explores the meaning of our founding documents.”
Newt and Calista Gingrich made a brief, live introduction to the 90 minute movie, America At Risk: The War with No Name. They asked the question, “How do we win a war with an enemy the Obama Administration refuses to identify?”
A screening of the 75 minute film, Occupy Unmasked, starring Andrew Breitbart and directed by Stephen K. Bannon, was followed by a panel discussion on the legacy of Andrew Breitbart.
The visual entertainment was provided by some attendees dressed in colonial attire, a Transformer robot, and other colorful characters. Young people everywhere were excited and applauding, cheering, and agreeing with speakers’ points quite loudly.
In the media pool, the numerous liberal bloggers and reporters were easy to spot by their displeased concentrated demeanor, lack of direct eye contact with the people around them, and irreverent attire.
A tall retired police detective from Colorado, dressed in a Texas cowboy outfit was standing in a strategic corner wearing a t-shirt that said, “Cops Say Legalize Pot, Ask Me Why.” A Washington lobbyist, Howard ‘Cowboy’ Wooldridge was representing “Citizens Opposing Prohibition” of drugs. A libertarian, Howard gave an interview in German to a reporter from Bavaria on the follies of chasing pot smokers when real criminals such as pedophiles escaped unpunished. “It is hard to fight crime from a helicopter,” he said. He was bemoaning the thousands of innocent foreign nationals killed as they came in the crosshairs of drug lords.
A liberal group from Jackson, Wyoming was advertising their initiative “to bring together Americans from disparate political backgrounds to partner on projects that advance the common good, both nationally and in our communities, and restores civility and cooperation in our discourse.”
One of the booths advertised “MarriageMarch” on March 26 in Washington D.C. to support “marriage, religious liberty, and the right of every child to both a mom and dad.” The organizers promised that the gathering in D.C. will be a historic event with nationally-recognized speakers. (www.Facebook.com/MarchForMarriage)
At the conclusion of the conference, the results of the straw poll were announced. Rand Paul won out of 23 candidates. The media pool was not allowed to vote.