A short thread about my choice to go to CPAC. Get your pom poms, American flags, fainting couch & smelling salts, or daggers ready as so suits you for the subject.
I am fortunate to attend as media. I live stream with @KLRNRadio & blog for @MisfitsPolitics while there. I am not paid. I have not been asked to cover certain people or topics nor have I been told to give positive reviews of any part of the conference. I wouldn’t oblige.
I don’t endorse everything the ACU does nor many of their choices with various aspects of CPAC. In fact, there are many things I openly disagree with. Those of you that know me are not ignorant of what those might be.
Even among the right, there is a stigma. Mainly a MAGA/Trump one. I understand that there are many that have turned away from it because of that. That’s fine. I get it & I don’t discount that viewpoint.
There were many years I wanted to go, before I was even much involved politically. I was a conservative student at a very liberal university. I’ve lived exclusively in big, liberal cities. I wanted the chance to meet people & hear speakers across the right of center spectrum.
I finally got the opportunity to go last year. I know the main agenda for the conference boasts all these big politicians & personalities “on the right.” Some are cool, some are cringe. This is typical of pretty much every broad industry type conference. (I manage a lot of them!)
There were a lot of flashy, own the libs types that have grabbed the spotlight in recent years that packed the main ballroom. There were more serious, policy driven types that engaged in meaningful discussions that emptied it.
I was present to see many of the main speakers. The ones that had the regular attendees scrambling for seats & cheering at clever, yet often cliche phrases. I’m glad I was, especially for my initial experience. But that wasn’t even close to the most interesting part of it.
The best parts of the actual conference were Breakout Sessions & Broadcast Row. Breakouts where I got to hear Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter debate with various panelists. Brexit breakdowns from former UK officials. CCP shenanigans from Chinese economists who’ve defected.
Broadcast Row where we interviewed several reps for human trafficking orgs, had a Chinese translator with information for what was then a growing coronavirus threat, & got a breakdown of foreign policy measures from a Senate committee staffer.
That’s just a super tiny snippet of the value I found in it. Not the Fox News or other right wing celebrities like Diamond & Silk or Candace Owens. Not Trump. So many people & panels off the main stage glitz were incredibly worthwhile.
Yet none of that even begins to touch on the most beneficial part of the conference for me. I got to connect in person with so many that I wouldn’t get to otherwise. The people I met. The conversations we had. The connections we made. Those. Are. Invaluable.
You can say CPAC has turned into TrumpPAC. You can say it is unprincipled. Sure. But I say it can be what you make it, what you seek out, & who you engage with. I know I sat around the mic & bar having awesome discussions about conservative ideals last year & I know I will again.
Paint me with a brush, label me however you want, but I am good with my choice. I’m addressing this once and will not again. The box anyone wants to put me in is not mine to live in. I have more to experience. ✌🏼

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The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, #4thofJuly
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