I’ll be writing more in-depth observations about the VVS in the next few days, but those will be about the conference as a whole (surprisingly nutty, even with expectations going in), and the attendees I was fortunate enough to meet – who were, to a man and woman, incredibly salt-0f-the-Earth nice people.
But I thought for now I’d at least pay a little attention to the messages I heard from the speakers on the main stage. Because I was there to talk to attendees, I only heard about 60% of the speakers – but I got to see all the big names, save Santorum. And I have to say, seeing these national leaders speak in non-soundbite form was… illuminating. As I say, I’ll write about all of this in greater detail this week, but now, as I sit waiting for my plane, I thought I’d at least share the 10 things that most stick out in my memory of those many, many hours spent watching famous conservatives on the big stage.
So, in no particular order, here are the top ten things I learned from the Values Voter Summit Main Stage speakers:
1. By the tally I kept, the number of times I heard Main Floor Speakers not named Paul Ryan mention Barack Obama: 157. Number of times I heard Main Floor Speakers not named Paul Ryan mention Mitt Romney: 5.
2. Most of the votes for Democrats in Presidential elections come either from people on welfare, or people committing voter fraud. (Gary Bauer, American Values President)
3. The Obama administration has begun secretly plotting with the Organization for Islamic Cooperation. They have begun to “brainwash” FBI and other security agents to be receptive to the messages of Islam, so that Sharia law speech laws can be enforced unchallenged after Obama’s reelection. (Michelle Bachmann, US Rep-MN)
4. The real Founding Fathers we should be basing our government on are not the revolutionary heroes of the late 18th century, but the pilgrims. (Kirk Cameron, Actor/Producer)
5. Planned Parenthood is an organization created for the purpose of killing off the
white race minority races. (Rep. Tim Huelskamp, US Rep-KS) [please see note below]
6. President Obama sided with the terrorists in Libya, cheering them on. (Basically, everybody that got up to talk except Rand Paul)
7. The Obama administration is planning to make illegal all churches and synagogues, and put in jail any Americans that attend them. This will happen this January, “March at the latest.” (Kamal Saleem, Debunked Ex-Terrorist Impersonator)
8. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was apparently told early on that politicians smile big all the time. So now when she talks about terrible tragedies like the brutal murder of Robert Krentz or Chris Stevens, she does so with a beaming, 100 megawatt smile that looks like she’s about to break out in the giggles. It comes off looking very creepy. Seriously, her people need to sit her down and talk to her about this.
9. When Rand Paul opened the conference, he talked about the sanctity of human life, in regard to human fetuses, to thunderous, leap-out-of-your-chair applause. He continued to underline this philosophy by pivoting to the subject of war, where he said, “Truly great leaders are reluctant to go to war.” The crowd got pretty quiet on him after that.
10. The greatest challenge to our security and our Constitution we face in the 21st century is gay soldiers being able to marry. (Steven King, US Rep-Iowa)
And this one’s not really about a speaker, so I’ll throw it in as a bonus fun fact:
11. Friday morning before Paul Ryan came out, they showed a video presentation honoring the Heritage Foundation. The video ended with stills of famous conservatives that had worked with the foundation, and each got a different level of applause by the audience, based on how popular the pictured conservative was. Not surprisingly, the picture of Paul Ryan got the loudest. The next biggest cheers went to a picture of Limbaugh, followed by one of Hannity, and right behind him was George W. Bush. One of the pictures that got the least, shockingly, was the picture of Reagan, who got what might be called a polite, golf-clap smattering. This may have been the most surprising moment of the conference for me.
[Update: I should note that my assumption about Planned Parenthood being an attack on the white race was due to a comment Huelskamp where he noted that its sole purpose was killing children that “looked like mine.” On my plane ride home, I sat next to the fabulous Doc and Faith, who had attended the VVS. While discussing the conference, they pointed out that Rep Huelskamp’s children are adopted and non-white, and that it is therefore his contention that Planned Parenthood was conceived for the sole purpose of eliminating minority children, not white children. So apologies to Rep Huelskamp (I guess?) for this error.]