RedState 2013 Rocked! Part Two: Calling in the Cavalry

The fifth annual RedState convention in New Orleans, RedState 2013, over the first weekend in August, featured plenty of stellar Republicans, conservatives, governors, senators, Congressmen and candidates. RedState Founder Erick Erickson screens, selects and invites the speakers, so their caliber reflects his.

Many speakers addressed not only the leftists who are desperately working to destroy our liberties and free market system, but also the Republicans who are content to periodically skirmish with the Democrats, but who in the end, too easily capitulate to their agenda.

Among the most extraordinary speeches at the gathering were those by newcomer conservative candidates who are stepping up to run GOP primary challenges against incumbent Republicans. The presence and messages of these challengers had the feel of calling in the cavalry.

Speaker Highlights:

Matt Bevin is a candidate for Senate from Kentucky. He will challenge Mitch McConnell in the Republican primary. Bevin grew up very poor, and made his way in the world to becoming very successful. He said McConnell fails to live up to the standards of our founders and spoke of taking back our country from the career politicians who are destroying the very fabric of our nation. He also said the American Renaissance is coming, and it is starting in Kentucky and will spread all over America. He and his wife have 9 children, five of their own and four adopted from Africa.

Larry Rhoden, candidate for U.S. Senate from South Dakota, is running in a Republican primary against former Governor Mike Rounds, and the winner of this primary will challenge Democrat incumbent Tim Johnson. Rhoden will sign the Grover Norquist no-new-taxes pledge, which distinguishes him from Rounds. Rhoden said the nation is under greater threat than ever in history and that all three branches are in trouble. His examples included the Senate voting for amnesty without border security, the judicial taking the marriage definition away from voters, and the executive branch unconcerned about 17 trillion dollar debt.

Dr. Milton Wolf was the most surprising speaker of all. He is Barack Obama’s cousin, on his mom’s side, a doctor, a columnist, and an ardent opponent of Obamacare. Dr. Wolf said America is hanging by a thread, that he wants to take a stand for patients. He had some great points:

  • Career politicians in both parties got us into this mess and they will never be the ones to get us out of it.  
  • If Republicans want to avoid having a third party form, they had better stop being the capitulation party.  
  • When Democrats start talking about “fairness,” Republicans need to speak up, because it is the Democrats whose policies are not fair. 
  • About spending, he said the budget needs to be submitted to the “hot lights and cold steel of surgery,” a clever line for a doctor.

Wolf is from Kansas, and another speaker alluded to the likelihood that he may be contemplating a run for federal office from Kansas.

Kevin Kookogey, who founded Linchpins of Liberty, a 501c3 dedicated to teaching conservative ideas to young people, was another stellar speaker. Unsurprisingly, the IRS targeted his group, and he was asked to provide the IRS with a list of the young people his group spoke to—a request he declined. He described Republicans who nibble around the edges of tax policy questions and speak only in financial terms, rather than speaking directly about the immorality of redistribution. He pointed out that liberals use moral persuasion that appeals to independents, and Republicans need to do that too.

Kookogey is spoken of in some circles as a likely contender in a Republican primary challenge to Senator Lamar Alexander. He would give him a run for his money—and his seat!

Other great candidates featured at RedState:
Bryan Smith—running for Congress from Idaho, challenging a Republican incumbent
Art Halvorson—candidate for Congress from Pennsylvania, against a Republican incumbent
Rob Maness—Candidate for Senate from Louisiana, challenging Democrat Senator Landrieu
Greg Brannon—candidate for Senate from North Carolina.

All of these candidates represent a new energy within the Republican ranks, a desire for strong conservative leadership, sparked in large part by watching the path to ruin the Democrats have chosen for America.


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