Tom Tancredo’s Speech to CPAC

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To view the video click here. Below is the condensed version in text.

I a€™m simply troubled, and maybe you are too, by this recent influx of hyphenated conservatives. Neo-conservatives over here. Paleo-conservatives over there. Compassionate conservatives out in the hallway, and the latest nonsense—commonsense conservatives.

Now I am glad to see that at least today, €”March 2, 2007 €”everybody running for the top office is some kind of conservative.

But for those of us who have been unhyphenated conservatives since before Al Gore invented the Internet, I find the spectacle mildly amusing.

What I want to know is, since when is conservatism, by itself, not enough? When, exactly, has it helped our party, either in policy or politics, to qualify our commitment to limited government, the rule of law, a strong national defense, and traditional values? As best as I can tell, every effort to hyphenate conservatism has led to both policy and electoral catastrophe.

“Kinder, gentler-conservatism” gave us the largest tax increase in our history and President Bill Clinton. €œ”Compassionate€-conservatism” has given us No Child Left Behind, Medicare prescription drugs, open-borders, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

This is not a coincidence. Throughout the last three decades, a simple, if inconvenient, truth has emerged: when conservatives run on principle, we win, and when we run from principle, we lose.

For years, conservatives have been warned by political professionals of the costs of standing too strongly on principle. Today, ladies and gentlemen, we a€™re paying the price for not standing on principle at all.

The only adjective I’ll agree to have applied to me is an unapologetic conservative. I am not sorry we won the cold war; I am not sorry that we reduced tax rates and created economic opportunities for millions; I am not sorry that we reformed welfare and put millions of people to work.

. . .and I will never apologize for America, the last best hope for Western civilization. Let’€™s face it, €”no one flees the United States for a better life in, say, Pakistan.

Genuine conservatism has nothing to apologize for, and nothing to lose by making itself heard in this campaign. Conservatism has won before, and will win again, but only when we decide once and for all to discard these meaningless qualifiers!

Conservatism doesn’€™t need an adjective! It needs a leader!

. . .a leader that opposes abortions–not because Iowa caucus goers oppose abortion, €”but because they know even animals don’€™t deliberately kill their unborn.

. . .a leader that believes in a strong national defense because our enemies are psychopaths, and our allies are the French!

. . .a leader that believes in enforcing our immigration laws because the first part of “€œillegal immigrant”€ is ILLEGAL! . . .and who understands there is nothing compassionate about giving amnesty to millions of people who have broken into our country.

If some candidate tells you they are for immigration reform—test them. Ask if they’ll agree that massive immigration combined with the cult of multi-culturalism is creating in America a linguistic and cultural Tower of Babel.

…or I guess you can just ask them if they agree that Miami is becoming a third world country.

I guarantee you not a single other presidential candidate will acknowledge what millions of Americans know to be true, what they see happening in their communities every single day

They’ll use phrases like a €”comprehensive plan,”€ a euphemism for amnesty; and “€œI am personally pro-life,”€ when they really mean, “€œHey, it’€™s a women’€™s body after all, €”and she should have the right to do whatever she wants with the other body that’s inside of her at the time.”

If these phrases sound like they’re written by political handlers, its because they are. They are designed to shield politicians from their principles. Not to reveal truth but to obscure it, to leave conservatives wondering what politicians really believe and intend to do.

It is from such phrases, from the hacks who write them to the politicians who utter them, that our political process, our party, and our movement must be rescued.

And in a world at war with the very survival of Western civilization at risk, with the Supreme Court potentially one retirement away from reversing Roe and Casey, with the Baby Boom’€™s budget-busting retirement looming, and with Bill and Hillary Clinton already measuring the drapes in the White House, conservatives cannot afford to sit this one out.

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