The Fourth Annual Western Conservative Summit proved to be a non-stop tour of memorable moments. From Mia Love’s address on opening night, to Allen West’s comments during Sunday’s lunch, attendees were treated to top conservative thinkers and national politicians. In addition to the networking opportunities, great vendors, and spark to action, the Summit harbored some powerful messages. After Senator Ted Cruz mentioned a petition to defund Obamacare (dontfundit.com) over ten thousand signatures were added within 24 hours. Here are just a few other memorable moments of WCS 2013:
1. Colonel Allen West
“Let’s forge a new generation, a new conservative generation that guarantees the American dream for another 200 years. And when history remembers Barack Obama, let it not remember him, but, this new generation, a generation that guided us out of his darkness, out of his turmoil, out of his despair, and reignited that bright, burning light… that we call America.”
2. Mia Love, Saratoga Springs, Utah, Mayor
“The day I need the federal government to force me to
3. Jonah Goldberg, At-large editor, National Review Online
All human beings desire to belong to a community, and those growing up without a strong family, neighborhood, social group, civil society or other affiliation do not lose that essential desire to play a part of something larger. The message of Julia, Goldberg said, was meant for them.
“They hear that as an attempt to satisfy a deep and sincere and, ultimately, a very good human need,” Goldberg said.
New Deal and Great Society programs fall into this category, he said.
The mistake, however, is poignant. “The government can not love you,” Goldberg argued. “The government can not be your mother, it can not be your father, it can not be your family, it can not be your church, it can not be your synagogue. It can’t be your fricking bowling league.”
“The government can not fill up that hole in your soul,” Goldberg said.
“The government can only do a few things well, a few more things mediocre, and a lot of things crappy,” Goldberg joked.
4. Governor Mike Huckabee
“I’ll consider living in New York, when Mayor Bloomberg will let me duck hunt in Central Park.” – Governor Mike Huckabee responding to conjecture that he would move to New York.
5. Bill Whittle, PJ Media, video commentator
Ultimately, Whittle pointed to the GOP and conservatives as being responsible for pushing back on the cultural front.
“If this party can’t sell freedom, private property, and virtue, we don’t deserve to be in this business,” Whittle said.
6. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Cruz recounted his father’s emigration from Cuba in 1957, and the prosperity afforded his family by the free market system.
“We need to be championing the people climbing the economic ladder because the greatest engine for prosperity and opportunity the country has ever seen is the free market system in the United States of America,” Cruz said.
Cruz cemented the imperative for communicating the country’s freedoms.
“If we lose our freedom here, where do we go?” Cruz asked, echoing his own father’s journey from oppression to freedom six decades earlier.
7. James Golden, Better known as Bo Snerdley, from the EIB Network
“The racists in America are generally the people calling [conservatives] racist. Just look at the leaders of the so-called “Civil Rights movement.” They don’t wear white hoods, but they are every bit as racist as the KKK ever was.”
8. Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA
According to Kirk, most conservatives and Republican candidates actively avoid pop media outlets and popular television shows like The Daily Show or The Colbert Report and, as a result, miss a superb opportunity to talk about concrete examples that crystallize abstract issues in a way that would appeal to young people.
Kirk pointed to issues like National Security Administration surveillance and Edward Snowden. The recent news surrounding the ongoing NSA revelations have affected young people in a profound way, he said.
“What he [Snowden] did was, every single time a young person picked up a phone, sent a Tweet, sent an email, he or she totally changed the way they did it, because they thought they were being watched,” Kirk said.
9. Victor Davis Hanson, fellow at Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Hanson, a military historian, pulled no punches.
“It’s hard to screw up a system that’s viable and logical and works in a generation,” Hanson said.
“We’ve become attuned, so accustomed to it that nobody finds it shocking anymore that the President doesn’t just say ‘spread the wealth,’ we’re now up to another level–’you didn’t build that,’” said Hanson.
This way of thinking–that there is something suspect about success–is the perfect setup for what Hanson described as the self-appointed elite technocracy to treat law as “flexible and fluid.” Outcomes based on intentions, in this case, President Barack Obama’s administrative goals, force laws to the sideline, Hanson argued.
10. WCS13 Straw Poll:
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention in this post the results of the Presidential Straw Poll. Tied in third place were Colonel Allen West and Senator Rand Paul. In second place was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who gave the opening headline speech Friday night. In first place, by a wide margin, was Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. [Updated 7/31/13]