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CPAC Coalition Letter v1

CPAC Coalition Letter v1

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Published by: tpeters8531 on Nov 23, 2010
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 November 22, 2010Mr. David KeeneChairmanConservative Political Action Conferencec/o American Conservative Union1007 Cameron St.Alexandria, VA 22314Dear David:We the undersigned write to inform you that our organizations have decided not to participate in the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) due to the planned participation of the organization known as GOProud.We do not make this decision lightly. We believe that, in general, the conservativemovement is strengthened by the presence within it of organizations that give priority to particular, even single, issues. It is not necessary for each group within a politicalmovement to embrace the fullness of a detailed and defined philosophy. But it
necessary for each group within any coherent movement not to stand in diametricalopposition to one or more of its core principles. It is our conviction that the institution of marriage and the family qualify—historically, philosophically and empirically—as suchcore principles. An organization committed to the ultimate abandonment of the legal andsocial meaning of marriage by definition disqualifies itself from recognition as a partner in the conservative cause.We have examined closely GOProud’s mission and its behavior since its inception, andcan only conclude that the organization’s purposes are fundamentally incompatible with amovement that has long embraced the ideals of family and faith in a thriving civil society. Needless to say, we are deeply persuaded that a thriving civil society is an indispensable bulwark against the relentless expansion of government, a phenomenon that has grippedmuch of the Western world and helped to fuel the present fiscal and economic crisis.GOProud states prominently on its web site that it supports a “traditional conservativeagenda” that includes “limited government,” “individual liberty,” “free markets,” and a“confident foreign policy.” This is a traditional conservative agenda, minus one – traditional values. The issue is not that GOProud works on only four of the fivetraditional items on the conservative agenda – rather, it omits - because it activelyopposes - one part of the core. It is no more acceptable as a participant at CPAC than agroup 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 onlyunderscores the impossibility of imagining how such an organization could exist with aninternally contradictory and self-defeating purpose. The truth is that conservatism has placed so much emphasis on, and trust in, the institutions of civil society because it is
inconceivable that the public conditions of economic freedom and national strength cansubsist when the institutions of marriage and family are subverted. It is no accident thathistorical Marxism has not limited itself to advancement of economic statism, but hasalso set its face like flint against the family, the church, and any other institution of civilsociety that serves the fundamental human need for community and mediates between theindividual and the state. Such institutions are indispensable if a nation is to remain bothstrong 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 item on its broadly stated agenda can be pursued, and is being pursued, by groupsthat do not focus on such identity politics. Rather than join as individuals and bewelcomed and respected into these groups, GOProud pursues policy outcomes that arerooted not in the broad conservative principles it claims to support but in the identity – inthis case, sexual and behavioral identity – politics it advocates. This politics inevitablyleads to outcomes that confront the conservative core, as Christopher Barron, chairman of GOProud, seemed to acknowledge in a statement to
The Advocate
in July 2010 thatunderscored his personal support for same-sex marriage and a long-term strategy toimpose it.But GOProud has done more than simply omit a core tenet of conservatism from itsagenda. It has demonstrated that its agenda includes assaults on the very conservativeleadership that has brought our movement a fresh opportunity to steer our nation onceagain onto the right course. At a time when the rest of the conservative movement has been focused on how to convert the overwhelming election victory of November 2 into a policy advance that strengthens both the economic and social underpinnings of our republic, GOProud has chosen this very hour to attempt to attack Sen. Jim DeMint andeven question his place, and the place of those of us who share his socially conservativeviews, 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 thatthis able leader, who helped bring to Washington a class of legislators that is giving theconservative movement renewed hope after four years in the political wilderness,“hasgiven up the ability to lead on any issues conservatives care about.” After a decade inwhich the transgressions of leaders in the conservative movement helped to fuel major  political defeat and create the conditions for the election of the most liberal White Houseand 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 is an odd way to treatthe conservative majority of what is now a national majority.Exclusion of GOProud would not be without precedent in the modern history of conservatism.In 1962 William F. Buckley, Jr., called on the Republican Party and theconservative movement generally to dissociate themselves from the John Birch Society.There was no doubt then that the Birch Society embraced such principles as anti-
communism and limited government. Yet Buckley and others rightly recognized thatthere were views its founder and leader possessed, and transmitted to the organization,that, as he wrote in the pages of 
 National Review
, were “far removed from commonsense.” Buckley concluded, “We cannot allow the emblem of irresponsibility to attach tothe conservative banner.”A political generation ago, the John Birch Society embraced conspiracy theories aboutPresident Eisenhower, challenging his anti-communist credentials. Today GOProuddescribes Jim DeMint’s culturally conservative views as “bizarre.”We believe that the “emblem of irresponsibility” now is the idea that conservatives canembrace the overthrow of a core institution of civil society, marriage and the conjugalrelationship on which it is based, and expect our nation to prosper. This view is as far removed from common sense as the notions that drove an earlier generation of conservatives to delimit their association with an organization that shared a significant portion of their views on foreign and economic policy.A vibrant conservative coalition must rest upon the powerful and mutually trustingalliance of social and economic conservatives. As Prof. Robert George has recentlywritten, “Basic shared principles should lead serious social conservatives to be economicconservatives as well, and serious economic conservatives to be social conservatives, too.A sound conservatism will, as a matter of principle, honor limited government, restrainedspending, honest money, and low taxes, while at the same time upholding the sanctity of human life in all stages and conditions, the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and the protection of the innocence of children.” Russell Kirk expressed a similarly coherent philosophy in his essay, “Ten Conservative Principles,”where he described the need for an enduring moral order, as well as an “affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, asdistinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radicalsystems.” What is at stake in your decision regarding the partnership of GOProud in next year’sCPAC is precisely this: will CPAC embrace a deadening egalitarianism at the expense of marriage and the family as long-established social institutions? This is not a decisionmerely for one event but a fundamental question for the integrity of the conservativecause.Sincerely,Frank CannonGary BauePresidentPresidentAmerican Principles ProjectAmerican ValuesTerrence ScanlonElaine DonnellyPresidentPresidentCapital Research CenterCenter for Military Readiness

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