The premiere event of self-labeled conservatives is the annual gathering in D.C. known as CPAC. Conservatives from all across the country convene to listen to speakers and panels of pundits as they enjoy socializing with like-minded individuals. It is now under new management and a new direction is developing.
Last year, GOProud - a gay conservative activist organization - was a sponsor of the event. There was some brouhaha made of it by the most conservative of social conservatives and some very nasty words were uttered. It was unfortunate and it was wrong.
This year the organizers of CPAC have unceremoniously dumped GOProud and will not be extending an opportunity for sponsorship to them. The board of directors wrote a letter with no explanation, just a denial of participation stated.
From the GOProud website:
GOProud represents gay conservatives and their allies. GOProud is committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy. GOProud promotes our traditional conservative agenda by influencing politics and policy at the federal level.
A top priority of GOProud is the defeat of Barack Obama in 2012. That is my top priority, too. That accomplishment will only be realized if conservatives, Republicans, Independents and Reagan Democrats pull together and make it happen. By shrinking the tent instead of expanding it, Barack Obama will succeed.
Maybe it is a case of feeling morally superior to others. Social conservatives who put social issues above the direction of the country has marginalized conservative voices. The success of the Tea Party has been on fiscal issues and the acknowledgement that, while all issues are important, our fiscal health is on life support in this country.
Prominent conservatives such as Andrew Breitbart and Roger L.Simon (Pajamas Media) have now said they will boycott CPAC. Breitbart is quite clear in his speeches that he is a Tea Party member, not a Republican or Democrat. When he announced this decision at this weekend's Smart Girl Summit in St. Louis, he received applause from the majority in the room, according to those who tweeted the info from that event. That is encouraging.
In full disclosure, I have never attended CPAC. Frankly, it has been because I thought I wouldn't be particularly comfortable with those pushing social conservatism over fiscal conservatism. By allowing those who make a personal fortune off of keeping folks divided - like some much of conservative talk radio - our country falls into the hands of candidates like Barack Obama. Demanding purity from your fellow man/woman is a path to nowhere. And, political wilderness.
Here's hoping the newly politically active Tea Party members stand with GOProud, as Breitbart leads the way.
A boycott would be a good thing. Support all conservatives. Inclusion not exclusion.