DENVER, Colo.—For two days in Denver, Colorado, like-minded people gather for the largest group of grassroots conservatives in the West.
It is the 10th Western Conservative Summit and is expected to attract over 2,000 people to the Colorado Convention Center on July 12 and 13. The theme this year is about defending America’s religious freedom and the First Amendment.
Prominent conservatives like Ben Carson, Tom Fitton, Jim Daly, Abby Johnson, and Charlie Kirk were welcomed with standing ovations. Their speeches revolved around America’s founding principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado, also attended as the first Democrat speaker.
But the reason most people stayed late until 10 p.m. on Friday was for Donald Trump Jr.
“He was great,” said John Andrews, founder of Western Conservative Summit. “He was funny, and factual, and penetrating, and convincing. And he joked about … to pretend that it didn’t matter who wins the election next year, but we know he wants his dad to win, and we want his dad to win, and we think he’s going to.”
According to Jeff Hunt, chairman of the summit, the conservatives this year are more fired up than before. Part of the reason—the president is accomplishing things that are in line with what conservatives hold dear.
“They want the principles of faith, family, and freedom to be stronger in our state, and so they are rallying here, they’re getting equipped here, and they’re going to go out and fight to get our state back in the right direction,” said Hunt.
“I’m here because I’m so interested in saving the country and I think that President Trump is right on track to get it turned around,” said attendee Sally Robinson.
A variety of topics were brought up. They included America’s core values.
“Our Founding Fathers said it’s your republic if you can keep it. And what they meant was that its virtue, its morals. That’s what needs to be strengthened in our country,” said Dave Kubal, president of Intercessors for America.
Topics like family stability and abortion were also addressed.
“The taking away of that child won’t provide the healing or the stability that the woman is looking for,” said Mandy Newkirk, a junior at Colorado Christian University.
Bob Fu, founder China Aid, brought up the issue of China’s foreign influence in suppressing freedom of religion and speech in the United States. He raised the recent visit to New York City by Taiwan’s president.
“The Chinese Communist Party hired thugs, 200 to 300, start physically beating up those who were welcoming President Tsai. At least five of them were sent to the hospital,” said Fu.
The speakers also hope to raise awareness about groups being oppressed and persecuted for their religious beliefs in other countries.
“Demanding that our networks bring this to the floor, demanding coverage of it, and that to continue to be complicit in shoving this under the carpet, is not acceptable,” said Mark Chilson, a real estate lender.
Conservatives are encouraged to be more vocal.
“If you object to what’s happening in your local community or your state or your nation, get involved on the issues that you care so deeply about. And so that’s the encouragement that I have to conservatives through this conference,” said Hunt.
Rather than relying on the government control from cradle to grave, they believe that giving more people a ladder to opportunity based on the country’s founding principles, is what makes them proud Americans.