Conservative Bloggers Are Having Fun – Seriously!

blogging

image by JaneFriedman.com

A group of patriots from all over the USA will converge on Washington, DC this weekend.  We believe in personal and property rights, smaller and more effective government, the power of the free market, and the sanctity of our unique and brilliant Constitution.  We care about the future of the country and generations to come.  We work every day to defend the values, virtues and policies that made America strong and to expose and oppose the actions of those who would do her harm, either through malevolence or ignorance.

We are the bloggers.  And this is our weekend:  RightOnline 2015, the annual conference for liberty-minded writers and online activists, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, Townhall.com, the Franklin Center, and others.

Some of us are paid professionals, working for organizations that are funded by concerned benefactors.  Most of us are citizens who consider the condition and direction of our country at this point in history so grave that we volunteer our time and money to try to make a difference.

The mainstream media and political elites are only now beginning to understand the power of a citizen-driven information stream propelled by digital technology.  It seems like ancient history, but it was only three years ago when firebrand Michelle Malkin verbally smacked down Juan Williams for his condescending remark, “I am a real reporter, I’m not a blogger, out there in the blogosphere . . .”

It was a pivotal moment for those of us who now feel empowered to punch and counter-punch against liberal media bias.  We take our role seriously, and as our numbers and outreach continue to grow, we are having a profound impact on political and social discourse and national policy.

Melissa Clouthier, despite her relative youth, was one of the pioneers of conservative digital media.  “We write because without us the media would be even more biased and unbalanced than it already is,” she says.   “And we learn so that we are empowered.”  Melissa still has a full plate of activism, not the least of which is over 47,000 Twitter followers.

When real estate professional Laura Rambeau Lee saw the government bailing out big banks, she knew a financial disaster was brewing, and she was right – and angry.  Laura started reading and commenting on other writers’ blogsites, and soon was publishing her own posts on her site “Right Reason” and many others .  “Now, here I am being read on six continents and have friends/bloggers all over the world.  Apparently I have a lot to say!”  Laura says she is proud to be one of Andrew Breitbart’s “Happy Warriors” and has a huge Facebook following.

As Happy Warriors, we bloggers mean business but we also allow ourselves to have a little fun.

“Pundit” Pete Boddie has an extensive staff of employee specialists, each coincidentally named Pete.  There’s political analyst Prognosticator Pete, Middle East correspondent Palestinian Pete, diversity director Pigment-Challenged Pete, and director of social media #PoundSign Pete, to name a few.  “I write to make people smile,” he says.  “Or to make them act.”  Pete was energized by the Tea Party movement and that led him to political blogging.  “I didn’t know exactly why, I just knew my country was in trouble.”  Pete has been known to throw monkey wrenches into White House press briefings.

My own story is similar, as my political activism grew out of the Tea Party movement.  Then a state Americans for Prosperity director invited me to a RightOnline conference in Las Vegas.  At that time I didn’t know what a blog was, but after that whirlwind weekend, I was hooked.  Feeling the need to “gently educate” as many misguided or under-informed citizens as possible, I decided to blend my passion for rock music with political common sense, and the result was “Rockin’ On the Right Side.”

RightOnline 2015 is a time for learning the latest strategies and technologies , a time for meeting new and old friends, and a time for planning to make our activism more effective than ever.  Not to mention a great time to celebrate being “Just A Blogger.”

This post can be seen in its entirety at WatchDog Arena.

 

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideBut you can come along with me
‘Cause we gotta a lot of things to do now
And we’ll have fun, fun, fun now that daddy took the t-bird away!

Fun, Fun, Fun – The Beach Boys

 

 

 

 

 

South Carolina Grassroots Conservatives – Something Old, Something New

TedCruz_at_2015SCTPCThe South Carolina Tea Party Coalition gathered last weekend in Myrtle Beach, and there was never a dull moment.  All the leading right-wing organizations were there, including the Tea Party Patriots, Freedom Works, the Heritage Foundation, the Tea Party Leadership Fund, and Americans for Prosperity.  Contenders for the 2016 presidential race made stump speeches.  Senators and congressmen tossed red meat to the hungry throngs.

The event sold out, skewering the notion that the Tea Party is in decline.   Conservative celebrities lined up to participate.  I have been attending events like this for a long time, and let me tell you – these people are more fired up than ever.

Some things haven’t changed.  Barack Obama remains the target of the Tea Party’s ire, and the conservative faithful are more baffled than ever that so many Americans are still oblivious to the damage he continues to inflict on our nation.  And the Tea Party is still an army of mostly gray-haired, fair-skinned grandmas and grandpas.

Yet the Tea Party and the conservative movement continues to evolve.

Lately the grassroots conservatives are as angry at Republicans as they are at arch-rival liberal Democrats.  They stood and cheered as speaker after speaker exhorted them to “hold the Republicans in DC accountable.”  Congressmen Louie Gohmert, Jim Bridenstine and Jeff Duncan got standing O’s specifically to thank them for their anti-Boehner votes.  Still, Rep. Mick Mulvaney came out guns blazing in defense of his vote for the Speaker, and scored some points.

