“How we as conservatives respond to challenges could well determine whether America retains her place in the world as a beacon of freedom or whether we slip into the abyss that has swallowed much of Europe in an avalanche of socialism. While some are prepared to write the obituary on capitalism and our movement, I believe we are on the brink of a great American awakening,” said Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.) at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Pence pointed out, “Our nation’s founding revolution itself began with the grumblings of discontent.” He argued that conservatives “need to be willing to fight for freedom and free markets and traditional moral values.”
He said, “We need to be a loyal opposition. We should support the President and his party in Congress whenever principle permits, and we should vigorously oppose the Administration and the liberal Democratic majority every time consistency to principle demands.” Quoting Margaret Thatcher, he declared, “First you win the argument, then you win the vote.”
Pence held that “Americans are not being asked. We’re…being told.” He pointed out that “we’re burying generations under a mountain range of debt.” He said, “There’s no hope in mountains of debt, and there’s no change in higher taxes.” In a fight between the government and the American people to decide what is best for America, Pence said, “My money’s on the American people.”
“Conservatives must resolve to oppose the march of big government. It will stifle our recovery, change the nature of our country forever, and we will fail. We are going to oppose it with everything we’ve got,” Pence said. “Fighting for free enterprise means standing up for free markets. The freedom to succeed includes the freedom to fail.”
“Our present crisis is not merely economic and political, but moral in nature.” He continued, “If the foundations of integrity and personal responsibility crumble, how can a free society stay? The truth is we gotta get back to basics.” “Times like these are a good time to remember what your knees are for.”
Pence concluded, “[L]et us conservatives resolve this day that we…will stand up for what we believe and we will not yield. With determination and courage and faith…let us hold the banner of freedom high… The good and great people of this nation will rally to our side, so help us God.”