(One theme of the Conservative Leadership Conference is the bottoms-up model of change.
Former Sen. Jim DeMint, president-elect of the Heritage Foundation, hailed grassroots activism, in his speech at lunch. He told the crowd, “What’s making a difference is you — and people like you across the country.”
This is needed because Republicans in Washington “didn’t do what we said we’d do.”
He said that where conservatives have gained, it was due to local activists, not the establishment. “Republicans didn’t take back the House in 2010 — it was America that took it back.”
It is also on the state level that conservatives have made gains. The states can’t print money like Washington can, therefore they have to be more fiscally prudent — thus more conservative.
Plus, the states expose the realities about liberalism vs. conservatism. Look at the plight of California and Illinois compared to Texas and Utah.
Michele Malkin had a funny video making fun of liberalism, and herself. The larger point is that conservatives must use pop culture.
And an insightful speech. She noted that technology allows us to become the definers of our lives and country, thus in another way returning power to the people.
The power of the hashtag, such as #teaparty. She extols the power of a little sign to get information “that had been blocked, erased, by the deciders” at the mainstream media.
Twitter become a kind of samizdat, breaching the power of the censors.
“Acedemic excellence is so fundamental to fixing our problems,” she said. “How can we win a debate on the sequestration or the budget if these kids can’t add or subtract or multiply?”
How can you explain that “cuts” are not cuts if they can’t do math? she asks.
(We’ll have more on this appearance soon.)