On Saturday, April 30th, the We the People: First in the Nation Freedom Forum will host two of the

most respected and prominent conservatives in American government, US Rep. Steve King of Iowa and US Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, in an event being billed as a ³Conservative Conversation.´ At Southern New Hampshire University, the two Republicans will participate in a round table-style discussion about current national policy and the 2012 presidential campaign, moderated by We the People founder, Jennifer Horn. Potential presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann will also be making personal appearances, and there are standing invitations to all others. In addition to the political celebrities on stage, attendees will also be able to tour a ³Liberty Row´ comprised of conservative and libertarian-leaning New Hampshire organizations introducing themselves and recruiting support. Our Jennifer jokes that the event will be a ³mini New Hampshire CPAC convention.´ Conservatives, of course, have lively conversations all the time in the aggressive pursuit of truth ± while the leftist insists on ideological conformity and a stifling control of the debate. Audience members expecting the King/DeMint round table to descend into a syrupy mutual admiration society will likely be excited to witness first-hand the breadth and variety found in conservative thought. While the foundational principles of conservatism are as fixed as human nature itself, the singular circumstances and regular changes of daily life produce unlimited nuances ± which in turn spark more debate, and thus more refined principles. Conservatism, then, is a turning diamond, catching one shaft of light after another and revealing facets never before seen. Where will the diamond sparkle on April 30th? Here are a few topics worthy of illumination: 1. Military intervention ± As is universally acknowledged, the United States is the world¶s last and greatest superpower. There are conservatives who believe that such immense strength necessitates immense responsibility, manifested in our intervention in Libya (to stop Qaddafi¶s slaughter of civilians) and Mogadishu (to protect UN-sanctioned humanitarian aid). Yet there are other conservatives who advocate an ³America First´ posture, withdrawing from that responsibility and concentrating exclusively on domestic issues. Who is right? 2. The sanctity of life ± Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has famously called for a ³truce´ on social issues such as abortion so as to concentrate Republican focus on fiscal and national security issues. That, however, will not make social issues disappear. Candidates who are otherwise conservative on many things may still describe themselves as ³pro-choice´ under the belief that such a position agrees with the principle of individual freedom. Others, however, would assert that conservative commitment to religious faith, moral virtue and the traditional ideal of the family demands protection of the unborn. In a contest between individual freedom and traditional virtue, which should win? 3. The environment ± Leaving aside for a moment the question of global warming/global cooling/global anything, since the days of Theodore Roosevelt, natural conservation is an inherent characteristic of conservatism. However, conservatives also pledge equal allegiance to free market capitalism and the commercial development of natural resources. Conflict between the two is inevitable. What is the best, most comprehensive rationale for the simultaneous preservation of American ecology and the employment of our resources for national prosperity? Other topics are certainly to be brought up, these are only examples of issues that could generate disagreement between conservatives who would be philosophically synchronized everywhere else. It is too much to hope for conclusive answers to be discovered April 30th but if they exist, there can be no doubt that DeMint and King will pursue them with integrity and enthusiasm.

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