Quite frankly, the term “purge” hasn’t had great connotations since the days of Josef Stalin.
But there have been many perfectly good English-language words subverted by very bad people over the years – and “purge” is one of them.
If the U.S. “conservative movement” is to survive, prosper and be a force for reclaiming everything that made America unique and great in the days ahead, it is going to need a purge.
“Purge” is not a bad word. It simply means, according to the dictionary definition, “to rid of whatever is impure or undesirable; cleanse; purify.”
Conservatives need to purge from their movement anything that is not conservative.
They shouldn’t be attempting to broaden the definition of “conservative.” They shouldn’t be trying to build a bigger tent in the failed model of the Republican Party. They shouldn’t be revising or lowering their standards. And they absolutely shouldn’t be embracing enemies of the moral values that have defined the movement from the beginning.
But that’s just what the American Conservative Union did recently – even against the best wishes of half of its board of directors.
And what is the American Conservative Union?
It’s the organization best known for rating members of Congress on how conservative they are.
It’s the organization that hosts the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the nation – the Conservative Political Action Conference.
It’s also the organization that recently admitted to the Internal Revenue Service that it misappropriated some $400,000 in donor money over the years.
The board of the ACU recently held two secret votes via e-mail on whether to allow GOProud, a homosexual Republican group, a planning role in the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference.
Members of the board were told the first vote was a 14-14 tie. After some arm-twisting and politicking by the administration of the ACU, headed by David Keene, who served as national political director for George H.W. Bush when he ran against Ronald Reagan in 1980, a second vote was held. Though the results of that vote were not released, even to board members, the ACU later announced GOProud would indeed have a planning role in the next CPAC meeting.
Keene is not only attempting to redefine what it means to be a “conservative,” he is actually rewriting the history of the movement. He suggests excluding a group that supports same-sex marriage, hate-crimes laws and open homosexuality in the military service, among other radical, anti-conservative positions, would be akin to excluding pro-life groups back in the 1970s when “most conservatives were pro-choice on the life question.”
In reality, back in the 1970s, prior to Roe v Wade, the only people supporting the legalization of abortion were leftists and extreme libertarians – a tiny fraction of the American populace. Conservatives weren’t debating abortion in the 1970s until a very liberal Supreme Court polarized the nation with the ruling and took the power of legislation out of the hands of the American people. The court decision literally rammed down the throats of the American people and the states an unconstitutional, extra-legal ruling overturning popular laws in most of the 50 states.
I don’t know where David Keene was in the 1970s or what he was thinking about, but I can’t think of a single conservative who was “pro-choice” in those days. In fact, I can’t think of one today.
For it is how we define right and wrong that makes us conservatives. And taking innocent life is always wrong for a true conservative. Pretending that marriage is anything other than the union of one man and one woman is always wrong for a true conservative. Suggesting that open homosexuality is going to make our military stronger is always wrong for a true conservative.
That’s why it’s time for true conservatives to get their act together as America faces its greatest challenges ever in the next two years.
God cut Gideon’s army up, slicing and dicing it until it represented only a tiny fraction of its numbers. God didn’t want a big army to win victory. He wanted a miracle performed by a tiny army listening carefully and being in obedience to His commands.
God purged thousands from Gideon’s army.
Conservatives need God’s help, not GOProud’s.
Purges can make an organization or a movement stronger.
Purges can help to refine, rather than redefine, what an ideology is all about.
Purges can sharpen and strengthen a movement – bringing it back to the core convictions and principles that made it successful.
And that’s why the purge of the conservative movement should begin with David Keene and his administrative team at ACU.