On each of the following speakers or topics, I am just going to give my impression and notes
I should note that I do consider myself a Compassionate Conservative. I believe in a personally strong morality, economic conservatism and free market options, additionally with expansion of civil liberties, such as privacy, work, ownership of property, the internet, and the right to Non-Worship. I am a borderline on the Pluralist-Secularist line, meaning I don’t think politicians have to pretend they don’t have faiths, but I don’t think they have to legislate those faiths just because you believe in them. You can have strong moral convictions, and encourage others to them, but it is as much Big Government to tax and regulate business, as it is to tax non-believers and force them via intimidation, violence, or coercion to participate in the worship you adhere to. Personally, I want to protect your right to non-worship so I keep my right to worship, and I don’t want my version of religion or your version of areligion to gain control of the government and force it on anyone.
All it takes for the system to be ruined is for ONE EVIL PERSON or ONE GOOD-INTENTIONED IDIOT. Patriot Act anyone? Ring a Bell? Supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? This nuclear dealing with Iran? How about that time where we gave the government the ability to determine the rules for who and want gets on the internet? Oh wait that was today…
Anyone, enough rambling about my credentials and how I am not a moderate, here is my take on CPAC DAY 1.
Due to snowy conditions on I-395 going towards Maryland, I was unable to hear the speech in person. Despite some press about speech outside of CPAC, I heard zero buzz about the man and I take that to mean he left very little on the impressions of the attendees.
Senator Mike Lee
Senator Lee touched on the values that would make someone a True Conservative, a term he kept reiterating throughout the speech. Principled, Positive, and Proven. Principled in that they have actions to satisfy the rhetoric, words, and politics they claim to support. Positive ideas that push for a better and brighter future, not a reminiscent past or wishing that it was 35 years ago. And Proven, someone who has won hard fights in elections, won battles against odds that seemed difficult and carries the scars of going down for the beliefs they espouse rather than curbing to the mainline.
I considered this to be the 2nd best speech of the day, especially when viewing the fact that the Senator pushed away any discussion and denied wanting to be President. This was the speech of a future party leader wanting to align values and find strong men to run for office to enact change, not people who will make the base feel good.
“Not Platitudes, But Policy.” A great slogan for the conference to not embrace at all with the majority of its speakers. Whoops, that’s my first strike of criticism.
Reclaiming the American Dream: Millennials Look Toward Their Future
So this panel was interesting, in the since that Volunteerism is a value they thought Millennials have and that Conservatives themselves should embrace, creating one line of commonality. The second line of commonality to be found is the fear and distrust of irresponsible people not making bright and good decisions that adversely affect the young peoples’ lives. As a Millennial, it is often hard to sit through these kinds of panels because I feel the “spectacular, educated, and well-off” adults are often chastising me and my generation for not being well-off despite having college degrees and parents at home. Maybe if the economy didn’t suck that wouldn’t be the case. Near 25% real unemployment in our age group is deafening statistic.
Congresswoman Mia Love thought that opportunity (yes) and good causes (sure?) were things that Millennials might cling to, more so than limited government and volunteerism. She thought that actually trying to re-establish the ability of upward mobility for those in poverty and federal assistance was a necessary first step, which it is. Federal assistance is rather punishing to those who try to escape federal assistance. Mia Love is also a first generation American, meaning her parents were immigrants to this land and in their time they could find opportunity and jobs. However, today’s immigrants are not likely to find that multiple jobs will suffice their ability to rise. The fact that so many immigrants enroll into federal assistance is a sign that the economy doesn’t encourage assimilation and progress.
Common Core: Rotten to the Core?
So I walked out about 10 minutes into this because this was to me a contest of who could agree more with the person next to them, and while it was interesting hearing examples of Democrats or Independents opposing Common Core, I think the problem here is that rather than talking about it, why isn’t there a clear candidate who has tried legislatively or executively to stop the enrollment of it in their state if it’s so terrible. (Oh wait, he’s coming) There’s a line about it being a bipartisan parent revolt which was interesting, but they didn’t stay on it in the since that it was giving more information. Honestly it felt like a talking point discussion that wouldn’t end. So I went to walk around the exhibition hall.
