By DEXTER DUGGAN
PHOENIX — Citing key words from the Declaration of Independence, former conservative Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain reminded a conference here that when government becomes destructive of the people’s basic rights, they have the authority to alter or abolish it.
Those words from one of the United States’ foundational documents could be considered very dangerous to a swollen, contemptuous political establishment that presumes to grind down the people with arrogant, elitist diktats assaulting their fundamental values.
The Tea Party spontaneously arose across the United States in 2009 to oppose such tyranny. And there was Tea Party spirit here at the Western Conservative Conference, where Cain delivered the keynote address on February 22.
Warning that “the American dream is under attack,” Cain said some liberals “think there’s a Department of Happiness in Washington, D.C.,” existing to fulfill people’s wishes, but the dream is attained properly by one’s own hard work — “sweat equity.”
The political class — which also is the ruling class — isn’t only Democrats but also some Republicans, said Cain, a successful businessman and nationally syndicated radio talk host as well as 2012 presidential candidate.
“Stay informed, because stupid people are running America, and if they’re not stupid, they’re gullible,” he said.
A conference organizer told The Wanderer that about 450 people from across the country attended the gathering, held downtown at the Phoenix Convention Center. Speakers included some national figures and Tea Party activists. In addition to the general session, there were panels on topics including taxation, the economy, Obamacare, gun ownership, media bias, threats to the U.S. Constitution, the Tea Party, and immigration.
Ironically, this conference criticizing corrupt establishments occurred as a campaign of mass hysteria was fired up by Arizona’s corruptocrats, and quickly joined by the national establishment, to destroy a bill recognizing the right of religious conscience in Arizona, SB 1062.
Cathi Herrod, president of the socially conservative Center for Arizona Policy (azpolicy.org), issued a statement on February 22 saying in part:
“The attacks on SB 1062 show politics at its absolute worse. They represent precisely why so many people are sick of the modern political debate. Instead of having an honest discussion about the true meaning of religious liberty, opponents of the bill have hijacked this discussion through lies, personal attacks, and irresponsible reporting.”
Meanwhile, at the conservative conference, Cain used a mocking tone of voice to remind listeners of the persistent lies by Barack Obama that if they liked their medical plans and doctors, they could keep them.
“Your job is to help educate and inform others,” Cain told the audience. “. . . But the Democrats have really crossed the line with me this time. I must throw them under the bus.”
Cain also mocked claims by presidential spokesman Jay Carney and leading Democrats that Obamacare isn’t reducing jobs but “is freeing you from job lock.” The audience laughed.
Asking how Obama still has some support despite his many failures, Cain said, “Some people cannot separate that emotional attachment of putting a black man in the White House from failed policies.”
He referred listeners to “Cain’s Commentary” at his web site (hermancain.com), where he explains, “A historic triumph of getting to the White House is not enough to define one’s presidency. It also takes results that will leave a positive impact on the nation.”
A caller to his radio program didn’t plan to vote this November, Cain said, but his reply was, “If you give up, who’s going to fight for your grandchildren? It’s not about us. It’s about the grandchildren.”
The elitists want Americans to believe that Hillary Clinton will be elected president in 2016 and continue “this socialist, Communist, Democrat regime,” Cain said. “. . . They want you to believe we can’t change things. . . .
“Yes, we’re gonna get scarred and marred” while fighting to save the nation, Cain said. “…Get up and shake off the dust and get back in the arena.”
Joe Miller, the Republican nominee in Alaska’s 2010 election for the U.S. Senate, told a morning general session of the conference, “We don’t have much time left in this country” before it’s too late.
Miller said that if conservative activists confront the establishment, they’ll be taking on big-government Republicans as well as Democrats.
He cited his own Senate race, where he beat incumbent liberal Republican Lisa Murkowski for the party nomination, but lost to her in a three-way race in the general election.
Murkowski, refusing to drop out of the contest despite her defeat in the primary election, ran as a write-in candidate for November and won a plurality of the split vote.
When he won the GOP nomination, Miller said, “the people had selected their candidate,” but the establishment swung into action because “these are the people that D.C. fears. . . .
“I think the Republican Party is second to none,” Miller said, but the Washington establishment prefers crony capitalism. Conservative activists’ skirmishes “are striking fear in the heart of the establishment,” he said.
Miller said that his own Senate campaign “took on an establishment in Alaska, a family dynasty.”
Murkowski originally was appointed to a U.S. Senate vacancy in 2002 — an opening created when her own father, the Senate incumbent, was elected to become Alaska’s governor and then named her to replace him in Washington.
As for the present day, Miller asked why U.S House leaders aren’t filing articles of impeachment against Obama. The audience applauded. “Call President Obama what he is and take him to account. He’s a lawless leader,” Miller said.
