Having spent time at the past two CPAC conventions as an exhibitor with The John Birch Society, and having had the Society officially disinvited to attend in 2012, some thoughts about the latest right-wing beauty contest seem appropriate. But first, some reminiscences about our presence at two previous gatherings are worthy of space.
Perhaps the most memorable point in the 2010 event for me occurred when a pleasantly dressed middle-aged woman stopped in front of our booth, looked up at the signs naming its occupants as John Birchers, and blurted loudly, "Finally, some substance!" The very perceptive woman had already toured through many aisles where scores of "conservatives" were manning booths pushing "How to Play Poker," the need for a Flat Tax (without any guarantee that the current income tax would be abolished), and an array of "Citizens" for this cause or that fund-raising scheme. None of this frightened any liberal or leftist who had probably sneaked into the gathering with an assumed name.
This astute lady obviously had some awareness about JBS. She stopped to chat, thanked us for injecting some needed perspective about the real issues facing our nation, picked up one of the thousands of JBS packets we gave away, and moved on. Her comment that it was rare to find a group presenting really important perspective at the conference hit the nail on the head. Other than the popular Ron Paul booth, there wasn't much "substance" at CPAC beyond our large JBS booth.
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