Here are my impressions on yesterday’s AFP Defending the American Dream Summit held in Atlanta, GA. Some of the pictures are a little dark – I either need an easier to use camera, or help with this one! Some of the pictures were too dark, so apologies to Martha Zoeller, Virginia Galloway, Tommy Newberry, Brian Donegan, Jonathan Krohn, Sue Everhart, Joe Turner and Joel Aaron for not being pictured here.
Erick Erickson of RedState was one of the first speakers. He reminded the crowd not to let the train wreck in DC to overshadow our our looming train wreck here in Georgia. Just because our legislature is majority GOP doesn’t mean it’s conservative. They are only GOP for convenience. He advised the two ways to control politicians are by MONEY and FEAR.
Tommy Newberry touted his book, The War on Success. Bless his heart, he read all of Obama’s speeches to boil down his philosophy to three principles:
1. Dismantle the Constitution
2. Dismantle the Judeo/Christian values this country was founded upon
3. Redistribution of wealth
Brian Donegan founded a coalition for disabled Americans, Can-Do Conservatives. He shared the story of his parents being told he’d never live more than a few weeks and here he is – 27 years later!
Jonathan Krohn was his usual precocious self. He’s growing into a fine young man.
Sue Everhart, chair of the GA GOP told the crowd she was conservative first, GOP second!
Rep. Tom Price (GA-6) took the stage to a standing ovation. He said the solutions being offered now by Washington bear no resemblance to American principles. Hot topics were the current Health Care Reform legislation, the GOP strategy going forward, and ten solutions for this current predicament. He encouraged everyone to sign up for alerts from the Republican Study Committee, which you can do here. I’ll have more on his talk later. [UPDATE: Notes here.]
He evoked the words of Thomas Jefferson, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” and then closed with those immortal words of Samuel Adams, “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
For the first Breakout, I attended the one on New Media. Nothing much I didn’t already know, except this nugget – 1 of 5 people decided their vote based on a social network site. Amazing, but also frightening.
Back in the big hall, Neal Boortz was his usual snarky and wildly entertaining self. More on his talk later as well. [UPDATE: Notes here.]
Inhaled some lunch, and then hurried back for the surprise guest, our friend John Berry. And yes, he and the hubster have been friends since high school!
Next up was Joe Turner, magician, and his flaming wallet! According to him, the reason his wallet was on fire was from the friction of all the money flying out as taxes.
Following Joe, was Joel Aaron, first Atlanta Tea Party MC who currently works for AFP. He lead some comparisons between communism and America today.
The next breakout was ‘The Constitution and the Real American Legacy,’ lead by Cherokee Tribune columnist and Constitutional historian, Don Conkey. The room erupted in cheers and a standing ovation when he donned his tricorn! He said in his 82 years, he’d never seen such a power grab as last Sunday (a week ago now). And he reminded us he’d lived through Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Saddam. His new book is out, “God’s Influence in the Making of America,” at unibooks.com. As soon as it is available, I’ll be ordering my copy. He and his sidekick, retired political science professor Jay Lybbert, were fascinating. More on their talk later. [UPDATE: Notes here.]
Next breakout session was on ‘Winning with the Traditional Media,’ led by Erick Erickson. He gave advice on how to speak to reporters, how to deal with a camera stuck in your face (at which I failed miserably at CPAC this year – crash/burn – I don’t want to talk about it), how Twitter has opened an avenue of access previously unavailable to the common folk wanting to get some news out (they really read the tweets they get). Reporters main goal is to have a story no one else has, first. You help them, they come to trust you, the relationship becomes such that you can get your message out. “Be witty, be pithy, but most of all, be right.”
Reporters don’t understand liberty, only equality. He told other stories about CNN, Politico and gave great advice.
The high point of the session (for me at least) was meeting Erick’s wife. Behind every great man is a woman in charge.
Herman Cain closed the day with a rousing talk on taking back America. He said we can do it if we
1. Stay connected
2. Stay involved
3. Stay inspired.
Despite the attacks, their shifting narrative and never-ending name calling, we need to remember that Obama, Congress and the traditional media want us to give up. That is the last thing we should do.
What a day!