There were a number of impressive speeches delivered at last week’s CPAC, the most popular annual convention of conservatives in America. Congressman Allen West rocked the house with his speech, closing the convention.
The CPAC straw poll, always a contentious vote, was won for the second year in a row by Congressman Ron Paul, with 30% of the vote. Of course the media and even the CPAC organizers did as much as they could to minimize the win (it makes one wonder why they even have the poll if it doesn’t mean anything). Congressman Paul is a perennial thorn in the side of the mainstream GOP and those aligned with the big-government GOP don’t want to see any new power come into the hands of the libertarian leaning Congressman Paul. They should be scared though. The youth of the conservative movement are staunchly in support of the congressman, as are many of the older conservatives around the country who see a noninterventionist, fiscally conservative, gun rights advocating, family values conservative like Congressman Ron Paul as just what America needs.
Another great speech was given by Herman Cain, a former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, and the only declared GOP presidential candidate. Mr. Cain made the point that “Stupid people are running America.” I’m not sure that’s exactly the way I would have put it, because I think the people in charge know exactly what kind of damage they are doing to this country, but Cain’s point was not diminished by the phraseology.
To jump back to the straw poll results for a minute, Mitt Romney came in second with 27% of the vote, followed by two more trend-buckers in former Governor Gary Johnson and current Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, each with 6% of the vote. Then came Mr. Cornpone himself, former Speaker Newt Gingrich with a meager 5% of the vote. Notice that out of the top five in the CPAC straw poll, three are absolute outsiders and two are absolute insiders. Paul, Johnson and Christie represent an alternative to the big-government solutions of yesterday, while Romney and Gingrich are supporters of government run health care and corn ethanol respectively. America doesn’t need more support for those initiatives, the White House is already supplying enough.