Tomorrow, for the 37th time, conservatives will gather in Washington to discuss, debate, and forge new solutions at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC.
For those who may be tempted to despair about the state of the limited government, pro-market and pro-family movement, a little history is in order.
In 1975, then-Governor Ronald Reagan inspired a dispirited conservative movement to revolution at CPAC. In a message that resonates to this day, President Reagan proclaimed, “Our people look for a cause to believe in,” and then asked: “Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors, which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?”
President Reagan’s first speech to CPAC was in its inaugural year in 1973. According to CPAC organizer David Keene, that year, 125 Americans came to CPAC to hear Reagan speak. This year, attendance is expected to top 10,000.
Excitement about the Return to the Bold Colors of Conservative Leadership
There is a palpable sense of excitement about the prospects for a return to the bold colors of conservative leadership in America today.
This excitement isn’t just due to the vulnerability of the left, although it is vulnerable.
And it’s not just because of the American people’s disavowal of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi liberal agenda, although Americans have repudiated it.
It’s because of the strength of the solutions being generated by a concerned American public, solutions that are being taken up and championed by conservatives.
The Contract From America
This Thursday at CPAC, the Tea Party Patriots will unveil a grassroots-generated, crowd-sourced, bottom-up call for real economic, conservative and government reform.
It’s called the Contract From America. It’s not the handiwork of me or any public official. It is the genuine voice of the American people. Unlike the current political dynamic, in which the will of Washington is forced on America, this is the voice of America coming to Washington.
The idea of a grassroots-generated call for reform came from Ryan Hecker of the Tea Party Patriots.
Here’s how Ryan explains why he started the process of giving citizens the power to change Washington:
“We started this to give every American the opportunity to make a difference and to tell elected officials that it’s now time for them to listen to the people. We also see this as a way to help unite the Tea Party movement and transform it from a purely protest movement to one calling for proactive and positive reform.”