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The Real Side | Commentary by Joe Messina
| Monday, Mar 11, 2013

mug_joemessinaSounds great, but the invitation and $1.75 will get you a cup of coffee at Winchell’s donuts. For the second year in a row, I have been asked to broadcast live from CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Washington, D.C.

Those of you who thought conservatism in this country was dead, dying, or should be killed, were sadly mistaken. Conservatism is alive and well.

I am not speaking of the hard-right-wing wackos. I mean those who believe in the Constitution, family values, individual freedoms and less government interference. Simple enough? One would think.

It’s important to understand that CPAC is not just for Republicans. Actually, it’s not even a Republican event. There are Democrats, decline-to-state, Libertarians, independents and more who attend. In its 40 years, they have had many a speaker aligning with the Democratic Party.

As the left-wing media outlets paint the event as the “same old GOP platform,” those who want real reform in this country see it as a platform to push conservatives to re-think their approach to government.

“CPAC’s lineup of speakers proves it’s stuck in the past.” Sure, I can see that Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump and the like show that conservatives are stuck in the past. Are they saying these people have nothing to offer? What about the rest of the speakers? How about a little honesty instead of coming to the table with preconceived ideas and finding ways to prove it? See what’s really being offered without immediately looking for an alternative reason or trying to read into it something that isn’t there.

Anyone exhibiting conservative values is a candidate to speak at CPAC. I don’t believe it’s the same old “stuck in the past” group. Gov. Rick Perry doesn’t line up with mainstream conservatives with his immigration stance; neither does Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Bobby Jindal. But they have been invited to be speakers at the event because they are, at their core, true conservatives.

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West has been invited. They say that’s because he is part of the “old guard.” Really? He has been invited because he is willing to speak out and help all Americans, including black Americans. He has been pummeled by the Democrats because he is a black American who is not a Democrat and believes the black community is being held down by the government rather than helped.

Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Paul Ryan are not “old guard.” They have solid ideas to help the country turn around. Ben Carson hit the nail on the head and said what many Americans wish they could say if they were face-to-face with the president.

There will be many bright young minds there, and I believe they can and will shape and mold some of the musty old minds that have a hard time changing.

These are political cycles we go through. The Democrats have been through them, as well. I see some course corrections and minor changes that will take place in the conservative movement in the coming years.

In the meantime, I say stop being Democrats or Republicans, and start being Americans, and simply stand up for what you believe in.

 

Joe Messina is host of The Real Side (TheRealSide.com), a nationally syndicated talk show that runs on AM-1220 KHTS radio and SCVTV [here]. He is also an elected member of the Hart School Board. His commentary publishes Mondays.

 

 

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