With “Time to saddle up and ride” as the theme, the 2022 Western Conservative Summit, hosted by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, was held this past weekend.
The annual Western Conservative Summit held in Denver, CO is often hailed as the nation’s largest event for conservatives outside of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual event where conservatism is replaced with compromise, principles are traded for profit to the highest bidder, and Trumpism is hailed as the measuring rod of conservatism.
In the Age of Trump, the Western Conservative Summit has been every bit as compromising and Trumpist as CPAC, and after witnessing the 2022 edition of WCS firsthand, I can say, with very few exceptions, that the event hasn’t changed much since the last time I attended in 2019 — it’s western, but it’s not conservative.
In the aftermath of four years of Donald Trump, there is simply no “there” there when it comes to conservative priorities at WCS unless you equate Trumpism and the Republican Party to conservatism.
WCS 2022 included a lot of the traditional “conservative” talking points on issues like abortion, taxes, school choice, faith issues, etc., but it almost always came packaged in worn-out “vote Republican to fix it” wrapping paper with a big “God and country” bow.
To borrow an old western idiom, the 2022 Western Conservative Summit was “all hat and no cattle” when it came to conservatism. The last two speakers of Day One, Rep. Lauren Boebert and Kayleigh McEnany, show you what I mean.
Sounding more like a wannabe tent-revival preacher than a representative of Colorado’s 3rd District running for re-election, Lauren Boebert made several references to God and the Bible that will certainly meet with the approval of the Fellowship of the Pharisees.
For example, Lauren Boebert talked about how God raised up Gideon because he likes to “turn losers into victors,” and she declared that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21) before giving the audience a guarantee of Republican victory in November, provided they “speak life” into every situation.
One of the things I noticed about Boebert’s sermonette is how her “speak life” rule was waived when engaging in childish name-calling of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. In God’s eyes, apparently, speaking life means praising Donald Trump and Republicans.
Following Lauren Boebert was Kayleigh McEnany, who concluded the evening by griping about the “unfair” treatment she received as Donald Trump’s press secretary before sharing how she came to be employed by “the greatest president of [her] lifetime” — the same man she criticized before repositioning herself in order to increase her chances for getting the job of RNC spokesperson.
According to Kayleigh McEnany, getting the gig at the White House was an “Esther” moment in her life. If you’re familiar with the Old Testament story of Esther, you know that Scripture tells us she was raised up to save the Jewish people from Persian oppression and the plans of Haman to totally wipe them all from the face of the Earth.
Facing certain death if she appeared before the king without an invitation, Esther, who had been accepted into King Xerxes’ court before becoming his queen, kept her Jewish identity a secret and was reluctant to defend her people until her uncle Mordecai chastised her with these words:
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Book of Esther 4:14
Kayleigh McEnany received her “such a time as this” confirmation from her father and, get this, Van Jones. The same Van Jones forced to resign as Obama’s green jobs czar for his “controversial” comments concerning 9/11. The same Van Jones who rose to power within the Democrat Party as a self-avowed communist. Yes, THAT Van Jones.
I guess if Joyce Meyer’s false teaching doesn’t convince you to do what you’ve already decided you’re going to do — Kayleigh McEnany said she received “peace” about accepting the press secretary job after listening to one of Meyer’s messages — you might as well accept “confirmation” from a communist. After all, there’s not much difference between the two when you think about it.
It’s truly amazing to discover how “Christian” so-called conservatives can be when there’s an election is on the horizon.
I attended WCS as a member of the media, and that freed me to make the rounds between sessions to speak with attendees and exhibitors about the state of conservatism and the disaster we know as the Republican Party. The nearly unanimous opinion of those I spoke with agreed that Christian constitutional conservatism no longer motivated Republicans; instead, they were motivated by a desire to protect the two-party system created and managed by the two parties.
Ironically, I even received some agreement that Donald Trump was responsible for much of this damage, although Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, and crew also received their fair share of blame. And yet, nearly every speaker appearing on stage received thunderous applause for spreading the “vote Republican to save America” gospel, with Lauren Boebert and Kayleigh McEnany and others directly tied to Donald Trump receiving multiple standing ovations.
I elected not to attend Day Two of the conference, but I don’t think I missed anything based on my experiences on Day One. Instead, I streamed appearances by Trump lawyer and former Strident Conservative contributor Jenna Ellis who glossed over the part she played in trying to steal the 2020 election while simultaneously claiming to be a defender of “election integrity,” and I missed hearing McEnany’s predecessor, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders close out the event.
Darn it! 😉
Considering how the Western Conservative Summit sold its soul to Trumpism years ago, none of what I witnessed this past weekend surprised me. I was hoping that Trump’s track record of broken promises and scandals, along with the Republican Party’s embrace of Trump’s nationalist rebrand of conservatism, would have been enough for the organizers at Colorado Christian University to awaken from their slumber and return to conservative values, but that hope went unrealized.
Instead, WCS continued to help facilitate the rise of fascism now dominating the Republican Party.
Donald Trump and the Republican Party aren’t conservative, which is why I decided to be #NeverTrump and #NeverGOP many years ago. Their brand of faux conservatism is toxic, and it has poisoned once-great organizations like the Conservative Political Action Conference and the Western Conservative Summit.
That’s tragic news for America because she is spiritually and politically sick . . . and her condition is terminal.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.