The Conservative Replacement to Obamacare
There is an interestingly, non-sourced statistic brought up in here, “5 million being unlawfully, illegally subsidized.” The problem here is that unless the Constitution says that’s illegal immediately (nope), or the Supreme Court does (not yet), or it has been overturned legislatively (VETO POWER), then it’s not really illegal, maybe unethical, but the government determines whether it’s ethical or not. It’s a good system.
A short discussion from where I came in about the Governor of Oregon being involved in a scandal with ACA exchange in his state. I assume then that his affair had to deal with some insurance company spokesperson or some computer company that would handle the exchange? Never really made clear, and since its Oregon, it flew past me. Sorry I am from Illinois, that stuff matters to me.
Maybe they actually give a replacement idea discussion, but from where I walked in, I never heard this discussion, and since none of the possible candidates threw out any ideas, one would assume that we STILL lack a federal to state legislative solution. It doesn’t have to be a federally run operation, we could do with it like we did with unemployment checks and welfare in the 90s, which generated positive income gains for single parents especially, single mothers.
This is simply the speech by Jamila Bae prior to the Strategic Communications dialogue.
You’ll note that Jamila Bae’s speech is included in the first part here as well. The idea was that her speech would lead into this discussion, which I think it does, even if the Conservatives at CPAC don’t feel that way themselves. I am ready to accept Atheists into Conservativism because I feel their natural skepticism and cynicism towards religion can be applied to Big Government, which tries to be the Religion of the State these days.
In tandem with my views on personal religion, not coerced or imposed societal religion, I think we can find common ground to work together. If we are all fighting for limited government, more freedoms to citizens and restoration of rights to privacy, speech, and enterprise, as well granting states the ability to manage their own affairs again, then I don’t see how we SHOULDN’T be working together.
One final takeaway, in 2012 post-voting polls, Obama’s empathy and stories got him 81% of the youth support polled. Meaning that Romney’s facts and numbers only received 19% support. When you can tell a narrative from the heart or from someone close to you, you win more hearts and minds than pretending that everyone has a number on their arm and has a set value. Not that this is what Romney did, but that is how it was perceived. Perception is always more important than Intention.
Salute to Veterans
Joni Ernst live is…well, okay? She’s got the passion, but someone needs to specifically coach her on how to convey that passion into something other than a smiling face. Perhaps a scowl or a frown when we talk about cutting military spending, but she needs to do something other than the car salesman smile. It makes her sincerity seem false, which for all my complaining about her expressions, I honestly believe she is dedicated to supporting our troops and fighting for their rights to have the care they need and be represented successfully and properly in government. I think she just needs a public speaking coach to help her convey what she wants to convey without coming off false, Terminator-like, or worse like Harry Wormtongue. It’s bad enough she was attacked for faking her military service because she called herself a veteran, don’t give them more ammunition to think you want to manipulate people, or you are poor at manipulating them.
I think in 5 years, she can work all the problems with public speaking out and be a great Presidential Candidate. But perhaps, if she was VP and got to focus all her energy on rallying round the flag against ISIS, Iran, and Radical threats by Islamism, Russia, and China, perhaps she would be the pro-military person a campaign needs.
You Built It, But Do You Own It? (Debate)
Have to admit, I didn’t get to see this debate because I was at lunch
Governor Chris Christie
Once again at lunch, but apparently I didn’t miss much, other than Laura Ingraham roasting and grilling Christie on his Conservatism, which he really lacks. We know he is New Jersey blooded, but there’s not a reason to fake the Christian Right rhetoric. So stay focused on economics, education, and labor, and I think you can have a solid campaign. Leave all the Christian Right vitriol to Santorum, Huckabee, and Cruz.
So I had no idea who this woman was until today. Okay, CEOs are nice to hear from but she never talked in the Economic portion later in the evening about her experience as what it actually was. She just referenced her experience as CEO for having the credentials to speak. This is like Karl Rove telling us that because he won Bush’s 2004 elections, he knew how to beat the internet game of Barack Obama in 2008, and 2012, despite failing to deliver any close to accurate version of reality.
