Saturday, February 20, 2010

Are US Conservatives Becoming More Tolerant?

The time's, they are a changin'. Back in 2007 and 2008 I attended the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington (CPAC). It was certainly an experience. The speakers and delegates made Dan Hannan look like a lily livered liberal. Many of the stands were manned by people from organisations like Americans for the Family. Nothing wrong with that, except they weren't there to promote family values as such, they were there to warn of the dangers of those cotton pickin' homosexualists. Indeed, one stand offered cures for it.

The whole event played into the stereotype of right wing Americans being incredibly homophobic. But times have moved on. Watch this video of a CPAC delegate being jeered and booed when he protested at a group called Go Proud being allowed an exhibition stand.

More from the Salon War Room site HERE.

If the Republican Party is to win again it needs to move back into the political mainstream and ditch its reputation as a quasi-religious sect. Reagan knew that the party had to broaden its electoral appeal and he would have been horrified by the takeover of the Republican Party by the fundamentalist religious right.

Perhaps it is now time to be optimistic that things are changing on the Right of American politics, although one swallow does not make a summer.


Working Class Tory said...


As in, GOP, the Republican party's nickname.

Paul Halsall said...

Well this is what World Net Daily is putting out on the Uganda Gay Death Penalty issue.

WND is one of the major right wing blog sites.

And read what they think about torture - almost the entire GOP now seems to be in favour of torture.

canvas said...

"Perhaps it is now time to be optimistic that things are changing on the Right of American politics"

hahaaa. Never. Especially with the Tea Party freakery. They are an ignorant and dangerous lot. Never ever forget it.

Nicholas said...

Mr. Sorba is a member of "Young Americans for Freedom" yet seemingly wants to deny civil rights to homosexuals? To be honest this is why as an English conservative I find Americans weird. They bang on about freedom whilst passing the Patriot Act and pursuing an anti-gay agenda. They don't know the meaning of the word.

iCowboy said...

Sorry Iain, the nut-jobs are all attaching themselves to the Tea Party and Sarah Palin. Take a look at some of their statements and you'd think Newt Gingrich was a warm cuddly human being.

Paul Halsall said...

Try this


Jabba the Cat said...

Wouldn't worry too much, the Dimocrats are doing a fine job of preparing to lose the mid terms, and BarryO has firmly established himself as a one term president.

Kath said...

Meanwhile in NI today there is a conference that homosexuality can be 'cured with faith'


MCMXCI said...

But this comes at a time where the Tea Party movement is fielding its own candidates in primaries to oust the RNC's Republican nomination. With that happening, Republicans are surely going to be tempted to latch onto that movement with its apparently widespread popularity?

Jamie said...

You can't be serious?
CPAC is a showcase of the Republican party tacking desperately to the right to keep in with the tea party. Republicans in Congress have realised the power of obstructionism and 'What's the matter with Kansas' seems like it's about to become what's the matter with America.

Sorry, but I don't think you can count your inclusive, open-minded GOP chickens before they're hatched.

Jabba the Cat said...

Karl Rove has an interesting take on the Te Part movement

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Kath said...

"Meanwhile in NI today there is a conference that homosexuality can be 'cured with faith'"

This seems to be a common mental problem for those with imaginary friends.

libhom said...

The GOP is a racist, sexist, and homophobic hate group with the same values and agenda as the Ku Klux Klan.

Pat said...

In normal times most people don't take much notice of politics. Normal times being when their own lives aren't being affected much. For Americans these are not normal times- unemployment is very high, and they don't need newspapers to tell them that, its all around them. Their government is proposing to radically alter their healthcare provisions. So a lot of people are taking notice that ordinarily wouldn't.
In all times media promote drama- as most people want their news to be exciting- so they give disproportionate attention to dramatic politicians- either the wacky social conservatives or the various promoters of victim-hood.
In a two party system individuals can never agree with the entirety of a party's program- they always have to prioritise.
In the US the Republicans offer a mix of financial conservatism (what every solvent body practices), social conservatism (hanging on to social attitudes from the past such as the suppression of homosexuality) and individual liberty (yes there is a contradiction between that and social conservatism)
The democrats offer more state intervention and thus spending,more social liberality, and have a record of running deficits.
Up till the time of Obama's election those who wanted social liberalism more than they wanted a small state (but wanted both) would vote Democrat. Those who wanted fiscal conservatism more than social liberalism would vote Republican.
Obama/Reid/Pelosi have turned out to be extremely liberal with other people's money, and not particularly socially liberal. The issue of financial conservatism have therefor risen to the top of the pile- so conservatives are now getting considerable support from people who are socially liberal- and these people are crowding out the social conservatives.
In summary the social conservatives are still there- but they are being sidelined by social liberals who are fiscally conservative. This group- who form the tea party movement- appear to be taking over the Republican Party.
I guess that many of your previous commentors get their news from the all white sections of the American media- that is the liberal part. I hardly think that a black tea party activist (Mr. Gladney) being beaten up by white trade unionists (the only record of violence at a tea party) indicates that the tea party is racist- and I don't see how you could describe a party with a black chairman (Mr. Steele of the Republicans) as racist. It is as illogical as claiming that Margaret Thatcher was anti-woman.

brmiro said...

The Republican Party need to move more to the Right. The Christian Right are getting even more powerful and are just waiting. The Republican Party is no place for Liberals. The Democratic party is for Liberals simple as that. Sarah Palin will get the 2012 nominee. The Christian Right will endorse her so will Fox News.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

CPAC was certainly very tolerant, well of everyone who was tolerant, they did boo that arse who trashed GOProud. I spent a lot of time hanging out with and sharing a panel with GayPatriot and he was very pleased at the response.

Yes there were some cranks like the JBS who were grumbling about things, but they were in a serious minority.

The tolerance of American conservatives (who aren't just social conservatives) show too heavily a reliance on the BBC and a Guardian. The ignorance is quite impressive.