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All The Speakers At @large Were Great, But One Had A Particular Impact…


…that would be Ryan Bomberger, who did an absolutely sensational presentation on abortion Friday afternoon.

Bomberger is a fairly young guy – he’s 42. He’s the director of the Radiance Foundation, a pro-life organization which is dedicated to move a pro-life cultural message and push back against the abortion lobby.

And he comes from a very inspiring personal story…

Bomberger’s presentation included lots of videos like that. A good example…

And another…

The Radiance Foundation has a project called TooManyAborted.com, which has a little harder edge to its messaging…

Bomberger has some absolutely amazing facts and history on his side in crafting a pro-life message to the black community…

And they’ve taken on the NAACP as well, even going so far as to call it the National Association for the Abortion of Colored People. That ultimately put Bomberger in court with the NAACP, who really didn’t like somebody pointing out their pro-abortion stance given the facts about abortion and the black community…

But infographics tend to flesh things out for regular folks to understand…

As an aside, the keynote speaker and master of ceremonies of @large, C.L. Bryant, was a former NAACP chapter president in Garland, Texas years ago – but his career with that organization came to a fairly abrupt end after he refused to speak at a pro-abortion rally. That the NAACP is not a pro-abortion organization is a flat-out lie.

Anyway, the above is just a sampling of Bomberger’s presentation on Friday which was a huge hit with the @large audience.

It impacted me in several ways.

First, having met Ryan and gotten to know him a little – he’s an absolutely amazing guy. You can’t help but to immediately like him. And to know his story is to recognize how wonderful the possibilities arising from life really are.

Second, Ryan’s ability to tell his story within the parameters of a public policy debate is something the conservative movement very badly needs. We do a horrible job of relating what are correct public-policy arguments to real people who aren’t wonks. That’s why you’ll see amazingly good scholarship coming out of conservative think tanks like Heritage and AEI but their product falls on deaf ears because it doesn’t resonate with actual human beings.

Like Heritage’s new president and former Senator Jim Demint says, the Left is giving away candy and the Right is selling vegetables.

Not to demean Bomberger in any way, but his pitch gives away candy. Meaning, there is a very strong emotional appeal in his pro-life message. Some is angry – the Kermit Gosnell stuff offers a level of indignation which is entirely appropriate…

…but like we saw in the videos above, the appeal also has a very, very strong positive emotional side.

Bomberger has the pro-life message precisely right. It boils down to this: if you’re pregnant and you didn’t want to be, you have a choice. You can choose Kermit Gosnell and Planned Parenthood, meaning you can opt to enrich the people who will take your flesh and blood and flush it down a commode.

Or you can choose to give your flesh and blood the chance to have a life like Ryan Bomberger has had.

Sure, the Left can say that if you’re poor your kid will probably end up in prison or on welfare. Except that’s an incredibly dour and pessimistic view. And it’s hardly accurate. After all, if Ryan Bomberger can get adopted why can’t someone else? American parents are so desperate to have kids they can adopt that they’re hustling kids from China, Russia, Latin America and parts unknown – why not give them a chance at raising American kids? Isn’t that a better, more moral, and cooler idea than to just kill your baby?

What else about Bomberger’s messaging that we really like is that doesn’t come out and specifically say that abortion ought to be illegal. He probably does believe that, and in the “GONE” video above he mentions that Roe v Wade was a bad Supreme Court decision (though you could hold that opinion and still be pro-abortion). But engaging in the legislative battle, which the pro-life side has been doing for 40 years, is at this point counterproductive and Bomberger has a better focus.

Namely, his is a cultural message. He doesn’t say abortion ought to be illegal because on one side you have Kermit Gosnell and on the other side you have Ryan Bomberger. He says don’t have an abortion¬†because on one side you have Kermit Gosnell and on the other side you have Ryan Bomberger. He’s appealing to a personal choice that folks have.

That seems to be a great deal more effective than just trying to change a law. We already know that just because the law says a thing it doesn’t make that thing so. What makes the thing so is what people do. And the Radiance Foundation and TooManyAborted are working on that.

The bigger a star Ryan Bomberger becomes as a result, the better it is for the pro-life movement (you can’t characterize this guy as an old white male chauvinist pig or a Todd Akin or a racist or a religious nut or whatever else the Left wants to throw at pro-life people). But that’s not all – the better it is for the conservative movement as a whole. Because Ryan is a guy who understands how to impact the culture.¬†Guys like him can make conservatism cool.

And that’s revolutionary stuff. Because there is a new kind of conservatism out there, which fuses the libertarianism of the Ron Paul crowd with the social conservatism of the religious right, if we build it the right way. Focus on preserving individual liberty through the legislative process while fighting to the death for the hearts and minds of the American people in order to build a culture of virtue and values. We’ve lost our way trying to legislate what we haven’t been able to win in the culture, and as a result the Left has managed to make people believe it’s their side which protects civil liberties while they sic the IRS on conservative activists and the EPA on homebuilders and the ACLU on folks who want to practice free association.

This might be drafting Bomberger into a project he’s not totally on board with, so forgive us if we’re going a bit far in including him in this new conservatism of which we speak. The point is that he presents ideas which are deeply ingrained in old-school conservatism in a way that speaks to the modern, “anti-conservative” culture. And it’s crucial for the Right to uncover and promote the work of as many Ryan Bombergers as possible.

We loved his stuff at @large, and we’re huge fans of his. We hope to see him back at next year’s event.


5 Comments

  1. I'm lovin' the Radiance Foundation!

  2. Of all the outstanding presentations at the @Large Conference, I am so glad I was there when Bomberger took the stage. I have not witnessed so powerful a message in some time. Thank you, Scott and Christi for bringing him to Baton Rouge!

  3. I. LOVE. THIS.

    Brilliant messaging and important. This is right way to fight.

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