Under the fog of freedom-of-religion destroying Supreme Court decisions, my wife, Mary, and I joined with over four thousand, like-minded-conservatives to prepare for a 2016 general election. The 2015 Western Conservative Summit (hereinafter referred to as, “Summit”) began Friday night with rousing speeches from Pastor Rafael Cruz (Ted Cruz’s father), Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots, and Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum. Like many of our fellow conservatives, we are deeply concerned about the progressive national deterioration our country pursues and remain uncertain if the nation will hold a 2016 presidential election.
I intend to share my observations from the Summit; however, I want to deviate once beforehand. The thing, which angers me about the SCOTUS homosexual decision, is the fact that these elites purposefully confuse WE THE PEOPLE by calling marriage a right. Marriage is not a right. No one must marry in order to sustain life, keep one’s liberty, or pursue personal happiness. God given rights apply to all humanity regardless of gender, class, race, creed, or any other discriminator. Marriage is a privilege. Privileges by definition apply to some and exclude others.
The SCOTUS decision has lit the fuse of confusion and where there is confusion there is every evil work. Now it is judicially official, anyone who opposes non-traditional, non-biblical relationships is a bigoted hater and shall be silenced. Few challenge the illegal ruling because two of the justices held a conflict of interest – conducting homosexual marriage ceremonies. Federal Law requires them to disqualify themselves from the case. Using this decision, what if the legally empowered left removes our citizen voting privileges, our freedom of speech and religious expression rights, and our right to due process under the law? After all, how does one defend your ideas if it is a hate crime to speak an opposing point of view?
Although Ted Cruz did not make an appearance, his father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, gave a strong Christian-conservative message on behalf of his son. He addressed current events and issues from a Biblical worldview and challenged America’s pastors to stop hiding behind their pulpits and speak out against the God-denying worldview of the left. He quoted one of my favorite verses, “You shall know them by their fruits,” when examining candidate records. Later, he commented that, “Both parties are rotten to the core.” He claimed, if the Republican Party saddles us with a, “Mushy,” candidate, Hillary Clinton will be the next president. If only our church pastors stood against the left, we Christian conservatives might slow or stop the progressive march to national suicide.
Jenny Beth Martin compared and contrasted the Tea Party’s successes and failures. She showed how the Tea Party succeeded in placing elected officials in the 2010 and 2014 elections when the established Republican Party could not care less about the Tea Party’s involvement. However, in the 2012 general election, the mainstream Republican Party openly opposed the Tea Party and real conservative Republicans were left with a “Mushy,” candidate. Furthermore, the ruling class, including the Republican Party, placed in leadership positions representatives who bow to the dictator-in-chief like Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.
The evening ended with Rick Santorum’s discussion regarding his candidacy (Rick Santorum). His strength is his commitment to securing the health of the traditional American family unit – sickened by the SCOTUS homosexual marriage decision. He articulated well other issues relative to the economy, national defense, and immigration. Regarding the economy, he is committed to winning, “Blue Collar Conservatives,” votes, which Santorum contends the Republican Party ignores. Regarding the national defense, he articulated a 3-point strategy to defeat ISIS starting with strengthening our relationship with Israel. And finally, he stated that he is committed to controlling our borders and enforcing legal immigration.
Saturday saw the arrival of Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, Former Hewlett Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina, Former Texas Governor, Rick Perry, Doctor Ben Carson, and Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker.
In my opinion, Mike Huckabee had the best discussion on immigration (Mike Huckabee). He outlined how he would secure the border in one year. He used the Alaska-to-Lower 48 States highway, which was built in one year to demonstrate how border construction could be accomplished if made a national priority. His speech revolved around three major points regarding freedom. First, we must feed ourselves, fight for ourselves, and fuel ourselves. The current administration is doing everything it can as fast as it can to make us food importers, make us dependent on other nations for military hardware, refuses to engage hostile enemies, and keep us from developing our energy resources. In my opinion, Mike Huckabee had the best one-liner jokes and when the fire alarms went off twice during his presentation, he made light of those potentially tense moments handling them with dignity, grace, and humor.
Carly Fiorina had the best speech of all contenders (Carly Fiorina), in my opinion. I haven’t been excited about a Republican contender since Ronald Reagan. She is a legitimate Presidential Candidate. Based on what I heard this weekend, she is the real deal and she has Mary’s vote. I will write a separate piece on her presentation, the amazing audience response, and our personal meeting with Carly Fiorina. It will be well worth reading.
Rick Perry acquitted himself well from his missteps during the 2012 primaries (Rick Perry). He gave the best presentation regarding our national defense. I thought his best line was, “To our adversaries, if you cross the ‘Red Line,’ there will be hell to pay.” His ideas regarding economy stimulation, preserving the environment, improving education accountability, and border security are sound, but not too unique from the other contenders.
Saturday night, the Summit shifted into high gear. Presidential hopefuls Dr. Ben Carson and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker addressed the packed BELLCO Theater. Probably 5,000 fun-loving conservatives were treated to Michael Murphy’s music as he performed several patriotic American and Christian songs, and his hit tune, “Wildfire.”
Of all the candidates, the one I wanted to hear the most was Dr. Ben Carson (Dr. Ben Carson). He did not disappoint, and he handled Byron York’s tough questions with intelligent answers and his now well-known grace and civility. I will write a separate blog article for Dr. Carson’s presentation. It too, will be worth reading. To know more about Dr. Carson’s views, I recommend reading his book, “One Nation.” If you do not have time to read the entire work, please consider Chapter 6, “No Winners in Political Fighting,” where he offers a Biblical application regarding the benefits of unity.
Wisconsin GovernorScott Walker finished the evening with his campaign speech, which like Rick Perry didn’t offer any unique ideas. His claimed strength is his ability to stand up against rabid liberals and win. This character strength was tested when a mindless heckler attempted to hijack his speech. Governor Walker handled the heckler professionally and with dignity. Personally, I grew up in the mid-west and I appreciate mid-western values. Governor Walker’s candidacy appeals to my Conservative sensibilities.
The, “No Shows,” included: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump. I understand why Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Lindsay Graham and Donald Trump chose to ignore the Summit. They could never be called Conservatives. Marco Rubio’s absence was a surprise. I think he missed a golden opportunity. Bobby Jindal addressed the Summit last year. At least Ted Cruz’s father represented him. Mary had a long personal discussion with Pastor Rafael Cruz. Pastor Cruz treated Mary dismissively and interrupted the conversation to chase after one of the elite donors in the crowd. Unfortunately, she left the conversation with an unfavorable impression of both father and son.
Sunday morning, former NFL star running back, Spencer Tillman preached an inspirational sermon using the word vector as an acronym. He unpacked, “VECTOR” as follows: Values, Energy, Courage, Talent, Organization, and Resources. He combined the term with a vision statement, “Sum of focus.” VECTOR SUM OF FOCUS applies the Biblical maxim, “Without a vision, the people parish.” He used Nehemiah as the example of a leader with vision. Spencer Tillman believes that Nehemiah knew that if he didn’t rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, the Messiah could not, would not come. We need a national leader with God inspired, not ideological obsessive, leadership.
Dr. Ben Carson won the Summit Presidential straw poll (2nd year in a row), followed by Carly Fiorina, and Scott Walker (WCS15 Straw Poll), which happens to be my picked order.
Mary and I have attended four of the six Western Conservative Summits. The 2015 Summit was by far the biggest and the best. Mary even thanked me for dragging her to it. We look forward to next year’s critically important Summit with great expectations.