News: Conservatives Push for Freedom

Nation's Top Conservatives Urge Fight to Restore America's Freedoms

Colorado Christian University made history last weekend by packing the Western Conservative Summit's speakers list with some of the nation's most influential conservative voices, opening the doors to an audience that was double what was expected, and announcing a great mission:

It's time to join the fight to recapture America's waning freedoms.

Sponsored by CCU and its think tank, the Centennial Institute, the summit at the Marriott South in Lone Tree, Colo., featured a dozen voices at the center of the national conversation, including author and political analyst Dick Morris, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, radio commentator Dennis Prager, decorated retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, and other top-tier conservative thinkers in economics, the military, and current culture.

Each issued a call to restore America's core values before leftwing ideas, such as ObamaCare, become permanently entrenched in law. The motivated crowd of 600-plus applauded and leaped to its feet more often than participants in an exercise video. After one vigorous round of standing ovations, columnist Michelle Malkin paused, scanned the room and quipped, "I love being among an angry mob."

The heavy turnout, which for some speeches was standing room only, surprised even the two men who had conceived the summit -- former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong, now president of CCU, and John Andrews, director of the Centennial Institute and former president of the Colorado Senate.

Andrews likened the summit to a "trickle that's turned into the mighty Mississippi."

Armstrong told the crowd, "I don't recall anything like this in Colorado." He predicted that next year's summit would be a national forum and magnet for presidential candidates who will be running in 2012 directly against Barack Obama and his policies.

First task: To win elections in 2010.

"Everybody always says, 'This is the most crucial election of our lifetime,' and most of the time, it's not true. This time it is completely and totally true," said Dick Morris, an ex-Democrat and former top advisor to Bill Clinton. "Will we follow Barack Obama into an economic grave or will we survive as a free country? These are the stakes."

Morris was one of many who warned that, if another election cycle is lost, the Democrats will solidify government control over every aspect of citizens' lives. For example, he said, under ObamaCare rationing, medical options will inevitably decline not only for the middle-aged and elderly, but for everyone.

"To me the ultimate pro-life cause of our time is to permit people to die when they die -- not when the government decides to kill you," Morris said. By the way, he added, don't count on support from lawmakers who are conservative Democrats, as he once was: "There's no more of 'me' in this country anymore."

The opening keynoter, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, urged the crowd to rediscover America's founding documents and "the miracle that is America." A former federal tax-litigation attorney, Bachmann outlined the financial consequences for the country if Obama's crushing tax burdens go forward, and warned that the staggering debt load of $13 trillion "has turned us into a nation of slaves."

She said the American people, including disaffected Democrats "by the boatload," are joining the fight to reverse the tide: "Why do you think the left is apoplectic right now? They've never seen this kind of coalition coming together."

Speakers sounded alarm bells on every aspect of American life.

"The predominant cultural struggle is over the free-enterprise system and limited government," said Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute.

He said Americans must fight the prevailing propaganda that links free enterprise with unfairness and money. "We will continue to lose if we talk about money," Brooks said, highlighting that "free enterprise is a mainstream idea, the core of the American spirit."

Prevailing leftwing policies have also put America's security at risk, several speakers said. Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin and national-security expert Frank Gaffney outlined how Muslim extremists are quietly changing America from within. Among the evidence: a mosque has been okayed at Ground Zero and the federal government is backing sharia-compliant financing. This echoes the situation in Europe, which is fast becoming subject to Muslim, or sharia, law. The situation is considered even direr now that the terror group Hezbollah is recruiting in Mexico and Obama refuses to secure the border.

"This is the incremental taking over of our nation," Boykin said.

Despite a pile-on of grim details, the summit ended on a note befitting its name. Responding to an audience member who observed that Americans face a painful fight in the upcoming election cycle, Dick Morris grinned. "I reject the notion this is going to be painful," he said. "I think this is going to be fun!"