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Restoration Weekend: Conservatism Done Right

November 23, 2009

This past weekend was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had in quite some time. I had the honor of attending David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend in Palm Beach, Florida, which included inspirational speeches from Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann as well as a delightfully sarcastic Ann Coulter.

While the program was held at the most beautiful resort I’ve ever seen (The Breakers,) there was little time to enjoy the surroundings.  The Freedom Center put together an impressive group of people, which provided an excellent networking experience that kept relaxation at a minimum. I am still having trouble believing the number of wonderful people I met from filmmakers and screenwriters to political junkies of all kinds including all of the great people from the Freedom Center.

We received the opportunity to listen to panels on issues surrounding politics in the Middle East, the radical nature of today’s Democrats in power, Hollywood, current free speech issues and the assault on academia. In addition, we also heard speeches from Fred Thompson, Phyllis Schlafly, Senator Jim DeMint and Congressman John Boehner.

Being a graduate student of film studies, my favorite experience was interacting with those who were on the “Is Hollywood Changing?” panel.  I was able to personally visit with writers Andrew Klavan and Eric Metaxas as well as filmmaker Cyrus Nowrasteh. I was humbled by how approachable these men were.  Continuing in academia, writing about film and being a conservative gives me a few things to be nervous about. However, seeing their success gives me hope for the future of conservatives writing for and about film. When on the panel, each one of them (including David Bossie) reminded us that there are many more conservatives in Hollywood than we might think.

In addition to the opportunity to network with some courageous Hollywood conservatives we were provided with a screening for Nowrasteh’s newest work, The Stoning of Soraya M. This film has not yet had a wide enough release and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to see it this past weekend.  It is a deeply moving and important picutre that should not be missed.

The most humbling experience of the weekend was when I first met Medal of Honor recipient and former senator from Washington Leo Thorsness.  I found myself talking to him and another woman (I didn’t know who he was at the time.) The three of us spoke for a little while before the woman realized I didn’t recognize who Thorsness was. This man is so modest that if the woman had not given me the “Cliff’s Notes” version of his war history right then and there I may not have known who he was until that night’s keynote address (we were all given a copy of Leo’s book, Surviving Hell, which I can’t wait to read!).

I was able to further speak with Leo throughout the day and was continually humbled with his interest in my aspirations.  While I remained inquisitive about his Medal of Honor story, he was much more interested in listening to what a young graduate student was doing at Restoration Weekend instead of enlightening another person with his own magnificent story.

Needless to say, the weekend was full of the most dynamic group of conservatives I’ve ever seen. Spending four days with them and listening to a wide variety of ideas proves to me that the future of conservatism will be extremely hard for critics to pin down and typecast as simple rhetoric from the usual suspects.

I would like to thank David Horowitz, Michael Finch, and everyone else at the Freedom Center for putting on such a great event!

Editor’s Note: More posts from other NewsReal bloggers who attended Restoration Weekend are forthcoming.

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13 Comments
  1. Carterthewriter permalink
    November 23, 2009 4:05 pm

    My brother’s widow lives on Singee Island, so I know it was an exciting event and hopefully the beginning of the end to radical rule in Washington.

    • F. Swemson permalink
      November 23, 2009 10:35 pm

      I wish I had been there !

  2. Nick permalink
    November 23, 2009 4:43 pm

    I have to confess, I am envious. But spending the weekend with my 4 year old son, Phoenix, was not a true sacrifice. I wish I could have done both.

    Your description sounds heavenly. I am beaming with pride and confidence from your report. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Stoning of Soraya M.

    You charged this onservative with some necessary electricity.

    Thank You, David!

    ps, David was brilliant on Glenn Beck today – Great segment

  3. Mary Schultz permalink
    November 23, 2009 5:15 pm

    I just finally discovered this website after hearing David’s brilliant analysis on the Beck show today. Being raised in a family of hard-core democrats and growing up in Chicago, I saw the rise of the likes of Jesse Jackson, Saul Alinsky and Hillary. A true conservative at heart, I was relieved to hear David say today what I know to be true: to win, we are going to have to fight them on their turf- using their tactics. So when are we going to get organized like “they” are, and begin our campaign? Boycotting businesses, networks, and employers who support liberals? We must organize, boycott, harass, sue; form groups parallel to the ACLU and such and launch our own unstoppable, unbearable, harrassment machine that will beat them relentlessly. Thank you, David. We must unite, organize and fight radicalism!

