Political conservatives vs. social conservatives?

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is the big conservative conclave that meets annually to rally the troops and to make plans for political activism.  But this year’s meeting, which started yesterday, has no sessions on pro-life causes, traditional marriage, or religious freedom.  Which makes some social and religious conservatives wonder if they are getting written out of the conservative political movement.

From Austin Ruse, CPAC Makes No Room for Pro-Life Panel.


Pro-life leaders have noticed that not a single panel or specific speaker on life issues has been scheduled for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is supposed to be the preeminent annual gathering of conservatives in America.

Pro-lifers note there are important panels on the IRS scandal, immigration, Common Core, privacy, gun control, and criminal justice reform–issues in which pro-lifers would be keenly interested. Pro-lifers generally pride themselves on being “full spectrum conservatives”; that is, supporters of the three-legged stool: economics, national security, and moral issues. So they would not complain about panels covering these issues.

But they note other panels on career counseling, methods of making friends, pot smoking, making posts go Upworthy, and even one on Vaccines vs. Leeches, and wonder if there is no room for a panel or two on life issues–issues that motivate a tremendous number of grassroots activists who also vote conservative.

In an age when religious freedom is under attack, they also note there isn’t a single panel on the issue or a panel on traditional marriage, an issue that is roiling the country and will end up in the Supreme Court in the coming months.

There are speakers who are recognizably pro-life, such as Rick Santorum, Ralph Reed, Focus on the Family’s Tim Goeglein, and Phyllis Schlafly who is speaking about Common Core.

David Bossie’s movie on issues of life is running on day two of the conference. There is a panel on whether libertarians and social conservatives can ever get along that features Tom Minnery, previously of Focus on the Family and now running CitizenLink, a Focus spin-off. But even that panel is posed as open-question.

There isn’t a single panel or workshop dedicated to life issues or marriage, two key topics to social conservatives.

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