On Thursday, July 26, thousands of conservative activists will gather at the American Airlines Center in Dallas for the first annual FreePAC, which is organized by FreedomWorks and held in conjunction with Glenn Beck's highly anticipated Restoring Love event.
Tea Party members, politicians and pundits alike will be in attendance to speak before the crowd and share their "blueprint" for continuing the "Hostile Takeover of Washington, D.C. that began during the 2010 midterm elections." A grassroots training session will also take place, geared toward providing the next generation of conservative and Libertarian leaders with the tools needed to be effective advocates for limited government, personal responsibility and liberty.
What is perhaps most exciting about FreePAC is its stellar lineup of speakers, each of whom are sure to empower activists seeking to restore the Republican Party back to its small-government roots. The dynamic group includes Glenn Beck, Tea Party-favorite Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Texas U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz. FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey and FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe will also speak.
TheBlaze caught up with several of these dynamic leaders to get their take on the current political landscape and explain why events like FreePAC and Restoring Love are of vital import to the conservative movement, to reclaiming the White House in 2012, and to restoring the values that America was founded upon.
A frequent guest of the Glenn Beck Program, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe is an economist by trade and is also a well-respected author and national public policy expert. In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze, the FreedomWorks leader of 15 years explained why it is important that conservatives rally to elect Mitt Romney -- especially in battleground states -- despite some of the differences they may share with the GOP nominee. He also took time to talk about the new, rising stars of the Republican Party, the challenges facing conservatives leading up to 2012, and what lessons he hopes activists will take away from FreePAC.
Because repealing Obamacare is of utmost importance to all those who favor limited government, Kibbe said that there are things people can do at the legislative level -- particularly through the budget reconciliation process -- to dismantle Obamacare one step at a time. "It makes winning the senate all the more urgent," he said.
"Justice Roberts sent everyone a wake-up call," Kibbe added. "If you want to save your country, the burden lies with you."
Kibbe explained that the portion of Roberts' decision in which he explains why it is not his role to make "policy judgements" is, in essence, a way of goading conservatives into action. Roberts qualified that the job is is up to elected leaders who "can be thrown out.” In other words, a hint to conservatives to start making wise choices, and perhaps even, "clean house" when necessary.
While Kibbe does not believe the Chief Justice did his job, he believes Roberts was truly saying that the American people need to stand up and take action.
"That's been the message of the Tea Party since day one...and it's the same message as the Founders: Freedom rests with the people."
"If you want to see where the fight for liberty will take you you have to come to FreePAC."
While discussing the movement's rising stars, Kibbe explained how the Tea Party has created a "freedom caucus" including Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Florida Congressman Connie Mack, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake and others. Kibbe qualified that many if not all are from states that went blue in the 2008 election.
This is really "strategic positioning for the Tea Party agenda."
FreePAC hopes to achieve electing and re-electing about getting people involved in tangible ways. The event will teach activists what they can do to to organize their respective communities, as well as provide ideas on how to "take back the cultural space" of movies and popular culture. This theme is also important to Glenn Beck, who has dedicated an entire portion of Restoring Love to "creating" through art, music and film. Today, liberal Hollywood cannot be the only players in the game when it comes to shaping public opinion. Conservative authors, musicians and filmmakers also have a voice and one that needs to be promoted in order to effect positive change.
As our conversation veered toward the Tea Party, Kibbe spoke about just how "widespread and sophisticated" the movement truly is. It is far more "than a protest group." Nothing illustrates this point better than the fact that representatives from 30 countries from around the globe will be in attendance at FreePAC.
"It is no longer a U.S.-centric movement." Tea Party activists from Greece, Italy, Japan, Israel, Australia and beyond are being inspired by their American counterparts and seek to make the same kind of difference in their home-countries.
"We learn from folks in Tel Aviv and they learn from folks in Indiana," Kibbe told me during the interview.
While the Tea Party is indeed proving to be a formidable force on the political stage, the movement is bound to face challenges in 2012, particularly with voter fraud, which Kibbe believes will prove to be an issue this coming election season.
Kibbe cedes that voter fraud will never be able to be stopped in its entirety, but that it can be thwarted in measurable ways. "Cheating happens behind closed doors and we need to make sure that anyone who wants to steal votes are hindered as much as possible."
The FreedomWorks president will also speak about the "hostile takeover" of America -- an analogy he uses to describe how the Left is co-opting the country today. "This is when senior management attacks shareholders who are trying to impose accountability," he explained.
Kibbe believes that so many of our nation's leaders have lost accountability because small government conservatives believed they could trust the politicians they elected. But the "corrupting forces" made those lawmakers forget to whom they are accountable.
At the end of the day, FreePAC is not just about motivating activists to find "a better president" or better Congressmen, it's about the momentum and steps individual, liberty-driven citizens must take on November 7th -- not just November 6th.
Senator Mike Lee
Utah Senator Michael "Mike" Lee has been a constitutional lawyer in Utah and Washington, D.C, in addition to serving as a clerk for then-Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. The Tea Party-favorite, who believes Congress' power to borrow must be curbed, will speak at FreePAC about the need to introduce a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
"It's too easy for government to expand otherwise," Lee told me in an exclusive interview.
Likening Americans to the frog that has been dropped in the "proverbial pot of boiling water," Lee discussed the biggest challenges facing conservatives today. The change may have come on gradually, but now that America's eyes have been opened "we need to make sure that we don't lose it [awareness] and become complacent."
"We have to stay focused on the [founding] principles and if we do, we will be able to achieve lasting change."
Lee also believes that the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act -- affectionately dubbed Obamacare -- was a "surprising and devastating blow to the cause of Federalism." He believes that while small-government conservatives have the potential to make lemonade out of the pile of lemons they have been handed, the Supreme Court made clear that it is willing to fix legislation "to the point of re-writing it" in order to save a bill. This, to Lee, is an example of "extreme deference" to Congress.
Perhaps Chief Justice Roberts' decision will serve as a catalyst for those who may have otherwise been uninvolved in the political process, to get out the vote in 2012. In any case, Lee is cautioning that Democrats will take on the upcoming election cycle with fervor and with a "sophisticated ground game." Still, he believes that it is conservative activists who are the "lifeblood of the Republic."
It was they who battled [British] tyranny...and to helped us to be become independent. It will be activists who help us restore limited government."
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey
The liberty movement in America today comprises people of all races, creeds and generations. From young, rising conservative stars to veteran limited-government champions like Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who serves as chairman of FreedomWorks. The Contract with America co-author took time out to speak with TheBlaze about his passions: lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.
Armey, whose goal is to help those at the grassroots level "win elections and steer public policy" away from Obamacare and other leftist policies, believes that the you "can't count on the GOP to reform [itself]." Thus, he is committed to helping "reliable" conservatives seek office. For Armey, and many in the movement, one such reliable, small-government conservative is Texas congressional hopeful Ted Cruz, who is also slated to make an appearance at FreePAC.
"The grassroots just want to be left alone by government," he said.
Armey is, above all, practical, which is why he says FreePAC will be focus heavily on training today's activists -- providing them with the techniques, guidance and tools needed to organize and grow the movement effectively.
The free-market stalwart also believes there is "good, healthy cross pollination" between Glenn Beck's Restoring Love and FreePAC because "the values are the same among both groups."
"Obama is contemptuous of our values," Armey explained to me during the interview. "We feel a tremendous sense of urgency... and I am fearful of what the consequences will be if we don't get involved."
"We can have a Congress dominated by freedom fighters and a person in the White House who is responsive to that."
A limited number of tickets for Restoring Love are still available for purchase here.