Minorities continue to gain in numbers and in comfort level in Tea Party circles.  While they have always been warmly welcomed by the Tea Party, African American and Hispanic conservatives no longer feel conspicuous and are taking a significant leadership role.

A fairly large contingent of young conservatives also attended.  One of the most compelling presentations came from Lauren Cooley of Turning Point USA.   Cooley, a striking and very hip young lady, is winning high school and college students over to the conservative side at a wholesale clip.  She single-handedly shut down the gender-studies department and its series of obscene programs at Furman University, and handed attendees to a Jesse Jackson event a list of unflattering direct quotes by him, standing her ground in a confrontation with the embarrassed sponsors.  Her charges carry the pithy message, “Big Government Sucks”, and in growing numbers they understand and articulate the abuses heaped on young Americans by their government in recent years.

But the biggest change in the conservative movement is more subtle, and significantly more important.  Grassroots conservatives have learned that they must work within the system to accomplish real reform.  The days of loud complaints but little action are history, as conservative activists now work to reorganize precincts, run for local offices, and learn policy issues in detail, making them formidable citizen leaders and constituents.  And the top conservative organizations all have focused goals with serious action plans in place to accomplish them.

Two larger-than-life issues in South Carolina took center stage at the convention.  A determined group of conservatives led by Greenville activist Diane Hardy contends that primary registration by party would prevent election perversions such as moderate Republican Lyndsey Graham’s narrow win over several conservative primary candidates.  Graham’s name, by the way, was roundly booed whenever uttered at the event.

Another policy issue that caught a lot of attention is the failure of the state to honestly implement its new law that struck down the Common Core standards.  A panel was assigned to write new state standards, but instead they merely copied the Common Core standards and gave it a new name.  An aggressive campaign is underway by Shari Few and her group, South Carolina Parents Involved in Education, to rewrite the standards.

South Carolina is an early primary state, a fact not lost on presidential hopefuls.  Dr. Ben Carson was soft-spoken, but his conservative convictions were rock-hard.  He admitted a lack of experience and expertise in both foreign and domestic affairs, promising to surround himself with smart people.  Senator Ted Cruz made a rock-star entrance and then machine-gunned his well-rehearsed talking points with precision and authority, if not much inspiration.  Cruz knows exactly what buttons to push.  Rick Santorum was sincere, but didn’t show much fire in the belly.  Donald Trump was . . . well, you know.  Arrogant and embarrassingly shallow.  But he was warmly received.

In conversation and informal straw polls, most of the attendees seemed to favor Scott Walker and Dr. Carson for president.

Nobody went home from this event feeling cheated.  I’m sure this group from South Carolina provides a good cross-section of the Tea Party nationwide.  And while the grassroots conservative movement has been consistent over the years in its values and aims, one can’t help but sense the changes underway.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideSha la la la la la,
Live for today!
And don’t worry, ’bout tomorrow, hey
Live for today!

Live for Today – the Grass Roots

 

RightOnLine ROCKS!

Oh yeah!  Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, Scott Rasmussen, Jonah Goldberg, James O’Keefe, me . . . all of us conservative superstars (well, some of us are wannabes!) were beaming last weekend at the beautiful Venetian in Las Vegas.

It was educational, inspirational, motivational and a hell of a lot of fun.

Tears were shed and glasses raised in memory of Andrew Breitbart.  New citizen journalists were given swords and marching orders.  Veteran conservative bloggers shared war stories and compared beards.  Except the blog-ettes, of course.

Michelle brought down the house, coyly recalling her smackdown of Juan “I’m a reporter, not a BLOGGER!” Williams.  Sarah cut the competition’s knees off with her incisive, on-the-button analysis of failed policies and missed opportunities.  And James O’Keefe – if you have seen any of his expose’ videos, you know the only thing worse than his pimp costume is his Scottish / Irish accent.  Hilarious and devastating in equal measure.

The Montana contingent included AFP/Tea Party/talk radio raconteur Henry Kriegel, Voices of Montana star Aaron Flint, Bozeman radio ace Mark Allen, legislator and new AFP-Montana chief Joe Balyeat, and yours truly – the newbie blogger and trouble-maker Rockin’ On The Right Side.

Everything good was there in abundance – the rooms were huge and beautiful, the food was magnificent, all of the speakers and presenters were top-notch.  But best of all was the abundance of Optimism.  We learned that the conservative new media is winning on all fronts. And it is driving the effete liberals and the inside-the-beltway good-ole-boys and the dead-tree-writers and the I’m-not-a-blogger pundits CRAZY!

Everyone left the conference energized and motivated.  Hell, I’m so motivated I started a new blog, and you’re the first one to read it!

TOM BALEK – Rockin’ On The Right Side

THE HEAT IS ON!  – Glenn Frey