Yesterday was Day 1 of CPAC 2013, and I had an amazing time!
I got loaded down with books, bags, shirts, stickers, and information in the Exhibit Hall! There are so many different organizations represented here, on issues ranging from traditional values to campaign finance, media, and technology. I can’t wait to get home and read all of the books I got- especially the ones on the Constitution!
I also got to hear some great speeches, specifically Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. One quote from Rubio’s speech really stood out to me-
we don’t need a new idea, the idea is America. And it still lives!
This is the best expression of conservative philosophy I’ve ever heard- this is what we believe! America is more than a government, it is more than a people, it is an idea. It is freedom, it is rights, it is indescribable. Conservatives know that our country hasn’t lasted this long because we abandoned our principles and foundation, the ideas that our great nation were founded on still apply today. We still hold these truths self-evident: all men are created (not born) equal, and they all have a right to life, liberty, and to pursue happiness.
Rand Paul’s speech also touched on these rights, and pointed out that not only are they still applicable- they’re still important enough to defend. The younger Paul is absolutely right that the Constitution’s Framers intended for the rights to be eternal, and to apply to all citizens. If we suspended those rights without trial, and without any oversight, then we are surrendering our God-given rights to a government who has no right to take them away.
I’ve seen that the media has framed Paul and Rubio as representing two different factions within the conservative movement, but that couldn’t be less true- both of them essentially talked about the same thing- our rights are meant to be eternal, our Founding Fathers’ ideas are not stale or old fashioned, our country doesn’t have to lose sight of what makes us unique in order to prosper, and is the job of the people to keep the government accountable. This is what makes conservatism so great- even with all the different voices in our choir we are all singing the same song. A song of tradition, a song of glory, a song of faith.