Why am I bashing Karl Rove in the middle of this section? Because Karl Rove has more charisma, pulls more people to him and gathers their attention, than Fiorina could ever dream of doing. She’s got the Linda McMahon problem. She’s just zero personality and all facts, which is great for winning money and profit, but not for hearts and minds.
Senator Ted Cruz
The Nationalism was rampant here. I feel that if you know that people are shouting Amen, Hallelujah, and whalloping their cheers and hats during the pauses, you’ll enjoy the tele-evangelist Ted Cruz. Also the “Kill ‘Em All and Let God Sort Them Out” was high during the speech. Everything I preach on about the dangers of Nationalism was exhibited in this 30 minute period.
Asset Forfeiture: The Sheriff of Nottingham at Your Doorstep
This was an interesting discussion into the narratives that often occur when people discuss Civil Asset Forfeiture or Criminal Forfeiture. I don’t feel like I need to say much more other than its a terrible practice that violate the 4th amendment, and regardless of whether courts, states, or the federal government has sanctioned, state and federal leglslators need to stop and fight this terrible practice.
Can Islam and Democracy Co-Exist?
There was a speaker in this session not on the schedule who is affiliated with the AIFD, or the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy. She apparently has enemies and fatwas on her, and that’s because she believes in Islamic Feminism, or that the Political Islam that makes women property and objects is morally wrong, and that equality is essential for uplifting Islam into the modern world.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and I had a small conversation after his presentation. He firmly believes the Islamic world isn’t in need of religious reformation, because it won’t work, but needs political reformation like John Locke and our American founders.
The Problem? John Locke and our founders would never have instigated the political rebellion against religious hierarchy and monarchial rule if the religious establishment hadn’t been fractured by Martin Luther, Calvin, and others who 1) gave peasants the Bible and the ability to read it, 2) gave princes the ability to finally separate Divine Right from the Pope, and 3) gave the merchant and lower nobility reasons to no longer be obliged to the hegemony of the Papal-Spanish Empire of the 1500s. When these conditions occurred, the impetus that 1600s Enlightenment brought gave us the desire for Social Contracts, and avoiding the brutish nature of humanity.
The problem I had with this idea is that if we never reform the religion of Islam, then how can the population of Islam ever rectify the problem of State and Heart internally? If they never religiously approach a situation where everyone can read and own a Quran, and that heresy is permitted to exist for the sake of knowledge gain and debate, then how will they ever tolerate the opposition in politics. He appeared quite frustrated by my argument, as if he hadn’t thought of it before. I hoped I helped, I fear he just brushed me off. Oh well, I am not Muslim, it’s not my religion to reform.
The Red Pill or the Blue Pill? A Debate on Marijuana Legalization
I already support legalization and implementation of productivity taxes. (renamed from sin taxes, as the idea is that drugs and alcohol remove your productivity in society) What I mean is that you contribute less to the gain of society. Therefore you pay monetarily what your work would grant to society, so that way we can reduce the rest of society’s burdens when you put yourself into a vegetative state from an overdose. Too Dark? Oh well, I have to worry about the future burdens of the state, so you paying taxes on your drugs now may mean we have the hospital space and devices to keep you alive.
Governor Scott Walker
Best Speech of the Night by far. Scott Walker coming out of today is the best candidate. He talked economic credentials, education, social values and personal values, he talked about how the millennial struggle was relevant for him because of his young adult children, and that giving them a state to flourish economically in was his reason for running.
Governor Bobby Jindal
Governor Bobby Jindal is in a close to 2nd, but 3rd position for best speech of the night. For the first and only time of the day, when someone was bashing Common Core, he didn’t argue for the rights of parents, and local school boards. He stated the problems it has with the federalized testing system and the results it will have on our children. He quoted some researcher who saw that mathematics no longer continued to pre-Calculus, and that other STEM related courses were no longer reaching the ground they once did. He saw this as an economic threat to America ever being able to compete academically with other Western states.
He also brought up the fear that having the federal system decide what was considered good curricula left the system vulnerable to the wills of one evil person, or one idiot with good-intentions. Meaning that with the federal system deciding what was taught, they could omit important events from history (from any perspective) and therefore indoctrinate an incorrect mental thinking or history of America in kids.
