Weekend Open Thread/Discussion: What does “inclusive” mean to you?

Posted by: ST on February 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

Hey y’all. Got a lot of errand running to do today in an effort to catch up from being so behind due to my CPAC trip. For example, I haven’t been grocery shopping in two weeks. Ugh.

Wanted to jump start a discussion about GOP “inclusiveness” in light of the controversy that surrounded CPAC over their inclusion of the gay conservative group GOProud at the convention. Several conservative groups either boycotted or pulled out of the convention because of the invite that was extended to GOProud, who are – at least from what I know – more conservative than the Log Cabin Republicans. In fact, GOProud was started as an alternative to the LCP precisely on that basis.

I didn’t have a huge issue with their invitation because on the whole they share a lot of the same conservative values that the rest of us do. Smaller government, lower taxes, states rights, etc. While they do believe in gay marriage and an alternative family structure and I don’t, they believe it’s an issue that should be decided at the state level. That being said, there was a raging debate at both CPAC and on Twitter and elsewhere between conservatives over whether or not they should be included. Some people were saying that we’re obviously not going to agree 100% on everything and that the attendace of GOProud shouldn’t have been a big deal on that basis, saying CPAC was the place to “exchange ideas and to get your viewpoints across”, while others were arguing as to just how big of a tent the GOP was supposed to actually be and wondering if the “inclusiveness” meant that hypothetically pretty much any group could be invited to CPAC in the name of “inclusiveness” – which I thought was a good point. If CPAC is the place to “exchange ideas and get your viewpoints across” then does that mean it shouldn’t be an issue to invite groups like Planned Parenthood and NOW and the SEIU to CPAC to “exchange” ideas? How far should the “inclusiveness” go? Where is the line drawn in terms of who should be invited and who shouldn’t?

This actually extends beyond CPAC to conservatives in general. In your view, where is the line drawn in terms of what makes a person conservative and what makes him or her moderate to liberal?

Discuss amongst yourselves. I’ll check in when I can. :)

Sunshine on a cloudy day

Sunshine on a cloudy day in Charlotte, NC - 2/17/11

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17 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread/Discussion: What does “inclusive” mean to you?”


  1. Phineas says:

    I’m strongly of the belief that including GOProud was a good thing, a benefit to conservatism and the Republican Party, and that the boycotting groups made themselves look like fools. I agree with Reagan (IIRC) who once said (paraphrasing) “Someone who agrees with you 80% of the time is an ally, not an enemy.” Unless we’re saying there’s no room to disagree within the American Right, the members of GOProud are one of us.

    If we’re to rescue the United States from the danger posed by the Left’s insanity (currently on naked display in Wisconsin), the last thing we need is to banish potential friends in the name of a self-defeating ideological purity.

    Of course, the retort is that’s easy for me to write, because I’m not, by and large, a social conservative. I think gays should be allowed to marry or have civil unions, and that it’s a matter for the people of each state to decide for themselves. (On the other hand, I oppose abortion on demand.) But, more to the point, the kerfuffle at CPAC was the wrong battle in the wrong place at the wrong time. That was a moment for conservatives of all hues along the spectrum, from Center-Right to Hard-Right, to come together to exchange ideas and gear up for the fight to save this nation from the crippling fiscal stroke that is otherwise surely coming soon.

    As to where to draw the line, just look at each group, see where they stand on the issues, and apply Reagan’s rule. You might find you disagree on only a few things; that group is a likely candidate for inclusion. You might find you agree on some things, but not on several others — say a 50-50 split. That group may not be “conservative enough,” but we can still cooperate with them on specific issues. Banishing them would be a mistake. Finally, of course, there are groups like those you mentioned, such as Planned Parenthood. Given the range of issues on which they lean hard-left, it would be silly to give them a place at CPAC.

    Call me a “big-tent squish RINO*,” but I don’t think you strike from the rolls a group that mostly agrees with you (even if their head makes a public jerk of himself).

    *(Actually got called that in the comments at Hot Air, once. Made me laugh. :) )

  2. Chris in NC says:

    Well in every movement there have to be core values upon which all must agree to and then other issues where it would be nice to agree but aren’t deal breakers.

