“For America, it’s sink or swim. For America’s young adults, it’s time to take our place as defenders of liberty and human rights. If we make the value of life our priority, then we will prove ourselves exceptional Americans and turn the direction of this nation back toward greatness.” ~ Chelsen Vicari
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend CPAC for the first time. I was disappointed by the lack of young conservative speakers in the speaker lineup, despite CPAC touting “The Next Generation” as their theme this year. If the GOP is really serious about drawing in young people, we need to be given a platform – and CPAC would’ve been the perfect opportunity for that. Next year, I hope instead of inviting Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney, they will consider inviting young conservative rising stars like Steven Crowder and Katie Pavlich (and I don’t mean just as emcees).
Having said that, it was encouraging to see so many young conservatives in attendance and I loved connecting with some of them. I am thankful that my generation is waking up and fighting for worthy causes like the pro-life movement. It is going to be up to us to hold our politicians’ feet to the fire. Hearing from some of my favorite politicians from across the nation reminded me of what we are fighting for and why. Many of the speakers talked about the importance of conservatives staying grounded in our foundational moral principles. I would like to highlight a handful of my favorite speeches below.
“I, and I hope you, are not ready to give up on America yet. I’m not ready to abandon my oath and my values. I’m not ready to resign this free land of free people to self inflicted collapse. But we cannot just give lip service to our principles. Now is the time that we need a new generation of leaders willing to pick up the torch and carry conservatism high and proud into the 21st century. ” ~ Allen West
Allen West gave a powerful speech the first day of CPAC that really set the tone for the entire weekend for me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the quote above. Far too often conservatives (myself included) do nothing more than give lip service to our principles. We must do more than that if we truly desire to make a difference.
“I’ll give it to you straight. Last November we did take one on the jaw, but this movement and this fight is not determined by the punches that we take. We’re defined by how quickly we pull ourselves off the mat and our perseverance. There’re no shortage of people telling us what conservatism cannot accomplish, what we can’t do, how we cannot connect, how we must change our values to fit the times. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you: That that truly is a bunch of malarkey. Last time I checked, a bended knee is not, nor shall it ever be a conservative tradition.” ~ Allen West
“For those in our movement who want to abandon our moral underpinnings to win -what does it profit a movement to gain the country and lose its own soul?” ~ Rick Santorum
Former Senator Rick Santorum gave a very moving speech that he had rewritten just hours before having been at the bedside of his nephew as he passed away the previous day. Senator Santorum is one of the few politicians who I believe truly gets it. He understands how our country ended up in the shape it is today and he knows what we have to do to restore our country to it’s founding principles.
“The passion in America has been on the other side. They live their lives every day to transform us. Those who think America will be just fine … we just go about our lives. But we don’t have the passion that they do. To rise up and fight against what our founders said was the greatest threat to freedom — time. The erosion of our values over time, that we will lose that revolutionary fervor… Karen and I are committed that we are not going to let that happen on our watch.” ~ Rick Santorum
” This debate has to be about more than just cutting budgets versus raising taxes. When we adopt a strategy of caring about people – then we’ll legalize American energy production, then we’ll get gas to $2 a gallon, then we’ll make sure that your sister has her 2nd amendment rights to keep herself safe from an assailant.”
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann gave a heartfelt and passionate speech focusing on how the conservative movement is a movement of love. She received a standing ovation when she brought up Bengahzi:
“What the President should’ve done at the UN is slam his fist on the UN podium and say in no uncertain terms to the delegates ‘The future does not belong to low-life murderers who kill innocent Americans. The future belongs to Americans who are willing to lay their lives down on the line to protect our right of free speech – and we will never give up that right. Just like we will never give up our 2nd amendment rights either’ . That would’ve been a message from our president of caring.” – Michele Bachmann
“There is a direct correlation between the Senate stubbornly refusing to pass a budget, and the Senate selfishly agreeing to go ahead and spend our children and our grandchildren’s money. No budget is no leadership. It is time for America to get more outraged about this. Never before have our challenges been so big and our leaders so small.
Let’s be clear about one thing. We’re not here to rebrand a party. We’re here to rebuild a country.” ~ Sarah Palin
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin is one of those politicians you either love or hate. Regardless of how you feel about her, one thing is for sure – this gal isn’t afraid to speak her mind! She gave a rousing speech that fired up the room and brought the entire crowd to their feet multiple times.
“More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President. Should’ve started with yours.” ~ Sarah Palin
“If standing for liberty and standing for the constitution makes you a wacko bird – then count me a proud wacko bird.” ~ Ted Cruz
Inviting Senator Ted Cruz to be the keynote speaker was a brilliant move on the organizers of CPAC’s part. I don’t know about everyone else, but I found Cruz’s ability to give such a wonderful 1/2 hour long speech without notes or teleprompters to be pretty incredible – and I don’t think I was alone in my amazement.
I love how Sarah Palin described Senator Cruz: “Ted Cruz, like a good Texan, he comes to town, he chews up barbed wire and he spits out rust.”
“We’re here because we’re not willing to give up on America. We are facing a fundamental choice, a choice that cuts across all issues. It is a choice between surrendering or standing up now to defend our liberty. On guns, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? On drones, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? On spending, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? On debt, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? And on the Constitution, do we surrender, or do we stand up now?” ~ Ted Cruz
Listening to so many great speeches was inspiring. But I want to do more than be inspired. I don’t want to sit back and strive to care more or to pay more attention to what is happening. I’m ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with Senator Cruz and other principled conservatives who are willing to lead the fight for liberty. I’m ready to stand up and say “no more – enough is enough. Our country has been trampled on enough and we won’t take it anymore”. I’m ready to take up the torch for freedom. Are you?
By: Jennifer Mauney
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