Governor Sarah Palin
She spoke solely on the plight of veterans, specifically those who the VA has left to die during their time of corrupt and abusive treatment to veterans. Also she brought up the crisis with soldiers returning home that 23/day are going to take their own life due to not being able to adjust to life, feeling out of place, PTSD or war-related trauma coming back, or from the fact they are physical burdens on their families.
She also mentioned that the reason why this issue only came to light recently is because veterans are not complainers, they are not whiners. They do not seek sympathy or hunt for it from the passerby.
Therefore it is on their friends, families, and CPAC participants to remember veterans because they will not ask us to do so, because they do not feel it is right to burden society. But it is right for us to make sure that each and every one of them is taken care of and they are physically and mentally treated and effectively at that. Vouchers for non-VA care, Soldiers receiving first priority in hospitals outside of emergency care, military certificates being turned into degrees through a testing out program, upon completion of their military service. Finally, we should not be reducing any veteran’s benefits, without removing all of Congress’ first.
The Wealth of a Nation: Economic Policies that Help Average, Middle-Class Americans
Some statistics without sources for data given, where recovery since 1947-2014 was 2-3%. Meanwhile, when looking at the period of 2009-2014, the recovery rate of the GDP is only 1-1.5%. The Government has the power to create a positive and negative environment. With a positive environment, you can create tax breaks, tax credits, grants, loans, contracts, and patents to offer economic incentive to businesses. Meanwhile, regulations, federalized control, removal of state oversight, and making the economy beholden to federal executive powers can create a negative atmosphere for business.
There is a weird discussion on pushing flat taxes, then eliminating corporate taxes, then eliminating capital gains taxes. The only parts that were coherent was the short discussion on lowering the sales tax, or the inheritance tax.
Cheap shot made at Liberalism in that California was the perfect test case for all liberal policies, and that it led to a wealthy person paradise, the highest poverty rates, a mass exodus of middle-class families, and low student success rates due to increasing college debts.
Some discussion on which departments to cut: Commerce, Labor, Energy, are all tossed around. Some discussion on why Fannie and Freddie Mac still exist, except that it never answers its own questions.
Nigel Farage, Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
Non-PC Leader of the United Kingdom Nationalist and Conservative Party. His main talking points were that multi-culturalism was destroying Britain, and most likely hurting America as well. This effort to allow public divisions in society makes it hard to foster unity in the national culture. People should have their own religion, philosophy, roles in society and employment, but everyone should want to be British. (or American, not Something Hyphenated American) He realizes this could be construed to be anti-immigrant, but for him, “how will the immigrant ever become a permanent resident or citizen of the state if they never make an effort to become like we who are citizens.”
Anti-EU and anti-International/Supranational Bodies. Believed that the Euro would be a negative effect on the European continent and reminds everyone that Greece’s loss of wealth is twice the amount the US lost in the Great Depression, due to Greece over-estimating and over-valuing their own economy when they entered the EU. He talks that in Britain and the EU, there is no longer an allowed polite discussion on immigration because that’s immediately believed to be xenophobia. However, he points out that his family are former French Huguenots (French Reformed Christians/Protestants/Calvinists) who fled France for Britain. He also reminds everyone that his wife is of German origin, meaning that his life and history are surrounded with culture clashes, but he states that in each situation, his family has made the attempt to be British in speech, language, and practice of lifestyles. Maybe not religiously or ethnically (impossible or improbable to change), but at least culturally.
Mentions having Purple Revolution where UKIP went from 1.3% of the vote to 20% of the vote and having serious Conservative defections from the establishment to his party. The UKIP is anti-big government, anti-big banks, and anti-big corporations. They stand for the hardworking man, small businesses, and anyone up before 7 AM for labor. He worked for an American company long before he was a politician. Finally, there was a strong threatening tone that should the American people elect yet another leader who fails to place their full capacity to wage a war and to fight the good fight against ISIS, then the Grand Alliance with England might as well be over because the UK must concentrate on things it can itself fully invest its efforts in and not be led on American mis-adventurism. There were some applause, but for those who were listening, there was a feeling of a threat in that last line.