C-SPAN- Coverage of CPAC2013 - image C-SPAN - visit CSPAN Video for additional coverage
The coverage of the annual CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) was as expected – with the media calling this event akin "to going to the land before time" – (Matthew Dowd – ABC News). There was a bit of the old Republican’s in chaos – but…those watching from a distance (C-Span) saw the event from a slightly different angle. For one, the Conservatives are not necessarily “Republican”, as in the “brand”, rather they are a mix of Moderates, Conservatives and Libertarians – new faces and old faces – and they are, for the most part – young – between 18 and 25 years of age. They are, in effect, ordinary people who believe strongly in fiscal conservatism – as a combination of a moral and pragmatic objective. What was most interesting was the emphasis by those who were speaking, on what’s wrong in Washington D.C. and the power vacuum that exists between the Capital and the balance of the nation – there is a great disconnect between the elites in Washington and the people who send them. (Although there were plenty of those “Republican’s in the mix.)
This was made apparent by Sarah Palin, who lashed out at the “elite” in D.C. and the Machine that is the GOP establishment – picking winners and losers, and then ultimately losing elections. There was a not so subtle jab at Karl Rove, one time GOP political strategist under George W. Bush, who had a virtual melt-down on Fox News election eve, when they called key states for President Obama. Rove, in his passion as a Republican, could not concede that yet another election was going towards the opposition party. What Rove, and one might suspect, the other lobbyists, strategist etc. in D.C. as well as the media (who plays to both sides of Washington politics as it is basically, one group that is the same, both Democrats and Republicans, by virtue of their control over events. In the last two elections, the choice by the party controllers, of what is considered a moderate – has failed. The reasoning is usually a jab at the “mainstream media”, who is somewhat culpable, however, with a 26% trust (or thereabouts) polling for all news media (Gallup), one has to wonder, is the media being given too much credit? Rather one might suggest that when a candidate it pushed forward, and the “base” which is varied, cannot abide one or the other of these candidates – they stay home, and they don’t vote. There were problems’ with Mitt Romney’s candidacy that is not being discussed – for one, the nonsense that is one if at the top of the ticket, Republicans and Republican leaning voters will simply vote for that individual. Nothing can be further from the truth. Ron Paul’s two million strong army, Rick Santorum’s devout followers, those evangelicals who could not see a path to voting for a man who’s religion was considered a “cult” – would have been, each one alone, enough to change the course of the election. Therefore, it is the changing face of conservatism, the populist, Libertarian and Tea Party rising, that needs the support, rather than the derision of those who would be kingmakers, lest they see themselves on the outside looking in.
Therefore, enter the new (and some older) faces of Conservatism – the brand of Conservatism that appeals to those from both “traditional” parties – in other words, not the hard-line social conservatives, of which there are millions, rather an individual who was not so repellant to their core beliefs – and someone who was not part of the permanent political class, rather a fresh face – and there were many at CPAC.
They are all worth listening to – without the “haze” of opinion – and all segments are available on YouTube: at the ACU CPAC playlist for CPAC 2016 Here
There are the keynote speakers, (Palin, most notably), those who one might not recognize, Dr. Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, names one might recall hearing as of late, and a host of others that speak to the heart of American rather than the black hole that is Washington.
What one finds most entertaining is the numbers of individuals who are ready to dismiss a speaker (such as Sarah Palin) based upon what they have heard through media, or professors, and when confronted with a written snippet of a speech, find that individual to be somewhat brilliant. Therein lays the crux of the matter – those who would be holding onto their power in Washington, even losing an election does not change their status, may finds themselves, going into the 2016 general, a bit on the outs. The potential candidates, especially Dr. Ben Carson and Rand Paul, deliver messages that cross the great personal political divide – Not surprisingly, Ran Paul won the annual straw poll – although it was suggested that he did not win by a huge percentage due to the exclusion of libertarian groups at the conference. However, when Rand Paul took to the floor of the Senate to filibuster, those following Twitter understood he was attracting individuals both conservative and liberal, who all took a “standwithrand”. Therefore, one might not want to discount this particular win, just because his father had won in years past. They are, of note, different men, wedded to the same ideology of Libertarianism.
Watch, listen, learn – although there may be some differences, and points of order to be called, one might find that there is hope for a return to the principles that guide American forward, with less government focused in D.C., and more power to the individual states. Perhaps that is why a politically connected D.C. journalist (who’s very power is derived by those connections), would rant about a “land before time” – as it threatens, should those very conservatives take back Washington in its original intent, it would be a personal game-changer.
Now, 2016 begins in earnest – the die is cast, and although one might see the return of the Bush Dynasty, as well as a Clinton to oppose, one might be heartened that the people will be drawn to a different type of Leader –or leaders, (Senators, Congressional Representatives), one who is not going to go along to get along, or worse, continue the dogma and rhetoric that keeps those 501C’s in business, and the Senator, Congressional Representative or President for that matter, in power for multiple terms – one rather is going to change minds and hearts, lead all people. At this point, there are several who can fit that bill. That fact alone, gives those who are tired of the constant bickering, and political chicanery in what is D.C. – hope.