Libertarians Changing Conservative LandscapeSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Thu, 02/17/2011 - 11:25
Eleven thousand activists gathered in D.C. this weekend for the Conservative Political Action Conference, the largest right-wing gathering of the year. Groups like Youth for Western Civilization and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays spewed the hate speech that one might expect from a gathering of this sort.
However, the groups with the largest, most visible presence at CPAC did not promote a message of hate. Libertarian organizations like Young Americans for Liberty and Our America Initiative were the talk of the conference, and social conservatives lost handily in the annual straw poll.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, who both favor the legalization of marijuana and oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, finished first and third in the poll, respectively. Only two percent of respondents chose promoting traditional values as their most important issue. Even Students for Sensible Drug Policy had a presence at the event, handing out flyers that stated “The War on Drugs is a War on Conservative Values.”