One of the growing online trends over the past several weeks has been about CPAC, GOProud and a division on the right. While there is some legitimacy to the stories – let’s be honest, some conservative organizations are openly against homosexuality – the heat has been turned up in recent days with some organizations signing on to the boycott that has been underway against CPAC since late 2010. The list of non-attendees includes – in no particular order and not a complete list – The Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, American Principles Project, Liberty University, Media Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, Jim DeMint, Chris Christie and Jim Jordan.
The list goes on but you get the point. It is not often mentioned that the volume of organizations and individuals attending CPAC is massive nor is it widely reported that many of CPAC’s detractors have a great deal of concern over the financial questions that are currently surrounding the American Conservative Union – which is the organization that has hosted CPAC since 1973.
What the media has focused on is GOProud’s sponsorship of CPAC and the apparent insensitivity – some “media” organizations going so far as to call it hate -- of a few conservative organizations and individuals against the gay community. Citing the irony that these attacks are being leveled against GOProud by organizations and individuals who hold some of the same conservative values, the media and the left in general must be having a field day -- as one blog story referred to the conflict as a civil war in the conservative movement.
With the run up to CPAC, which is set for February 10th to the 13thin Washington, D.C., the media is trying to turn a dust-up between GOProud and a handful of social conservative organizations and individuals into a fracture within the “big tent” itself. The problem is that while much of this is media hype, the reality is that it could quickly expand into a very real divide that could be quite challenging for our Republican nominee to overcome in the 2012 elections next November. Adding fuel to the fire, tonight’s State of the Union Address by President Obama will have not one but twoRepublican responses. This is yet another example of where we are allowing for internal division – the GOP vs. the Tea Party – coupled with the media’s attempt to create the appearance of intolerance and hate by conservatives as a whole -- GOProud vs. American Principles Project – to prove to the rest of the country that we are not united.
And therein lays the single, greatest threat to Republicans, the GOP, Tea Party members, and the conservative movement as a whole which must be faced in the near future: are we going to make compromises and unify or are we going to allow for division within our base to defeat us in 2012 and beyond?
It is my opinion that we must set aside our fundamental differences and unify around a set of issues in which we all believe -- and the majority of Americans believe -- and as such I have compiled a short list of conservative values to start the ball rolling:
1) Reducing our foreign debt and shrinking the Federal budget.
2) A reduced Federal government with more power to the states.
3) Cleaning up the pension funds and power of the unions.
4) Lower taxes for business and consumers, not “stimulus” slush funds.
5) Support of economic growth through capitalism, not control and regulation.
6) Complete stop and/or repeal of at least:
- Net Neutrality
- Cap and Trade – any climate change related bills
- Bailouts of failed companies
7) Strengthening our military and national defense.
8) A strong foreign policy, re-establishing America’s might around the world.
9) A congress and President that govern by the will of the people, not against.
10) Uphold the Constitution at all costs, focus on American exceptionalism.
The reality is that there are hundreds of issues on which we all have opinions -- some issues hit closer to home than others for each of us – but the fact of the matter is that the discussion is irrelevant and our opinions become moot if we no longer have the basic freedoms afforded to us as Americans to debate the same issues that divide us today. If we cannot defeat this administration next November, allowing for a second term of President Obama, how many more of our freedoms will be stripped away? Can we afford to take the risk of not unifying behind a basic, core set of issues on which we can rally Americans behind?
The answer is simply no.
We do not have the luxury of dividing our ranks on issues like same sex marriage, abortion, prayer in school, abstinence, amnesty and the like. I very much look forward to picking up on all of these debates and working through each of them over time. My fear is if we do not focus on securing our freedoms as American citizens, protecting the Constitution from those that would shred or re-write it and work together -- in unison -- for victory in 2012 we will be defeated and face an unknown future.
United we will win in 2012. Divided we will lose. It’s just that simple.
This blog was first posted on my main blog at http://derekoberholtzeronline.com