Yesterday was the deadline for us to sign our contract with the hotel to proceed with next year’s Resurgent Gathering in Atlanta. I decided to cancel. Anyone who has registered will have their money full refunded by close of business today. As the annual conference is the way we have kept this site afloat and sustained my managing editor’s salary (full disclosure: I don’t earn income from the site, but others do), I know I am risking a lot. But I need you to understand why I am.
Over the last two weeks, many of us have criticized the NBA for refusing to be morally clear against the oppressive Chinese regime and its treatment towards Hong Kong and its ethnic and religious minorities. But here in this country, a distinguished military veteran with a long career in public service named Bill Taylor came forward with allegations of behavior he thought was abusive and/or illegal. I noticed friends of mine kindly just subtweeting me for defending Taylor’s character. Regardless of the veracity of his claims, Taylor is an honorable man who has served his country loyalty and he should not be dismissed based on a character assassination.
That episode as well as seeing conservatives pile on anything and everything the President sets his sights on got me thinking.
I do not want to put the speakers at my conference, the sponsors, or this site in awkward positions because I defend someone like Taylor or publicly disagree with the prevailing bro-conservative ideologies polluting social media. Trump supporters engage in cancel culture too and while I support President Trump, I frequently disagree with him. I could easily disagree with George W. Bush or Mitt Romney and no conservative would bat an eyelash. But as if to indicate how precarious the President’s supporters view his position, any sign of disagreement is met with hostility.
I don’t want to put myself in a position where I think I have to bite my tongue from saying something I think is true because doing so could risk the success of the conference or see a speaker back out. I don’t want to be held hostage to the conference and I don’t want to give any person, organization, or the mob power over my ability to be honest with my readers and radio listeners. I don’t want to be like the NBA and think I’ve got to not comment to keep others happy.
There is too much at stake for conservatism right now. The movement is overrun with grifters and bro-conservatism, which is an intellectual philosophy based on owning the left for shits and giggles. The bro-conservatives will behave exactly like the left and wield the power of the state against the left because, and say it with me now, “what has conservatism conserved?” In so doing, they will give the state power the left will surely use against them. But they won’t care because they’ll rationalize that the left would do it anyway and should the left win, all is lost anyway. Of course, this raises the important question of what the bro-conservatives will do when, as always happens in the cyclical nature of American politics, the left gets power back.
I have loved the format of the Resurgent Gathering. For two days, I sit on stage with politicians and policy makers and talk to them about public policy, their world views, their faith, and where we should go as a country. I would love to keep doing it. But 2020 is going to be tribally focused on the election and I do not see that there is room for a conference that goes deeper than owning the left without daring to put speakers and sponsors and myself in choppy water.
Maybe in 2021 people will finally want to have discussions about the future of the country from a conservative perspective that goes deeper than the President’s whims or owning the left.
My radio show continues to grow. We are self-syndicated and handling our own advertising, which makes for stronger relationships to weather the storm of daring to be an actual conservative who tries to view my politics through my faith without sycophantic cheerleading. The show is just in Georgia now, but has grown to a dozen stations in three months and will have a good many more in January after existing obligations at those stations are gone.
I hope, through the growth of the show, I will be able to keep the lights on here and come back to the conference after we get through next year. I am used to making leaps of faith and depending on the generosity of others and God. Wish me luck.
In the meantime, I’ll keep writing here as long as I can keep the lights on and telling you exactly what I think for better or worse and not feeling the need to toe a line to keep people happy.
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