Beverly Hills, CA – Over 550 in attendance heard Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flirt with running for California Governor, while simultaneously blasting Google for censorship, and warning against military adventurism last night in Los Angeles.
The event – the 40th anniversary gala dinner for the conservative Claremont Institute – was packed to the gunwales with right-wing academics, media personalities, and donors. The think tank honored Secretary Pompeo with is annual Statesmanship Award.
Secretary Pompeo utilized the address to re-connect with less neoconservative aligned conservatives who have been increasingly concerned with U.S. military action in Venezuela.
"The Founders were keen students of human nature and history," he said. "They saw that conflict is the normative experience for nations. Hamilton put this Federalist 34. He said, 'To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway than the mild and [beneficial] sentiments of peace'.
"The Founders sought to protect our interests but avoid adventurism."
"I’ll simplify," Pompeo continued: "The Founders knew peace wasn’t the norm. And in response to this reality, the Founders knew the first duty of the federal government was to provide for the safety of its citizens. Madison said, '[Security] is an avowed and essential object of the American Union.' You all know that.
"How about restraint? The Founders sought to protect our interests but avoid adventurism. The Barbary War, fought so soon after independence, was an effort of last resort to protect our vital commercial interests. The Monroe Doctrine – relevant even today – was a message of deterrence, not a license to grab land. 'Peace and friendship,' said Jefferson, 'with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it. But the temper and folly of our enemies may not leave this in our choice.'
"And finally, respect," Pompeo mused. "The Founders had recently cast off the tyranny of an empire. They were not eager to subjugate others. In 1821, John Quincy Adams wrote that America 'goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.' But indeed, quite the opposite: 'She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all'."
Claremont fellows and attendees told Human Events of their relief following the aforementioned portion of the speech.
[caption id="attachment_176449" align="alignnone" width="8081"] Pompeo addresses the crowd[/caption]
What really drew the crowd's attention, however, were references to the California Gubernatorial race in 2022.
"I call Kansas home. It’s where I spent the bulk of my adult life outside of the military," said the Secretary of State. "But I had spent my childhood here, of course, when Ronald Reagan was the governor. And I have to tell you, California has changed a little bit since I left. I’m going to have to come back and help you all get it right."
"I have to tell you, California has changed a little bit since I left. I’m going to have to come back and help you all get it right".
And while most of Pompeo's ire was aimed at those who had allowed China to make a mockery of the United States, he saved a moment to hit out at Google, which had banned the Claremont Institute for advertising its gala dinner on the grounds of racial insensitivity, due to the think tank launching a new campaign entitled "Save America, Defeat Multiculturalism".
"...we had lost sight of respect – not for other nations, but for our own people and for our ideals. We cozied up to Cuba. We struck a terrible agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran that put the regime’s campaigns of terrorism and proxy wars on steroids. And many of our leaders were more eager to delight the Davos crowd than champion the principles that have made us the greatest nation that civilization has ever known. By the way, the Claremont Institute sadly knows, I could also name a certain tech company that we spoke about earlier that’s forgotten our first principles too."
[caption id="attachment_176448" align="alignnone" width="6711"] Pompeo, from another angle[/caption]
"I could also name a certain tech company that we spoke about earlier that’s forgotten our first principles too".
Ryan Williams, President of the Claremont Institute told Human Events: "The Claremont Institute was honored to present our 2019 Statesmanship Award to Secretary Pompeo. His intelligence and prudence as America's top diplomat, to say nothing of his many years in public service, make him an ideal recipient of our award. He's that most American phenomenon: the citizen-statesman. We were also honored that he was present to help us celebrate 40 years of defending America and western civilization at the Claremont Institute."
Previous recipients of Claremont's Statesmanship Award include Clarence Thomas, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Ted Cruz, Samuel Alito, and Tom Cotton.