    Small government – no government programs for things that private sector could do better: health care, retirement account (yes, I’m talking to YOU social security), etc.

    Lower taxes – it’s not a greed issue it’s a MORAL issue. Mr. welfare dude, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED to my money.

    Strong national defense – including securing the borders.

    Less government intrusion – and not just for policies you don’t like. You can’t pick and choose your government interference.

    To me that eliminates the Romney, McCain types. Not only did Romney make Romneycare which has been a miserable failure, he still defends it today.

    This makes an issue like gay marriage fairly easy. Conservatives like to say that Roe is bad law because abortion and privacy aren’t mentioned in the Constitution and therefore are relegated to the states. Well, marriage isn’t either so IT SHOULD BE TOO!

    If you believe that taxes should be as low as needed to make the government small, spending should be slashed, no make that chainsawed, and our borders should be locked down and our military should be strong, then welcome to the tent.

  3. Sefton says:

    I’ll admit up front that I’m not even that aware of how CPAC organizes it’s associations or invitations, who gets invited and who doesn’t. I do know that it appears they try to cover a wide spectrum of “the right”, whether they term themselves staunch GOP, non-party conservatives, libertarians, or independents, etc. Overall, I’d say this is a good thing.

    In short, though, as I believe it’s imperative this country get back to it’s Constitutional founding and the rule of law, limits on government intrusion and protect states rights, as long as we all have that base understanding, uniting to fight against the treasonous attack the left has been and continues to implement against our nation – then I say hand them their fighting gear and let’s go get it back.

  4. bigdave says:

    I agree with Phineas.If they are 80% with us , let it be. Everyone is a jerk once in a while. We need to concentrate on the real enemy and not borow trouble.

  5. Carlos says:

    The problems I have with it is it sets them apart as an “identity politics” group (like blacks, like Hispanics, like unions, etc.), and they are going to be seen by conservatives like me as pushing ever further their particular agenda; that is, they will push until it will be “normal” in grade school to have speakers there touting homosexuality as at least an “equal” way of life if not in fact a “better” way of life.

    That ain’t so, ‘cording to the Book I use as my living guide, never has been, never will be. Just ’cause they want it so don’t make it so.

    As long as they don’t hammer on their particular personal agenda, welcome to the tent.

    Soon as they start hammerin’, one of us is outta here, probably not them because of the lunkheads we got runnin’ the party into the ground at 100 MPH.

  6. FrankNitti says:

    looked back and didn’t find any thing about this little blurb from a black state senator from S.C…..seems the only time we are in the news it’s for something like this….


    then he tries to defend his statement….

  7. Paul says:

    I’m a libertarian and I go my own way. I believe in Jesus, His love and His mercy. Liberal and Conservative are just terms used to attempt to describe someone politically. You have loonies on both sides. I try to think for myself and not let an organization do it for me. I don’t care whether CPAC includes me ot not, because I agree with some of their ideas and disagree with others. And I don’t let Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, Sarah Palin or Bill Maher e.g. speak for me.

  8. MissJean says:

    I can understand the boycott on principal. The boycotters essentially asked themselves whether they’d be willing to compromise their principles for financial conservative goals, and they decided it wasn’t right.

    And the members of GOProud aren’t exactly abandoning their hopes of social change despite the cost of benefits extensions to partners of state and federal workers, are they? (In Michigan, there’s no same-sex marriage, but a loophole extension of state benefits to a long-term “housemate” cost about $6 million a year.)

    As for the constitutionality of gay marriage, that’s a no-brainer. The states have the laws. And if you look, you’ll see that many states had no laws forbidding marriage between siblings, parent-child, etc. That’s because there was a general assumption that such relationships couldn’t be considered marriage. (FYI in New York state you can still legally marry your first cousin.)

    Social acceptance happens fast now. For example, Julie Enzer, a lesbian activist, was “let go” as director of the Gay and Lesbian Center in Detroit in the late ’90s. A major sticking points was that she didn’t support civil unions or, as she said at the time, the “obsession with coupledom”. That wasn’t even about marriage or extended health benefits, just civil unions. Now she has a wife and it’s as if she wasn’t opposed to it a decade earlier.

