Friday, March 07, 2014
CPAC-No Room For Social Conservatives
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) which has just begun, is not offering a single panel or speaker for pro-life issues.
CPAC, which is supposed to be the preeminent annual gathering of conservatives in America, had earlier invited a national atheist organization, then because of considerable push back disinvited them, seems to have overlooked so-called social conservatives.
Not a single panel or speaker focusing on abortion, marriage, family or religious freedom.
Should conservative people of faith read anything into this?
CPAC corrected itself regarding the atheist group, but has ignored the absence of social issues focus, although it has been brought to their attention.
There are panels and speakers addressing such issues as the IRS scandal, immigration, Common Core, privacy issues, gun control, criminal justice reform, even pot smoking, making friends and Vaccines vs. Leeches; but not what we call "social issues."
There are certainly speakers who are pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family, pro-religious freedom, but why no focus on these issues?
Most all Americans, certainly Conservatives, know these issues are the front line of conflict in the culture. Shouldn't they be addressed?
I'm not the only one who noticed.
A number of others have noticed as well. And they have spoken to Brietbart News about it.
Professor Michael New of the University of Michigan says, "CPAC has always advanced itself as a conference where a wide variety of conservatives could network and engage ideas. As such, it is disappointing that this year's CPAC offers little of interest to social conservatives...the fact that CPAC has neglected issues of interest to social conservatives is disheartening."
Regan Bomberger with Radiance Foundation says he's glad "CPAC didn't exist in the late 1860's---they would have ignored slavery while discussing military spending."
Paul Rondeau, executive director of the American Life League says, "Liberals have successfully used this strategy of divide and conquer. There used to be just conservatives. But now, dancing like marionettes to the liberal's tune, we have foreign policy fiscal, and social conservatives. The GOP and CPAC have swallowed the bait---hook, line, and sinker."
Troy Newman with Operation Rescue says, "CPAC is run by Rove Republicans." He says there are true believers who attend and participate, but he says, it's about "KOOL-AID drinking over principles."
There's more, you can read it in the link, but there is a recent history in the "conservative" movement to exclude or marginalize the social or moral issues related to marriage, family, the sanctity of life, and now religious freedom.
So what can we take from this?
1. It is apparent that there are a good number in the conservative movement---with considerable influence, who believe issues like abortion, marriage, family, religious freedom, are a political distraction.
Those who believe so also believe that those issues are primarily responsible for the Republican Party's continual loss in important elections. Specifically presidential elections.
They seem to believe the perfect candidate would be a "fiscal conservative" who is "moderate" on these social issues and would only address them when asked about them. Their "moderate" view would then deflect criticism from the left.
However, in a national election, "social" conservatives are expected to support that candidate with money, effort and one's vote. If there is resistance from people of faith who comprise at least 100,000,000, with about 60-70,000,000 considering themselves evangelical, the "conservative" leadership calls on people to vote for the "lessor of the two evils."
That may sound like a winning political strategy, but it isn't. This strategy has given us candidates Dole, McCain and Romney. It also gave Washington State Rob McKenna in the last governor's race.
Between elections, conservative citizens are chastised if there is a sense they didn't vote correctly and encouraged to try, try again. Next time.
Will this work in 2014 and 2016? I doubt it.
2. How passionate can a conservative person of faith become over creating a win for the "Party?" A candidate who is the "lessor of two evils."
This has become the mantra of the GOP with some conservatives and even religious leaders---pastors, joining the chorus.
Last presidential election David Kupelian wrote an article for the conservative World Net Daily chastising people of faith for embracing the idea of not voting for the "lessor of two evils."
He wrote that people who embrace such thinking are "deceived through their anger and pride...", saying they quote the Founding Fathers, but ignore that the Founders always voted for the "lessor of two evils."
His assumption is that those who reject the "lessor of two evils" concept are not smart enough to be discerning.
The philosophy of not voting for the lessor of two evils is not merely an act that occurs when one is marking or punching a hole in the ballot. It is as they say in theology, a "systematic" belief or philosophy.
3. Now is the best time to invoke the rejection of "vote for the lessor of two evils" plan.
Primary elections for 2014 are right around the corner. Campaigns are starting. Get involved. Do something.
A 2016 presidential election has already begun...kind of. Pay attention. Choose sides. Get involved.
I received a note the other day from a lady who said, "Gary, I am now a PC (precinct committeemen) in my area because you encouraged us on your radio program to get involved." That's great.
Maybe you have the gifts and strengths to run for office. Pray about it. Do it.
The important thing we can take from this is that the opportunity to vote for the right candidate begins now, not the minute you mark or punch your ballot.
Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Pro-Active. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.