Chemistry. That personal connection is the intangible but indispensable ingredient for relationships where one and one makes three and positive change starts spreading.
As the greatest community organizer of all time, Saint Paul, reminded his followers in distant outposts, it’s important to assemble regularly in furtherance of your common goal – and don’t slack off even when things are humming along well.
The Western Conservative Summit, convening for its sixth year in Denver, exemplifies that spirit of “rally with your allies.” Things are humming indeed for Colorado conservatives, who staged one of the biggest Senate upsets in the country in 2014. But with the June 26-28 gathering of 4000 right-minded delegates from 40 states, they hope to sweeten the chemistry even more for 2016.
The Summit is the brainchild of former US Senator Bill Armstrong, now president of Colorado Christian University, and former Colorado Senate President John Andrews, CCU’s vice president of public policy.
“As an educational institution, we don’t take sides in politics,” says Andrews, “but we see this annual conference as a way to impact the culture in support of biblical truth and America’s founding principles. When you bring all those people together for a freedom weekend, the chemistry is powerful.”
Summit delegates will vote in a 2016 presidential straw poll with a slate of Republicans and one of Democrats, after hearing from such GOP contenders as Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, and George Pataki. But there’s much more to the conference than just an Obama-successor beauty contest.
Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute will urge a reset of the right’s logic/emotion mix based on his new book, The Conservative Heart. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council will survey the fast-changing landscape on social issues as a Supreme Court decision on marriage is expected by June 30.
Chemistry will sizzle in the hallways as delegates replay a pair of left/right debates on “Gun Control Endangers Us All” and “Liberalism Hurts the Poor,” and as they digest the insights from such panels as “Unleashing America’s Prosperity,” “Roadmap to Replace Obamacare,” and “Decline of the Mainstream Media.”
When the main stage is dark, summiteers can choose from 30 citizen action workshops on topics from persuasion skills to campaign basics to weaponizing your cell phone with social media; from global warming to trumping the race card to the politics of C.S. Lewis. Florida congressman Ted Yoho will tell why he challenged speaker John Boehner. Former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli will handicap 2016 congressional races.
There’s an interfaith chapel with former NFL star Spencer Tillman on Sunday morning, a Jewish Sabbath service on Saturday morning, an Hispanic festival with singer-evangelist Marcos Witt, a late-night film festival of conservative movies, and rocking parties for the under-30s and under-20s who comprise a growing share of Summit attendees.
Says Andrews: “We’re building a coalition of all ages and all colors, not for the alignment of how anyone votes but for the chemistry of how we relate to each other as Americans. We want to see everyone write themselves into the freedom story.”
And Armstrong adds: “The Western Conservative Summit has been an experience that has changed people’s lives. It rededicates them to faith, family, and freedom. For a lot of us, it’s the best weekend of the summer.”
Sponsored by Western Conservative Summit