The registered attendees of last year’s CPAC have participated in a straw poll (http://www.cpac.org/strawpoll/2-09_CPAC_Straw_Poll.ppt) that has utterly discredited not only those who have chosen silly answers but also the authors of the poll and CPAC authorities (because of how some questions were worded).
For example, in question #11, which asked CPAC participants which of Obama’s declared intents and the plans of Congressional Democrats do they fear the most. Neither “weakening the military” nor anything like that was featured as an option – except allowing gays to serve in the US military, which would weaken the military, but was chosen by only 1% of attendees. Of other issues that could be said to be NS-related, closing Gitmo was the top fear of 6% of attendees, and establishing dialogue with Iran or Hamas was the #1 fear of 4% of CPAC2009 participants.
In question #10, which asked, “Which of the following issues are the most important and the second most important to you personally?”, neither maintaining the military nor strengthening it was even offered as an option. The “War on terrorism” (which is a foreign policy issue that has nothing to do with maintaining or strengthening a military) did not fare well, either, despite the fact that on 9/11/2001, 3000 Americans were killed due to this kind of neglect. Only 12% said it was the most important issue for them, and 11% ranked it as the second-most important one.
The ninth poll question (“Which one of the following comes closest to your core beliefs and ideology?”) was also outrageous. Not only did the option:
“My most important goal is to secure and guarantee American safety at home and abroad regardless of the cost or the size of the government”
receive the votes of only 10% of the people who were polled, it was also worded in an unconservative, anti-military, libertarian, offensive way that falsely suggests that:
1) Military conservatives are in favor of a big government.
2) The US military is very expensive
3) Military conservatism is a Big Government policy
Which is offensive to me.
Equally outrageous was the result of that question: only 10% of CPAC attendees chose that option. The statement, “my most important goal is to promote individual freedom by reducing the size and the scope of the government (…)”, was chosen by 74% of CPAC participants (perhaps due to the way the pro-military option was worded). Even the statement, “My most important goal is to promote traditional values by protecting traditional marriage (…)” got 15% of the votes cast. Which suggests that, unless it was the deliberately negative wording of the pro-military option that discouraged people from voting for it, most CPAC2009 attendees (or most conservatives) are people for whom greedily earning millions of dollars is their top concern, instead of ensuring the security of America and the world, and for whom the military is just another governmental institution deserving to be de-funded.
America’s heroic troopers are forced to drive in 1970s’ tanks, fly 1960s’ transportplanes and 1950s’ bombers, and sail aboard ships whose ASW equipment cannot detect a conventional-powered Song class submarine of the PLAN. Yet, most CPAC2009 participants (or most conservatives) believe that giving them the equipment that they need is wasteful spending.
This poll was not the first one in which that question was asked: CPAC has been asking that question for years, and the wording of the options has always been the same. According to those polls, the popularity of the “security first” option has been shrinking (from 18% in 2007 to 16% in 2008 and 10% in 2009), as has been the popularity of the “social conservatism first” option (from 30% in 2007 to 22% in 2008 and 15% in 2009). In 2006, the “security above all else” option was not even featured in the poll! The “Social conservatism above everything else” option was in the 2nd place of 2, at 45%, and the “Fiscal conservatism is supreme” answer was the choice of 51% of those who participated in 2006’ poll.
The “Which of the following issues are the most important and the second most important to you personally?” question has also been asked many times in the past, and no options related to defense affairs were featured.
My message to fiscal conservatives: stop trying to hollow the US military, start respecting defense conservatives, and start proposing savings in the civilian sphere of the US Federal Government. You sound like liberals.