Published February 14, 2011
The top three winners of this weekend's CPAC straw poll will not win the 2012 presidential nomination. And if any of the top three do break through to prove that prediction wrong, none of them will go on to win the White House in 2012.
This year's top three placeholders in the poll were Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Gary Johnson. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney repeat their standing from the 2010 poll as No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.
If the results of this straw poll do not sufficiently demonstrate the bizarre nature and overall oddity of this year's gathering of "conservatives," nothing else can.
Ron Paul, though technically still a Republican, has given up his GOP identity to embrace the chance to be the poster child for the more libertarian streak that has run rampant through CPAC, largely unabated for the past two years. Mitt Romney, the virtual author of Obamacare, and 2008's third-place finisher for the GOP nomination, is weighed down by the fact that his universal health care mandate in Massachusetts has largely failed – with the exception being the $50 state-subsidized abortions. Gary Johnson was only added to the lineup at the last minute, his presence stoking the flame of immoral libertarianism that actually advocated for legalized pot and the redefinition of marriage to include homosexual unions.
In other words, this year's CPAC wasn't about advancing conservatism. Rather, it exposed the radically disrespectful element of the libertine.
It has been the inclusion of the libertarian aspects of the past two years that has thrown the message of conservatism askew in a widely disproportional way.
It is the libertarian in attendance that produced the free pornographic calendar passed out to attendees in 2010. It is the libertarians in attendance who openly promote the inclusion of groups like GOProud, largely as an attempt to silence groups who would speak in strong support of traditional moral values. It is the libertarian in attendance who slandered President George Bush, by claiming his appreciation for the Constitution was best summed up as a "damn piece of paper." It is the libertarian in attendance that proclaimed the war to prevent terrorists from regathering strength and coming after our homeland as "illegal." And it is the libertarian in attendance that eschewed, booed, cajoled and screamed "war criminal" to Vice President Dick Cheney, a man who served his country with commitment and still attempts to help the world understand the threat of the radical Islamic element devising plans to eliminate us and our allies.
Now the libertarians stuffed the ballot box of the CPAC straw poll, and for the second year in a row made it the laughingstock poll in the eyes of the voters. (This year's voters are perhaps more engaged, more aware and more plugged in than ever before.)
In head-to-head polling going back a full year to last year's CPAC, neither Ron Paul nor Mitt Romney has consistently topped a head-to-head match-up against a greatly weakened President Obama. Romney has only topped the sitting president once in that 12-month period. Gov. Mike Huckabee, a no-show at CPAC for the past years, has beaten the president head-to-head in nearly every poll taken.
David Keene, the American Conservative Union’s outgoing president, gave a lengthy discounting of this year's poll in the lead up to it. That should serve as a very clear indicator that next year's CPAC needs some significant changes if it is to become the great conference it has been in past years.
Libertarians and Conservatives are as different as Libertarians and Liberals. The truth is libertarians are the worst form of political affiliation in the nation. Combining the desire of economic greed, with the amoral desire to promote any behavior regardless of its cost to our culture is a stark departure from the intent of the Founding Fathers.
And it is not consistent with the average conservative voter in America.
The fact that so many faith-based conservatives were missing from CPAC, and are also arguably the most dependable conservative voter in the country only added to the confusing, bizarre, disrespectful and, in many ways, off-putting memories of this year's event.
Yes, CPAC enjoyed its largest attendance ever. But one could possibly argue that it was smaller than it would have been if the third leg of the conservative stool -- social conservatives -- had been the key player they have traditionally been in the past.
And given the fact that the Ron Paul-toting, uber-disrespectful and, in many ways, disruptive ballot stuffing has wrecked the straw poll results, pinging completely unelectable candidates in two of the top three slots, perhaps more significance should be paid to the straw poll to be conducted by the conference that happens in the fall called the "Values Voters Conference."
If social conservatives are the largest portion of the conservative discussion, no attention should be paid to a poll that virtually eliminates their presence all together.
CPAC leaders did the best they could to put on the best conference possible. It wasn't their fault that the libertarian elements within the attendees equate free speech with animalistic expressions, especially when visiting someone else's "house."
Libertarian elements, because of their strange combination of policies that add up to anarchy without moral limits, don't mix with conservative ideals. And, because of that, perhaps they should have their own conference and let all the pot-smokers and gay marriage supporters come and complain about how the U.S. shouldn't be fighting terrorists, while they slander public servants.
At the very least, the winner of their straw poll would be somewhat reflective of the title of who they are, and what they believe.
Kevin McCullough is the nationally syndicated host of "The Kevin McCullough Show" weekdays (7-9 a.m. EST) & "Baldwin/McCullough Radio" Saturdays (9-11 p.m. EST) on 265 stations. His newest book from Thomas Nelson Publishers, "No He Can't: How Barack Obama is Dismantling Hope and Change," will be published March 2011.