Catfish New Orleans…Seconds

June 17, 2011

Still not a bayou dish, but I’m still here at the RLC in New Orleans. The second general session is under way.

The second session has started with a very commercial feel but good information. A good prayer, the national anthem, and two speakers promoting information on how advertising technology and super PAC funding will influence this next election. Then, Citizens United President David Bossie spoke on the importance of galvanizing around Pro-American center-right policies instead of the European left policies of President Obama. He also promoted and defended the Tea Party several times.

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That took me back to another conversation with my writing colleagues during the trip to New Orleans. We discussed how people must be careful of overgeneralizing all people of a group, like say black people, Muslims, or Tea Party supporters.  It is necessary for Bossie to defend the Tea Party because there are so many people calling themselves Tea Party members, and without a doubt, some of them are liberals who are intentionally posing and misrepresenting the true intentions of the movement.  I’ve never been to a Tea Party rally, wore a shirt, or posted a sign, but I understood the movement to retake the hijacked Republican party back to true center-right conservatism.  I don’t have a problem with that.  The democrats need to do the same to their hijacked party instead of trying to stain all Tea Party members as racists loons.  Now, some may be…but you got them on the left too; and the true intention of the movement is justified.

As I listen to the rest of Bossie and then all of Newt Gingrich, I really wish more black people can hear these people speak in entirety with open minds.  I’m not sold on voting for Gingrich or any one else yet, but to hear them fully is very enlightening.  There are several statements made that I really can not fathom how any open-minded  American trying to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness cannot accept regardless of race, religion, educational level, and geographic region.  Gingrich stated how we must reign in and preferably eliminate extreme judges who rule against the values and of 90% of Americans such as voluntarily acknowledging God during a graduation as a freedom of speech.  He describe the problem with President Obama borrowing money from the Chinese to pay for Oil from the Brazilians while doing everything to reduce US offshore drilling.  He then becomes a “purchasing agent” of foreign goods and services instead of a “salesman” for American products an services.  Gingrich also discussed how Republicans do not need to run an attack campaign on President Obama but just “look at reality” and then Republicans, unlike President Obama, must “get in office with a plan, not start planning when you get in office”.  Then Gingrich laid out his plan to sign four executive orders in the minutes after his inauguration speech to deal with czars, overseas abortion, conscience protection for medical professionals, the US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem instead of Tel Aviv.  However, I do believe the President had a plan in place when he got the office to fundamentally transform America from it’s center-right foundation.  As as a former teacher frustrated by our broken schools systems, I appreciate another point Gingrich made about how America has failed to properly educate two generations of students which has weakened our country.

Now, there were a few statements made by Bossie and Gingrich that I personally prefer they would dial down but nothing to make me say I’m no longer a black conservative because of it.  Come to think of it, they had nothing to do with race.  As a doctoral student with two masters degrees, I think the disdain for the intellectual community can be dialed down.  Although Gingrich at one point specified “left-wing academics”, some statements can be unfairly exaggerated by some such as Bossie stating how the President needs “Private tuition for Israel issues”  or Gingrich mockingly emphasizing some points to be “clear not to confuse the intellectual community and media”.  However, I see how the left-wing media deserves the disdain after personally witnessing two AP reporters joke about their plan to “find something to run with” in the Media room before this event.   Some may say FOX does the same thing, but I believe there is difference in agenda when reporting to uncover the whole truth as it relates to defending and promoting the true values this country was built on versus a goal to spin and deceive in order to dismantle what this country stands for.

After Gingrich spoke, Michael Williams took the stage as the first Black speaker of the conference.  He is a Congressional candidate from Texas who was elected to statewide office there.  Naturally, I wanted him to do us proud.  Then I thought to myself is it because he’s black or a good conservative leader.  Well, both!  At first, he affirmed his commitment to conservative values reiterating the standard points including his takes on Obama’s mottoes with “yes we can really means no you can’t…the government will” and “change through hope is now hope it changes”.  The he talked about himself in how as a leader of the Energy Commission in Texas, he had the boldness to reduce millions of dollars in costs to tax payers by eliminating unnecessary positions.  He also described his refusal to accept a $45,000 pay raise as he did not need the extra cost to taxpayers as a part of his belief that several executive departments in government should be reduced or eliminated; this includes the US Department of Education that he believes interferes with the states’ ability to oversee education for themselves.  I couldn’t agree more on that.

The only disappointment through his speech was not something he said, but what happened.  Taking the stage immediately after Gingrich, there was a mass exodus of about one-third of the audience who also carried on fairly disruptive conversations for several minutes as they exited during the beginning of Williams’ speech.  Now, the same thing happened after Huckabee in session one so I knew it was nothing towards Williams.  While I am able to separate my emotional response as a black person in supporting the first black conservative speaker of the conference from the logical and impersonal actions of people related to the big draw of a session, I know how that can be unfairly be spun into something about race.

To wrap up session two, a former candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner, Dale Peterson, dawned in cowboy boots and hat took the stage to…it took me a while to figure out.  At first, he just got on a stump for conservative work ethic with his strong southern draw and put in a plug for his book, I Give a Rip.  There were obligatory responses from the crowd which had dwindle down a little more after Williams.  Then he started really emphasizing the need for America’s government to run like a business by someone with a career in business and not politics.  After getting a little redundant is some of his points, he finally got around to…a plug for Herman Cain.  Now, I love to see diverse, passionate supporters for Herman Cain, but Peterson lost most of his fizz by the time he got to it.  One of my initial concerns with Herman Cain was that this wasn’t just an attempt to get the “black vote” from Obama with another black candidate.  Although he expressed the sound and valid rationale for the support of Cain as a very qualified candidate that I believe has a good plan to turn this country around, he was not a good across the board marketing choice for him.  Keep him in the predominantly small-town, agricultural crowds were he will go over better.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the remaining sessions for the RLC but please look out for my future posts.



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