    So the social conservatives may just be a little more observant of the sea-change involving laws and norms of sexual relations; e.g., advocates for legitimizing sexual relations with animals. Personally, I expect that many states will either drastically lower the age or outright abolish “age of consent” laws during my lifetime. Our society is becoming more open to children’s sexuality (or perverse, if you’re a social conservative.)

  9. Dana says:

    Unlike Phineas, I am a social conservative, and, to me, calling a homosexual relationship a marriage is like calling a donkey a horse: just ’cause you say it’s a horse doesn’t make it a horse.

    But, having said that, if we create a situation in which homosexuals are identified solely by their sexual preferences, then they can never be anything but another accredited victim group . . . and that means Democrats.

    In the 2004 and 2008 election exit polls, homosexuals self-identified at 4% of the electorate, and they voted for John Kerry over George Bush 77% to 23%, and Barack Obama over John McCain 70% to 27%. If we give the liberals a consistent 3% of the electorate, when one of that three percent might agree with us more on everything else, we’re building in an additional loss factor.

    And we’ve already done that with blacks, who comprise 12% of the electorate. Blacks vote 90-95% Democratic, meaning that Republicans have absolutely no chance with 11-12% of the voters, voters who might, on matters other than race, actually consider conservative positions on many issues.

    If only white men and women were allowed to vote, John McCain would be President today, and a lot of the disasters we are seeing would not have happened. But we have excluded — or let feel excluded — groups of people who might otherwise vote for Republicans, and have found out that yes, they are real voters, and yes, they do have the power to swing elections.

  10. RM says:

    The secret of political victory is too unite your side and divide your adversaries.

  11. Glenn Bergen says:

    I am newly converted independent to Conservative voter. My conversion is based on fundamental values of the Republican Party, not based on social conservatism. I feel we have got more pressing issues and if GOProud can help leverage these issues, then more the merrier. The wider and deeper the message can be spread, the better. We have got to restore fiscal sanity to this country, otherwise we all lose.

  12. Phineas says:


    Welcome, brother! ;)

  13. Glenn Bergen says:

    Since I am new member to this forum, let me tell where I sit before I stand. I have worked in the Intelligence business since 1969, both in uniform and as a defense contractor. I am recently retired and have focussed my energy on topics germaine to our national topics debate. As in the previous comment, I feel that “inclusion” is paramount; we cannot let this moment pass us by. It may never come around in this or future generations. I REFUSE TO LET MY GRANDDAUGHTERS LIVE IN SOCIALISM. They deserve better and I have worked too hard for a better future.

  14. Carlos says:

    Better start looking for an unowned deserted island, Mr. Bergan. Every president we’ve had since at least Teddy R. has been complicit at least to some degree for our slide into socialism, some more than others. Even the great RR took us nearer to such a government.

    It’s time for us to stop pretending we’ve got a representative democracy and use capitalism as its base. It’s time for us to rid ourselves of the developed oligarchy by the privileged and return it to “We, the People,”.

  15. Glenn Bergen says:

    I understand where you are coming from; now hear me out, my forefathers were sent from England as political prisoners to America on the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. Our family has been involved in the inception of the Revolution,do you suggest we stop now? What deserted island do you I move to?

  16. Kate says:

    Core values are just that, core values. Once they are compromised you have begun that slippery slope to oblivion. That fact that GOProud was invited is a nice gesture, perhaps there is the idea that once a “gay” organization sees that we are not all flaming bigots, as the MSM would like to portray conservatives, CPAC has a way to inform that sector of potential voters. Afterall, CPAC is a political lobbying organization trying to present the conservative point of view in the best possible light. I don’t believe it means that conservatives in that organization are using a blanket acceptance for all of the gay lifestyle choices that are the real issues and Biblical precepts of Judeochristian values are not in question here.

    To those who refused to go,they may have missed an opportunity to sway the gay/lesbian attendees attitudes about the concept of gay marriage and gay lifestyle choices. Who knows?