I hit a lot of conservative conferences throughout the year. Luckily, I’m blessed to have built up a decent enough name for myself where at least some of my travel is covered. I’m also, ironically enough, at the “resting on my laurels” stage of my blogging, but that’s hardly the issue here. I was at Smart Girl Summit last week, BlogCon earlier in the year, and in a few weeks will be at Defending the Dream/RightOnline.
I find them to be part weekend getaway with friends, part work trip. We meet, we kibitz, we network, we drink somewhat to excess…it’s generally fun. FreedomWorks even let me speak on a panel this year. And as I sit here in-between trips, I’m noticing a similarity of all the events. It’s not the topic or the people. It’s not the late nights in hotel bars. It’s not the size of the conference.
It’s that there’s always people complaining about dumb shit.
People who aren’t there complain about the people who are there. You always have that one person who is there who has to “keep it real” by being the person who criticizes everything. Others who don’t think enough attention is being paid to them complain just to make sure they get that attention. Lots of it is petty stuff, and personally – and maybe this is because I’m friends with a lot of them – disrespectful of the people who work to put these events together.
I’m not going to say I’m enthralled by every person’s speech or every panel at every event. But these events are all what you make of them. You go for speeches. You go for workshops. You go simply for the chance network and brainstorm with cats you usually only get to tweet at. Listen. Learn. Go back home and put newly discovered tools to work.
For example, at SGS13 I was reading tweets from people who weren’t there complaining how these events are a waste and how they were too busy doing REAL work at their REAL jobs working on REAL campaigns. I found this funny because while I was reading this, I was actually doing REAL work for my REAL job working on a REAL campaign, spoke with two people that are going to help me on two of those REAL campaigns, and even interviewed a few Congressional candidates. And this was just Saturday.
And a side note, if the organizations are providing you with free passes or travel…don’t blast them on your blogs. If there was something you weren’t happy with, tell them on the side and help them making it better. Putting them on blast is a dick move.
Maybe I’m too busy making the most of opportunities I’m given and taking advantage of events I’m at to complain about stuff that doesn’t matter, but when you look at everything else we fight over, you would think getting a group of likeminded people together in the same room would be something we could agree on is a good thing.
It’s a free world. You’re free to complain about whatever you like. I’ll be in Orlando in two weeks reminded of the great conservative philosopher Nick Hexom, who teaches us, “Fuck the Naysayers cause they don’t mean a thing.”