not that GOProud works on only four of the five traditional items on the conservative agenda
rather, it omits - because it actively opposes - one part of the core. It is no more acceptable as a
participant at CPAC than a group that said it embraced the “traditional conservative agenda” but
actively worked for higher taxes and greater governmental control of the economy.If it is argued that such a hypothetical organization cannot be found, that only underscores theimpossibility of imagining how such an organization could exist with an internally contradictoryand self-defeating purpose. The truth is that conservatism has placed so much emphasis on, andtrust in, the institutions of civil society because it is inconceivable that the public conditions of economic freedom and national strength can subsist when the institutions of marriage and familyare subverted. It is no accident that historical Marxism has not limited itself to advancement of economic statism, but has also set its face like flint against the family, the church, and any otherinstitution of civil society that serves the fundamental human need for community and mediatesbetween the individual and the state. Such institutions are indispensable if a nation is to remainboth strong and free.
It is also clear that GOProud’s reason
-to-be is built around a form of identity politics thatconservative thought formally rejects because of its understanding of human nature. Each itemon its broadly stated agenda can be pursued, and is being pursued, by groups that do not focus onsuch identity politics. Rather than join as individuals and be welcomed and respected into thesegroups, GOProud pursues policy outcomes that are rooted not in the broad conservativeprinciples it claims to support but in the identity
in this case, sexual and behavioral identity
politics it advocates. This politics inevitably leads to outcomes that confront the conservativecore, as Christopher Barron, chairman of GOProud, seemed to acknowledge in a statement to
in July 2010 that underscored his personal support for same-sex marriage and along-term strategy to impose it.But GOProud has done more than simply omit a core tenet of conservatism from its agenda. Ithas demonstrated that its agenda includes assaults on the very conservative leadership that hasbrought our movement a fresh opportunity to steer our nation once again onto the right course.At a time when the rest of the conservative movement has been focused on how to convert theoverwhelming election victory of November 2 into a policy advance that strengthens both theeconomic and social underpinnings of our republic, GOProud has chosen this very hour toattempt to attack Sen. Jim DeMint and even question his place, and the place of those of us whoshare his socially conservative views, in the conservative movement.
Seizing on Sen. DeMint’s unexceptionable remarks that classroom teachers not only present
ideas to but represent role models for the young, Mr. Barron told MSNBC that this able leader,who helped bring to Washington a class of legislators that is giving the conservative movementrenewed hope after four years in the political wilderness,
“has given up the ability to lead on anyissues conservatives care about.” After a decade in which the transgressions of leaders in the
conservative movement helped to fuel major political defeat and create the conditions for theelection of the most liberal White House and Congress in U.S. history, this response to Sen.DeMint is both ill-informed and ill-
timed. It is, however, consistent with GOProud’s creed of
excluding traditional values, and those who champion them, from the conservative core. This isan odd way to treat the conservative majority of what is now a national majority.