By Rushad Thomas, JMI Intern and Florida A&M University Senior in Political Science
Several weeks ago a fellow JMI intern showed me a banner on her Facebook page that read “The Revolution will be PRIVATIZED.” That banner was a highly poignant ode to the faith the JMI family has in the power of the free market to bring prosperity and economic security to a nation reeling from the last several years of statist, bureaucratic anti-solutions coming from the Obama Administration. The President’s vision of public policy has downgraded the United States of America, and the people of this country are desperate for a President who believes more in their entrepreneurial spirit and their ability to succeed than he does in the “creativity” and “wisdom” of a big-government machine.That’s why I was so excited to attend Florida’s regional Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando on September 23rd. I like to refer to CPAC as “Right-Wing Woodstock.” It was a veritable free-market festival. Several thousand conservative activists from across the State of Florida (and even beyond) converged on Orlando to show the President, the media, and their fellow citizens, that we still believe in the power of capitalism.The most poignant aspect of CPAC, for me at least, was the “diversity” of the CPAC crowd. At the GOP Presidential Debate, for instance, I was sandwiched (in the nosebleed section) between a Jewish Palm Beach County attorney and his wife and a twenty-something Hispanic housewife and her husband. Both were clearly excited to be at the debate, and neither fit the typical “stereotype” of what a conservative activist should look like. Yet all were committed to electing a President who believes in the private economy and free-market capitalism.I was also very excited to see the enthusiastic reception that Gov. Scott received all weekend long. Despite what the Florida media will tell you, his pro-growth economic policies are winning new converts every day. Gov. Scott has been a trailblazer for limited government in his eight months in office, reforming the State pension system, instituting merit pay for teachers, cutting corporate income taxes, rolling back useless regulations, reforming Medicaid, balancing the State’s budget without raising taxes….okay, I’ll end the love fest here. The Governor gave a very rousing speech outlining his impressive accomplishments, and he should be commended for his commitment to free-market principles.Overall, I view CPAC Florida as the pep-rally before the big game. Limited government voters need all the motivation we can get over the course of the next 14 months as we work to elect a President in sync with our policy agenda. The forces of liberty will NEVER be silenced, not as long as people like the ones I met at CPAC pledge themselves to continuing the fight for our principles. That is our charge.