A number of pro-family, socially conservative groups, such as the Family Research Center and Concerned Women for America, are refusing to participate in next month’s CPAC conference, which is the largest annual meeting of movement conservatives from across the country. From the Politico:
A leading conservative in the House of Representatives is joining a move by social conservative activists to boycott the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which they have criticized for including a gay Republican group.
The chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, will skip this year’s event, spokesman Brian Straessle said.
Jordan is the most prominent elected official to publicly pass on the event. His predecessor as chairman, Mike Pence, has not yet announced whether he’ll attend.
The conflict over CPAC reflects both personal rifts on the right and an argument over how large the conservative tent can be stretched.
In addition to legitimate concerns about malfeasance in the American Conservative Union, the group the organizes CPAC, the problem that has outraged traditional conservatives is CPAC has teamed up with GOProud, a group of homosexual activists claiming to be to the right of the Log Cabin Republicans. However, they were vocal in their opposition to the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy, want to relax state marriage laws, and want to find a place for a political identity group which works almost exclusively with liberal Democrats.
Rep. Jordan, who was recently elected to lead the Republican Study Committee and is one of only two members of the Ohio delegation conservative enough to have support from the Club for Growth, could have easily gone along with this lazy libertarianism. After all, in the era of Obama, TEA Party activists, perhaps out of necessity, have put social issues aside to combat insane fiscal policies. And Jordan, a former wrestling coach, has spent years as a vicious grappler against statism in the state legislature and Federal government.
However, the realm of liberty is not merely fiscal but moral and cultural as well. The conservative aim of limited government can only be furthered when the close connection between moral culture, religious freedom, and economic development is recognized. Individuals and markets must be liberated in tandem. To safeguard the right of the individual to determine the way in which he or she works, procures wages, and sustains his or her existence is to defend the sanctity of human life, while policies that support the traditional family, protect innocent life, and encourage personal responsibility provide for a culture conducive to self-government.
Rep. Jordan understands that the social cannot be divorced from the fiscal, and is standing with conservatives who understand that the ENTIRE POINT of our movement is to stand athwart such radicalization of middle America and yell “Stop!” As as noted at recent meeting of conservative bloggers, compromise is not in the vocabulary of the new RSC Chairman:
“We all know what the elections were about: cutting spending, not raising taxes on a single American and repealing health care,” [Rep. Jim Jordan] said. “I would add a fourth thing: not forgetting those basic human values that make us a great country in the first place — respect for human life, respect for the family and that key institution that ultimately determines the health of our entire culture, and respect for the [hard] work ethic and the free market.”
The modern Republican Party, Jordan said, has always stood for four things: strong defense, fewer taxes, less spending and traditional values.
“All four have got to be in play,” he said. Keeping them in play, in Jordan’s view, won’t include compromising.
“People talk about the word ‘compromising,’” he said. “Typically, when the left talks about ‘compromising,’ it means doing things their way and that’s not what we want to do.”
Nor, he says, is that what the election was about.
“The election was not about compromising; it was about stopping,” he said. “It was about stopping what they’re doing, stopping the tax increases, stopping the crazy spending, stopping the health care bill. … I don’t know if we can work with these guys [on the left] much. I think more importantly we’ve got to do what we told people we would do.”
Perhaps the issue here is CPAC is just losing touch with the movement- Their organization has been involved in pay-to-play and embezzlement. And last year, they allowed the wacky, conspiratorial John Birch Society to co-host CPAC, even though William F. Buckley threw them out of the movement in the 1960s.
But whatever the problem with CPAC is, as more people reject the failed policies of the left and get involved in conservative politics, it is important to remember that an adherence to tradition and promotion of the traditional family unit is what we’re all about. I applaud Jordan’s principled stance.