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CPAC Chicago

June 10, 2012

Last Friday I spent the day at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, at the CPAC Chicago convention. It was sponsored by the American Conservative Union.

Te conference featured a lot of the best-known conservative politicians and policy makers from around the country. There were speeches by Dr. Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, former Senator Rick Santorum, and many others. A really cool thing about the day was that almost all of the speakers were held to 15 minutes or less. That meant they had to get the message out in a concise manner.

About 2100 people from 20 states attended the event. Some of the real highlights were speeches by Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, Herman Cain, and Senator Rand Paul.

The real standout of the day, though, was Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. He was one of the few who spoke over his allotted time, and I don’t think anyone in the room cared one bit. He was inspiring, articulate, funny, and intensely patriotic. (He is also a conservative of the first order.) The winner of the straw poll for a vice-presidential candidate was Marco Rubio, but I just kept thinking that Jindal would make a great vice president and then, most likely, a pretty darned good president. I really was pretty impressed.

Almost all of the talk on Friday was about the economy and other domestic issues, like the Federal debt, education, and states rushing headlong into bankruptcy. There were also a lot of congratulations for the folks in Wisconsin in the wake of the unsuccessful recall of Governor Scott Walker. (More about that later.) There was, of course, a lot of criticism of the President and the Democrats in Congress, mostly very well-articulated.

The only person who really talked about foreign policy was Rep. Michele Bachmann. She provided some information about the conference sponsored by Hizb ut-Tahrir America, a multinational Islamic group, in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, next Sunday, June 17. Rep. Bachmann is on the Select House Committee on Intelligence, and she spent most of her time warning the group about Muslim groups that are focused on achieving a worldwide caliphate. I have no substantiating information for her claims, but if even a quarter of what she said is true, it’s pretty scary. Sharia law just is basically completely incompatible with the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights – that’s pretty easy for anyone to see. That doesn’t stop militant Islamists from working toward taking over our country as well as all others.

The conference started at 9:15 AM and I left about 6 PM, just after a very stirring five minutes from Rep. Joe Walsh. The only person I really wanted to hear that I missed was Governor Brownback of Kansas.

One of the most important things I took from the day was that many of the problems we are experiencing at the state level in Illinois have been faced recently in other states – Louisiana, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio, even Virginia. All of these states have turned around their economies in the last few years, despite the nationwide economic issues we have been experiencing. The difference is that they have had conservative Republican governors while we suffered with Governors Blogo and Quinn…not to mention Michael Madigan and the rest of the Illinois State kleptocracy.

There is hope for Illinois, but not with the current “leadership.” I don’t know if enough people in the right places in the state really understand this and are willing to vote the criminals out of office. Time is running out for us.

By the way – if you are a conservative, I highly recommend CPAC. It usually meets in Washington in the spring each year, and they have been experimenting with these regional meetings. I hope they will continue them.

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