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Reader: Colorado Does Not Need to Be Trumpified!
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Reader: Colorado Does Not Need to Be Trumpified!

The Western Conservative Summit, the annual confab of the region's Republicans that opened at the Colorado Convention Center July 12 and continues July 13, might not have nabbed Donald Trump as a speaker (he was a hit at the 2016 edition), but it got close: Don Jr. was a keynote speaker on the opening day, which stirred plenty of conversation in Denver.

Before the convention, we caught up with co-organizer Jeff Hunt, director of Colorado Christian University's conservative think tank, the Centennial Institute, who told us that Trump Sr. stands for Christians. Here's what readers had to say:
Notes Dave:

"We will talk about Jesus." Great, hope you decide to follow his example and care for the poor and not the wealthy.

Says Noah:

Conservatives are reactive, Trump is the ultimate reaction. You think a conservative could just live their life, but that's not enough. They have to live their life and be lauded by the rest of us for it...

Explains Alesia:

Conservative = fear and hate. That's it. Nothing more. Colorado does NOT need to be Trumpified!

Counters  Marie:

Make COLORADO Red Again.

Adds Richard:

These progressives will ruin us all.

Explains Victoria:

"Trump appeals to many things conservatives care about."
•Racism
•Misogyny
•Homophobia
•Xenophobia
•Environmental destruction

Says Ryan:

One of the ironies is I've never seen a better example of the Golden Calf than the president.

Argues Rachel:

Conservatives used to be obsessed with morality and spending. They give Trump a pass on both.

Explains  Ryan:

Colorado has permanently shifted progressive. This has been a slow process that has occurred over many years. The vast majority of this is due to a very high influx of people from the West Coast, i.e.: California. Colorado will never elect another conservative to statewide office, Jared Polis will never be recalled, and the abortion amendment has absolutely 0 percent chance of passing. Get over it. start crying and move to Alabama, losers.

Concludes Jason:

That “shift” is happening for a reason. Republican Party and its failed ideas of trickle-down economics are dying in educated states.

“I think grassroots conservatives are very hungry to connect with the Trump presidency as much as they can,” Hunt told us. He noted that Trump has only been back to Colorado once since his inauguration, to give the Air Force Academy’s commencement speech in May. “Donald Trump Jr. has probably resulted in more ticket sales than anything else for the Summit. The base loves him.”

Hunt painted the Summit as a rosy and noble cross-coalitional gathering of religiously and ideologically diverse people: “Jewish leaders and Muslim leaders talking about religious freedom in conversation with illegal immigration and immigration reform...and so it's kind of a broad, big tent that's very exciting to watch. What I love is it kind of exposes people to other aspects of the conservative movement.” And, of course, he added, “we will talk about Jesus.”

Some of the religious-freedom-themed highlights: a big focus on Jack Phillips, the defendant in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case; a discussion of a case in Wisconsin in which “the left attacked a conservative judge for helping to start a Christian school.” and a workshop that teaches participants how to “separate fake news from the deeper religious currents of Europe." As Hunt took great pains to point out, the Summit includes different religious perspectives, including those of Dr. M Zhudi Jasser, a Muslim conservative leader; Governor Jared Polis, who spoke on the opening morning, talked about his own Jewish roots.

But then there are speakers like Brigitte Gabriel, who earned a spot on the Southern Poverty Law Center's hatewatch list for her anti-Muslim group ACT for America; David Horowitz, who runs an organization that vows to do "battle" with the enemy left; and Frank Gaffney, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center calls "one of the nation's most notorious Islamaphobes."

What do you think about Donald Trump? Let us know in a comment or at editorial@westword.com.

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