“I am calling for a political revolution. . . . We have enough people to change the political” climate of the country, Miller said.
With modern media, “The monopolization of the news is no longer there,” Miller said, adding that his own site, “Restoring Liberty” (http://joemiller.us), sometimes is the second-most-read news site in Alaska.
Neal Boortz, who recently retired as a national radio talk host, told the conference that because of serious abuses by the Internal Revenue Service under Obama, “The IRS must be destroyed. It must be ripped out at the roots.”
Despite massive government spending, Boortz said, “I think they spent $3.95 researching Obamacare” because of the mandatory government medical program’s serious failures.
A brief video of greetings from Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) showed him saying, “Barack Obama is the most lawless president the country has ever seen. . . . We’re nearing the point of no return.”
Take It Back
At a Tea Party panel discussion, the Greater Phoenix Tea Party’s Chris Rossiter, saying that 70 percent of the American people are against abortion, asked, “How can that be a losing issue?” Only because the media say it’s a losing issue to oppose abortion, Rossiter commented.
On the same panel, other participants argued against forming another political party because of disappointments with the GOP.
Tea Party organizer Todd Cefaratti said Ronald Reagan didn’t try to start a third party. “We’ve got to take back the Republican Party.”
Jennifer Burke, national outreach director for TheTeaParty.net, said, “Progressive Marxists took [the Democratic Party] over. They didn’t start a Progressive Marxist Party. . . . On the left, they’re out-and-about proud. . . .
“All we’re asking the Republican Party do is adhere to their own platform,” Burke continued. “. . . This isn’t an overnight victory we’re going to win,” just as the Progressive Marxists didn’t take over the Democrats overnight.
When Tea Party activist Darla Dawald asked the panel’s audience, “Does anybody here like the Republican Party the way it is?,” there were head shakes and murmurs of, “No.”
National gun-rights expert Alan Korwin told a lunch session on the right to private gun ownership that if liberals say conservatives are pro-gun, the response should be that gun owners are pro-freedom, pro-rights, and pro-self defense, which makes the liberals anti-rights.
Cong. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.) told the session that various 20th century tyrannies disarmed their populaces through gun control then rounded up defenseless groups to exterminate them.
Politicians can have armed guards to protect themselves, Franks said, but children’s schools have only a sign, “No guns allowed.”
A familiar face in Washington, D.C., Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told the lunch that people can become more desirous of liberty, not government control.
Norquist said that today’s widespread home-schooling movement was illegal in all 50 states 30 years ago, but that changed.
“When we expand liberty step by step, we also are changing the electorate,” he said.
Cong. David Schweikert (R., Ariz.), former treasurer of Phoenix’s Maricopa County, warned the morning general session of the conference that the latest estimate of U.S. debt and underfunded liabilities is $205 trillion, but the entire wealth of the world may be $185 trillion.
“You have an obligation to save this republic,” Schweikert said. “. . . We can save this country,” but he wasn’t sure how much longer that would be possible when the political left controls both the presidency and U.S. Senate.
Schweikert said that he overhears conversations among Democrats on Washington, D.C., elevators who “are absolutely panic-stricken because the public is finding out” what a failure they are. Democrats are looking for some way to divert voters’ attention, he said.
A False Choice
At an afternoon panel on immigration, Arizona Republican State Rep. Steve Smith mentioned claims by supporters of the U.S. Senate’s “comprehensive immigration reform” bill that if it becomes law, border security finally will be taken care of.
“If it’s so easy to secure the border,” Smith asked, “why don’t they do it now?”
Smith told of a gratifying experience he had with a legal Latino resident, who wasn’t a U.S. citizen, as the Latino graciously helped him fix his stalled vehicle beside the road.
Reflecting on his own views against illegal immigration, Smith said, he wondered if God sent the helpful man into his life to tell him something.
Although the Latino originally said he favored “amnesty” when Smith asked his views on the matter, he changed his mind as Smith pointed out the negatives of unrestricted immigration upon people living in the U.S.
Smith said the Latino, Hugo, never thought about these facts before, but Hugo ended up telling Smith, “Build a fence and keep them out.”
Another immigration panelist, Steve Bucci, of Washington’s conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, said, “Please, please, please reject the false choice the federal government is trying to sell you right now” that the only alternative to the Senate’s complex Obamacare-style immigration bill is to do nothing.
The U.S. is pro-immigration, but the answer doesn’t start with “amnesty,” Bucci said, recalling that the Congress was told in 1986 that if just passed “amnesty” then, the problem wouldn’t arise again.
Bucci said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are being disciplined if they enforce border laws.
The U.S. needs both high-tech workers and seasonal agricultural workers, he said, but the agricultural workers must go back home when their job is done.