A recent post by another writer about the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) had me thinking about the importance of having different voices in conservatism elevated. This CPAC is an annual affair hosted by the American Conservative Union. You could say that it is a big deal among those of us on the Right.
The CPAC is one of the main events (one of a few events) where conservatives can be themselves, so-to-speak, and congregate with other conservatives. Whether you are a very out in the open conservative or you tend to keep your right-leaning worldview hidden away (probably because you may receive some unwanted negative attention from others), this is the affair that allows for you to show your conservative heart.
Here is the thing: conservatives are supposed to be the opposite of the Progressive when it comes to analyzing what conservatism is all about. For example, tribalism may rear its ugly head on the Right, but we are supposed to never let it be an identifying quality of conservatism. If a progressive liberal is being an honest, then they could not say the same thing. Therefore, conservatives are supposed to be open-minded when it comes to new ideas in conservatism as those ideas are thoroughly and thoughtfully debated, even when they may be unpopular. Conservatism, if one desires to call it a brand, a movement, a product, a worldview, or whatever, is not to be anything where a certain person or a certain group of people have a heavier sway on the direction that it takes.
Conservatism could never completely be just one view. However, even when there a multitude of views within its confines, those views should have the truth or rational arguments with facts that most conservatives can agree on at its center. Conservatives are about the truth, right? We are about facts and not our feelings, as Ben Shapiro has stated before, right? So, we should never be afraid to say that we would not support another conservative or we should really debate that idea before we accept it as matching with reality.
Many may have enjoyed the CPAC this year, but they should not feel threatened when they see comments that oppose it, especially from other Right-leaning individuals.
Kimberly Ross, a columnist for Arc Digital and a contributor to the Washington Examiner, recently tweeted, "CPAC isn’t the epicenter of conservative thought like some of you are acting. It’s a carnival of grifters and draws the thristy clickbait crowd. Don’t act like those who rightly criticize it are destroying anything worthwhile. It’s an embarrassing display of tribalism."
Now, I have no judgement on Ross' view. I was not at the CPAC. My problem is that if even one conservative feels this way about an event that is supposed to be for all conservatives, then shouldn't we all, as conservatives, address this? Shouldn't conservatives be able to fellowship with one another and accept a dissenting view?
If you are a conservative and you feel yourself feeling as if we should not be willing to hear out other views, then can you see yourself as being a real conservative? Or is the conservative view something else on this point?
Jerome Danner is a Contributing Writer for . He is also a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter (@DannerJerome) and Facebook (Facebook.com/ThITwithJDanner) for more of his thoughts and commentary. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.