The 5th Annual Right on Line ended last night with as much, if not more, enthusiasm for the mission of spreading the news of the success of free markets and individual liberty as when it started.
The closing dinner is always sad for me because I know that it concludes a weekend of camaraderie and networking with people who believe as I do in the principles established by our founding fathers.
I've been fortunate to attend all five and I often refer to them as my sanity - confirming that my conservative ideals of limited government, personal liberty, individual responsibility, and low taxation are what helps make this nation the 'shining city on a hill' and a beacon of freedom to the rest of the world ... and that those ideals are shared by so many others across the country.
It gives me strength and enthusiasm to continue to fight for those principles on a local level - as well as new tools and ideas for how to do it better.
The speakers were excellent, as always. Rusty Humphries, Dana Loesch, Scott Rasmussen and Ann McElhinney.
A special video tribute to Andrew Breitbart was shown accompanied by Jon David Kahn singing his song "American Heart" live on stage.
My friend and fellow oenophile, Jon Fleischman, who does the Flash Report, was awarded the first Andrew Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Activism and Investigative Reporting.
As it was a dinner, I didn't take notes, but I did tweet comments from the speakers. You can see the complete series on my @Maggie82 twitter feed, but here are some highlights:
From Erik Telford: "When we tell the truth, we win."
From Rusty Humphries: "How can you know that bloggers matter? Because the main stream media doesn't get to decide what's important anymore."
From Dana Loesch: "Journalists should be rich in facts and poor in opinion."
From Scott Rasmussen who explained that culture/society leads politics and the tide is turning (paraphrased to fit in 140 characters): Public opinion is a deep current flowing under the surface ripples of a river. First comes opinion, then comes a catalyst and then come the politicians.
From Scott Rasmussen, clearly drawing a contrast to Pres. Barack Obama's campaign theme: "Martin Luther King didn't say America had to change. He said America had to live up to its ideals."
Also from Scott Rasmussen on how to frame the message:
"No one cares about a limited government - they care about the society that a limited government creates."
"Ask people who they trust more: individuals making their own choices or a government bureaucracy making choices for them."
When people are asked what they prefer as a solution, "Competition beats regulation every time."
From Ann McElhinney: "Andrew Breitbart called me 'pornography for conservatives.'"
"Tell the truth - because it drives them (the left) crazy."
Americans for Prosperity Foundation, sponsor of RightOnline, will have videos of all the speakers here.
This morning, as I looked over the comments and posts, I saw this one from my friend Warner Todd Huston. I think it sums up the event:
Tonight at our banquet where John Fleischman of the famed California website FlashReport won the first Andrew Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Activism and Investigative Reporting (I know, a mouthful), our waiter had something to say to our table.
As our waiter was serving us coffee, each of us around the table of ten said “please” or “no thank you” and then said “thank you” if served a coffee. As he finished attending to the last person at our table, the waiter paused and told us something that at the same time made us all laugh and feel a bit proud of our side of the aisle.
“You know,” he said, “you Republicans are a lot different than the Democrats we get here. You say please and thank you and it’s so nice.”
There you go folks.
Thank you, Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation, for my sanity for another year.
I am Breitbart.