Over 10,000 conservatives attended last year's CPAC, worried about the left-wing overreach of the Obama administration and determined to do what it takes to defeat the Left at the polls in November.The needed strategy:
This historic attendance at CPAC in 2010 was followed by a historic election, in which we saw the largest one party pickup in the House of Representatives since 1948. It was an enormous victory for the power of conservative principles.
Of course, after such a historic victory, there is the question, "Now what?"
Remarkably, attendance for this year's CPAC will be even larger than last year's record attendance. Almost 12,000 people have registered. It is clear that the momentum against President Obama and the left is building as people realize the 2012 elections will be a decisive moment for the country.
Many conservatives, however, also recognize that the next two years should not only be spent preparing to win at the polls. We must also develop broad support for a governing agenda that can be implemented by a new conservative President and conservative Congress.He previews his speech:
In other words, CPAC this year will be important not just in outlining why we must reject the left wing governance of the Obama administration and Reid Senate, but also in articulating what a center right coalition would replace it with.
With this challenge of replacement in mind, I will focus my speech tomorrow at CPAC on one such area that badly needs replacement if we are to keep America safe and create robust economic growth with millions of new jobs: American energy policy.Newt quotes from Reagan's 1978 CPAC address:
I will be driving four main themes during my speech:
* It is in our national security interest to produce more American energy. We must reduce the world's dependence on oil from dangerous and unstable countries, especially in the Middle East.
* In contrast to this urgent national security need, the Obama administration's policy has been almost the exact opposite of what is required. In effect, they have been waging war against the American energy industry.
* A comprehensive energy strategy that maximized all forms of American energy development would not only make the US and our allies dramatically safer, it would make us much better off economically.
* Part of this strategy would be to replace the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency ] that achieves better environmental outcomes through an emphasis on the transformative power of new technology and a collaborative approach with industry and state and local governments (as opposed to the bureaucratic, regulatory model of the current EPA that does more to kill jobs and halt American energy development than it does to protect the environment).
You can watch my speech live at 12:30 ET tomorrow by signing up at the CPAC website.
"The themes of a sound foreign policy should be no mystery, nor the result of endless agonizing reappraisals. They are rooted in our past -- in our very beginning as a nation....Our principles were revolutionary...Our example inspired others, imperfectly at times, but it inspired them nevertheless...To this day, America is still the abiding alternative to tyranny. That is our purpose in the world -- nothing more and nothing less."On what our foreign policy goals should be:
"To carry out that purpose, our fundamental aim in foreign policy must be to ensure our own survival and to protect those others who share our values. Under no circumstances should we have any illusions about the intentions of those who are enemies of freedom."
"...If we are to continue to be that example -- if we are to preserve our own freedom -- we must understand those who would dominate us and deal with them with determination."
First, it must be the policy of the United States to defend consistently and resolutely the standards for the universal rights of man outlined in the Declaration of Independence and codified into law in the Constitution.Newt closes with:
This principle has much deeper and more complicated ramifications than a shallow support for democratic elections. Instead, we should be on the side of genuine freedom for the people of the world.
The fact that the two U.S. backed democratic governments in Afghanistan and Iraq are refusing to protect the religious liberty of Christians and other minority religions (or worse, are complicit in their persecution) is evidence of a total lack of clarity regarding the purpose of US foreign policy. (See here and here for examples.)
This is our generation's rendezvous with destiny. And ultimately, Ronald Reagan's most instructive message for meeting our challenge would probably be, "I did my generation's job. Now it's your turn."