“Conservative” or “Republican”? Does it matter & Can we get along at CPAC 2011?

Posted: December 31, 2010 in Politics

 So here is the issue….

Atlantic Wire:

Two major conservative groups are sitting out the year’s most important conference for their ideological allies–attendance is a near-requirement for GOP presidential contenders–because a gay Republican organization has been invited. Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council are refusing to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference because GOProud will be there, indicating a “movement away from conservative principles,”

WND reported:

 “We’ve been very involved in CPAC for over a decade and have managed a couple of popular sessions. However, we will no longer be involved with CPAC because of the organization’s financial mismanagement and movement away from conservative principles,” said Tom McClusky, senior vice president for FRC Action.

“By bringing in GOProud, CPAC was effectively saying moral opposition to homosexuality is no longer welcome in the conservative movement,” said LaBarbera. “Would CPAC bring in an organization specifically devoted to promoting abortion and pretend it’s conservative?” LaBarbera has formerly participated in CPAC, but said he may protest the conference this year.

Jenny Erickson  blog post at cafemom:

Conservatives are not a bunch of old white guys. Contrary to popular belief, the Republican Party is very diverse, and encompasses many groups not typically associated with the GOP. Take me for example: As a blonde twenty-something Californian, I should be a Democrat.

GOProud is another break in the conservative stereotype. Its website states that the group members are “conservatives who believe in limited government, individual liberty, free markets, a strong national defense and a confident foreign policy.” That’s standard Republican stuff, but what makes GOProud so interesting is that they represent gay conservatives and their allies.

Yes, gay conservatives actually exist. And we need them. “Moral issue” groups like World Net Daily (WND) and the Family Research Council (FRC) are shooting the GOP in the foot by refusing to attend CPAC because there will be someone else there that they don’t agree with on every issue. The number-one issue at the moment is reducing the overreach of government into our personal lives. If we don’t stop bleeding money, we’re going to cease to exist as a prosperous nation, and whether or not gay marriage should be legalized will be the least of our problems.


Where am I going with all this? Background: As a former middle school Language Arts teacher, my purpose was to not only correct grammar and spelling, which by the way I happen to be very lazy at…but also to teach my students to form cohesive thoughts on paper.  Let’s just say, “stay on topic” and “consistency”.

The problem with CPAC and the whole “conservative/republican” movement is that we haven’t come to an agreement as to where that consistency lies.

I took time to bold and underline words on the snippets of articles. There is a purpose there.

Should we care about CPAC and weather WND wants to attend or not, is GOPROUD peeved because the bigoted finger is being pointed at them? The teacher in me doesn’t care, I just want to take my red pen and mark up this middle schoolers paper.  (Don’t misunderstand, the writers are better writers than I am….I am referring to the “figurative” middle schoolers paper.)

Here is my point….

As a teacher….

I can’t say i have an opinion one way or the other. I believe Ericson makes an excellent point in that it is about unification and not separation. But before we can have unification(continuity), we need to understand the separation(or grammatical mistakes).

Democrats have been able to put aside grammatical mistakes for the greater (or worse) good.

We need only look at the National Organization of Women (NOW) and how they allow themselves to be demeaned by male  left counterparts all for the furthering of “an agenda”.  

My observation in reading through the CPAC “about” and “principals” pages is that on the about page CPAC states they stand for “traditional values” but on the principals page, it really makes no mention of which specific values(i.e. gay marriage or homosexuality)…which leaves the “conservative individual” and the “republican individual” to make those judgements on his/her own. In which case, disagreements are sure to ensue.

Furthermore, is there a difference between the groups? uhh…. Yes, Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians are NOT all the same. (this is where I mark up in red)

I think we clearly understand that WND, Family Research Council, and GOPROUD are hardly the same. Seriously, if I had to put a label… GOPROUD is more “libertarian” leaning and not “conservative” in the full sense of the word…

Let us agree that “Republican” does not make for a “Conservative” when the Republican is dealing ONLY in matters of economic policy.  The GOP does not always equate Conservative either.

<figuratively> Should “WE” put aside the label of democrat, liberal, marxist, feminist, etc… and just play to the all-encompassing “progressive” label to move “our” cause forward….(just like the democrats have done? Do we let ourselves be smeared just like NOW has done?)

This is the question that those as Conservatives, those as Republicans and those as Libertarians have not sat down and answered. At one point, will WE (regardless of our name tag) have to round-table and agree to do the exact same thing which the left has been doing to achieve that “greater good”.  The greater good being perhaps that we want to maintain our country as we know it. (What that means is another story)

CPAC may be the place to get it done. Perhaps it is CPAC who needs to make some grammatical corrections? Seriously.

CPAC = Conservative Political Action Conference    aka    American Conservative Union

Is CPAC a Conservative organization? Or is it a Republican organization?


As a conservative, I will say that what makes US Conservatives, “conservative” is exactly the idea that we don’t compromise or water down our conservative “values” and that is why we have this CPAC strife.  We have not had the round table as to whether we put aside our differences for that “greater good.”   

Getting some continuity in our writing may help. Let’s not use the labels interchangebly…conservative is a conservative, libertarian is a libertarian, and republican is a republican. 

CPAC calls itself Conservative… CPAC must decide if it REALLY stands for Conservative values and makes them clear….


The groups decide that they will put aside the labels for that greater good.

  1. Rod says:

    Great post. I’m a social conservative first. I can seek middle ground on fiscal issues but socially, there is no middle ground.

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