    • Nick permalink
      November 23, 2009 5:37 pm

      Funny, I just did my small part. I had the Bill O’Reilly show on in the background and I heard that he was ONCE AGAIN having Dr. Marcus Lamont Hill, the racist, Marxist, supporter of a cop-killer on his program as a commentator.

      I do not want to hear anything that spews from a mouth like that. I turned off my TV, and I will NOT watch O’Reilly anymore unless or until Hill is gone. I have written to Fox and warned them. I will begin a campaign on this. Boycott O’Reilly!

      I also advertise my restaurant and seafood companies on Fox News Channel, locally. NO MORE! I will cease doing business with them.

      But, yes, we MUST organize our cause, or we will be trampled upon.

      The Tea Party movement is doing that. The numbers are huge and the momentum like a roaring freight train. Join your local chapter.

      I have attended a few in Texas. Business people, families, children, professionals, young, old, black, white, and hispanics. It was so civil I felt like I was at a family gathering. The cleanliness and friendliness was something I have never experienced in a crowd of that size. Go and you will see.

      And the media lies to the masses that the “Tea-Bagger, Anti-Government people” are all racist, redneck, gun toting religious-right-wing zealots. LIES!

      This is only creating more momentum within the movement.So let them lie. We will win – IF we grow in our organization.

      If you aren’t already a member – DO IT. There are no dues or fees, but I donate to the causes and people I CHOOSE.
      You will not be disappointed.
      You can always quit if your feel otherwise.

  4. Nick permalink
    November 23, 2009 5:25 pm

    Chris,

    My apologies. I thought I David Swindle wrote this blog. Please allow me to thank you properly.

    Thanks Chris! Great work, and I’m still envious.

    Best,

    Nick

    • Chris Yogerst permalink
      November 23, 2009 5:56 pm

      No problem Nick 🙂 It was an excellent event!! Do see “Soraya” when it comes out!

  5. Nick Chagouris permalink
    November 23, 2009 6:19 pm

    I will not miss it. If you have any further information about its release, I welcome it.

  6. Chris Yogerst permalink
    November 23, 2009 6:22 pm

    Cyrus (director) told me it will be on DVD March 1st.

  7. November 24, 2009 2:04 am

    Why don’t you “network” your way right on over to the Soviet Union with the rest of those commie-fascist pigs there bucko!?!?!?!?

    Oh wait a minute? Did I sound like Tea Party bagger there for a second?

    Oops! My bad…

    Now you know what it’s like to be the rest of the nation!

    • Chris Yogerst permalink
      November 24, 2009 2:30 pm

      This is the least intelligent response I’ve seen in quite some time. You should be proud of yourself.

  8. Nick permalink
    November 24, 2009 12:15 pm

    The object of the Tea Parties is to prevent the USA from becoming any more like the Soviet Union than it has already recently become. It may be helpful for you to know that the Soviet Union was effectively dismantled a couple of decades ago, largely by the work of our last real president – Ronald Reagan. But the Left-Wingers have found confort visting places like Cuba and Venezuela in hopes of the reemrgence of the socialist union. (See Sean Penn, George Clooney, et al) You may find that comforting to know as well.

    Ironically, the British had similar things to say about the first Tea Partiers.

    Best of luck to you*

  9. Bernadette permalink
    November 25, 2009 4:43 am

    I had the great fortune and honor to have been there this weekend among such amazing people (of course my Visa bill will eventually come in ….) The atmosphere was incredible. I, too, had little time to relax by the beautiful pools at Breakers, (memo to self — stay one more night next time!), but I came away on fire with REAL hope. I am a Tea Party Patriot from Pennsylvania and am already wide awake to the truth about Islam. Nevertheless, it was amazing to hear the expert panelists speak on all these issues threateing our country and liberty. Michele Bachmann’s speech literally brought me to tears. Thanaks to David, Michael and all the great people involved with this stimulating weekend. We have a lot of work to do, but the truth, and conservatism, will win in the end. It must!!!

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