What a great time we had at the CPAC conference! Yes, I know what you might be asking yourself: What in the world was FFF doing at CPAC? After all, it is a conference for conservatives, right? And we are about as pure libertarians as you’d ever find. And you’d be right to ask that question, especially given that we have never participated in CPAC in the 20 years that FFF has been around.
Well, here’s the answer: Several months ago we were asked by the Campaign for Liberty whether we would like to be part of a “liberty row” of exhibitors at CPAC. C4L (as it is known) is the biggest organization that grew out of the Ron Paul presidential campaign.
Three other organizations, which are oriented toward students and young people, that the Paul campaign inspired were also part of “liberty row”: Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), Students for Liberty (SFL), and Ladies of Liberty Alliance (LOLA, whose calendar featuring monthly LOLA ladies seems particularly popular).
It was a big honor for us to be part of “liberty row,” but what was really great was being part of the fun that those four Ron Paul-inspired organizations were having in that particular part of the big exhibit hall.
Every time I walked around the exhibit hall, the booths advocating conservative principles were staid, serious, and somber. Not so on “liberty row”! There was always a big bunch of young people standing around discussing politics and, specifically, libertarianism — and obviously having a great time doing so. You could actually see and sense the excitement — the buzz — along “liberty row.” It was clear that people in our section of the exhibit hall were truly enjoying themselves, unlike the contrived fun that was characterizing the conservative sections. In fact, no doubt the conservative elements were resenting the ongoing sumo wrestling matches (really!) that YAL was sponsoring at its booth!
Bart Frazier was manning the FFF booth. Over the three days of the conference, he gave away, mostly to students, hundreds of free copies of our publication “Economic Liberty and the Constitution,” our book Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State, and our monthly journal Freedom Daily.
On Thursday, I had the good fortune of appearing on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s second-ever live segment of Fox News’ Freedom Watch. Here’s my blog on that event.
On Friday, we got to attend a nice cocktail party sponsored by C4L, which Ron Paul and Andrew Napolitano attended. That was followed by a program moderated by Tom Woods, in which Paul and Napolitano lit up the crowd with their talks.
Then, on Saturday, FFF co-sponsored a fantastic (and provocative!) panel entitled “Why Real Conservatives Should Reject the War on Terror,” which was attended by an overflow crowd of about 300 people, mostly young people. The four panelists were Philip Giraldi (former CIA agent), Karen Kwiatkowski (former Pentagon officer), Bruce Fein (former Justice Department lawyer), and me, with Kelly Torrance from American Conservative serving as moderator. Unfortunately, our live-feed for the event didn’t work because of Internet reception problems but we were able to record it. I think you’ll really enjoy these talks.
I suppose you’ve heard by now that Ron Paul was the leading vote-getter in the CPAC presidential straw poll. We libertarians are making progress, which is reflected by the innumerable articles online (both favorable and critical) about the strong libertarian influence at this year’s CPAC. It sure was exciting to be able to be a part of it all. Thank you to Campaign for Liberty for inviting us to be there.