Some bloggers and younger conservatives have expressed frustration that they were not invited. (In fairness, I'm told the group was small because the location would not permit a larger audience. I'm also told there will be more inclusive future meetings.)
Meetings like this should be kept secret because when they go public, they make the dozen, or so, leaders in the room feel great -- but they also annoy and offend every other leader who wasn’t invited. It actually creates disunity. Clearly, someone leaked.
Regardless, I think the offended folks miss the point that the paradigm has shifted. And while I applaud the conservative leaders who convened the meeting -- and while I have a deep-abiding respect for them and the work they have done (and will contribute to do in the future) -- the times also call for a new generation of conservative leaders to arise. This new generation must fully grasp the zeitgeist and have the capacity to master today's technology.
The bottom line is this revolution will not be led by the establishment (even if it's the conservative establishment) -- many of whom now have a stake in preserving the status quo.
The founding fathers of the modern-day conservative movement were, in a sense, revolutionaries (they would resent being compared to the French Revolution, so I would instead compare them to our Founding Fathers).
And if young conservatives are to truly follow their lead, the first lesson to learn is that leaders make things happen. As such, I fully expect young conservatives to organize their own meetings (this may turn out to be a virtual meeting). Paul Weyrich didn't wait around for the establishment to gave him permission to organize, and neither should the up-and-coming conservative leaders of tomorrow.
While the torch has been passed to a new generation, it is also important to learn from those who paved the way. There are many things that have been successful in the past, which younger conservative leaders should replicate. I won't give anything away at this time, but I do believe there are things to be learned from the past as we go into the future. Just as the GOP must now find new people to hold leadership positions, the conservative movement must also look to the future. Stay tuned...
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