Conservatives who wanted to see and be seen attended the first Conservative Political Action Conference in 1973. CPAC was created by the American Conservative Union and Young Americans for Freedom---albeit freedom for some but not for others--- especially in the early 1970’s.
Two generations after that first right-wing group hug the efforts of “conservatives” of all stripes (from those of slave-state legacy pedigree to Tea Party fringers) are assembled in Maryland this weekend (14-16 March 2013) to convince one another how relevant they are, bash anything liberal and declare that they are the face of “American Values.” If that doesn’t scare you---I don’t know what it takes.
Attendees include activists and office holders, though if you happen to be the governor of New Jersey or Virginia you won’t be asked to speak. While that’s important to know, it’s probably at least equally important to know who’s paying for this conservative soiree--- this national kumbaya for those who eschew “the touchy-feely” unless it’s tempered with things racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and just plain hateful and mean-spirited.
These conservative mutual admiration society type group hugs have been bought and paid for over the years by among others primarily three organizations, “Human Events, the Young America's Foundation, and the National Rifle Association.”
Just who or what are Human Events, Young America's Foundation, and the National Rifle Association and why are they willing to shell out good money to make these Neocon networking, team-builders possible?
Human Events interestingly takes its name from the first sentence of the US Declaration of Independence. It should be known to you. Students were asked to memorize it when I was in public school, “When in the course of human events...”.
Human Events started out as a magazine almost 70 years ago. This year the magazine ended its print version but still exists online.
Getting down in the weeds of its origins “The magazine was published in Washington, D.C., most recently by specialists in publishing things conservative, Eagle Publishing, the owner of Regnery Publishing, a subsidiary of Phillips Publishing. [Ferretting out more indepth information on these companies and the individuals behind them will be the focus of one of my future blogs. It’s just not enough to read the respective companies’ own version of its history or the generic information easily available on the web.]
Why? Well just consider that Regnery has published the books of a who’s who cast of conservative characters including, Haley Barbour, Ann Coulter, and former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. I think you get the point.
Young America’s Foundation was created in 1969 at Vanderbilt University but given its reactionary tendencies it could just as easily have been 1769 had Vanderbilt University existed then. The group started out known as University Information Services. Translated that means a group committed to all things conservative. The group morphed into Young America’s Foundation in the 1970’s.
The reason for creating the UIS was “to provide students with a familial atmosphere to express their conservative beliefs.” The goal of UIS was to bring conservative speakers to campus. After UIS changed its name to YAF it sponsored “The first National Conservative Student Conference in 1979.” Since then it has supported CPAC. At least that’s the party-line. One part of the story that is unclear is how and when it joined forces with the American Conservative Union. I’ll keep digging and learn more and then share. The American Conservative Union was created by arch-conservative and segregationist William F. Buckley in 1964.
The National Rifle Association likely the best known of the three main sponsors of CAPC. The NRA didn’t always have the clout or the philosophy it now uses to work its will on our elected representatives.
The bottom line on these CPAC foundational organizations is all things conservative.These groups do their collective and respective best to convince ordinary US citizens that they, CPAC participants, are the keepers of “American Values.”
Indeed given the history of the US, they may well be! Of course, you must also acknowledge that Conservatives in the US have historically been opponents of Abolition, women’s suffrage, Civil Rights for all, Voting Rights for all, integration, LGBT Rights, access to healthcare, Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, and the creation of a non-apartheid public education system.
Put another way, Conservatives have been staunch advocates of slavery, genocide, segregation, Jim Crow, exploitation of the rank and file of labor, and self-deportation of undocumented workers or as required, the seasonal exploitation of poor undocumented workers. These are the people who “don’t like government interference.” After all those Feds just insist on equal application of the law, Constitutionally protected rights and at least a semblance of things egalitarian.
It just doesn’t get more “American” than that, does it?
From Texas Red: a cratered landscape of prisons, deplorable apartheid public education, lack of healthcare and politicians and majority population intent on keeping it that way…