A reader writes:

I went to the Family Research Council/Focus on the Family/American Family Association "Values Voters" summit this weekend at the Omni.

It is much, much worse than we know.

The first woman I spoke to (from Erie, PA) railed on about how Chuck Hagel is a flaming liberal and John McCain should be tried for treason. I thought that maybe I'd run into an isolated crazy. Oh no - it only got worse from there. The level of contempt for anyone who diverges from the Holy Word of W is beyond description. I was sort of 'undercover' so I could just let people talk to me, not leading the conversation, not baiting, and it horrified me to hear how many were perfectly comfortable with any form of torture in the name of patriotism if the Commander In Chief gave it the ok.

Meanwhile, in the plenary I got to hear from George Allen on how he's been done wrong by the media and watched a ballroom of about 1,700 people seem to feel permission to let their hate for The Gays run wild every time a black minister hit the stage. (I have my own copy of the very popular brochure, "The Rape of the Civil Rights Movement: How Sodomites Are Using Civil Rights Rhetoric To Advance Their Preference For Sexual Perversion.")

There is no room for disagreement, because it is tantamount to evil. Dissent is the same as blasphemy, and everything is approached in orthodox terms. I've always been a conservative because I believe that there is such a think as good and evil and that moral relativism is a crazy road on which logic can rarely stick. I believe in limited government and individual liberty. I know I can do things better than any bureaucracy ever will. But what conservatism has become with these people is horrifying. They'd trade liberty for a handshake from W., compassion for power. And they've got one amazing plan in place to make sure that future generations have a tighter, more limited, and clearly more hostile worldview. I went there hoping to prove myself wrong about what I thought was happening, but I just couldn't do it.

Another journalist friend visited as well. He emailed me about it. 'So you're saying it's as bad as I feared," I asked. "Much, much worse."

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