Day one of CPAC is history. Since this my first time at the conservative convention, I really did not know what to expect. Sure, I’d watched videos of speeches in the past and understood that these events are often pep rallies of sorts to pump up the base. Last year, the presidential race was getting rolling in earnest, and this year we have a new president. Last year, the future was very uncertain, and this year after a contentious primary process and election, there is still much angst in the country.
I came to CPAC as an observer, not a participant. While I view myself as a constitutional conservative, I frequently find myself at odds with people who view themselves as conservative. In my post-election world, I have seen the entire spectrum of rabid progressives in denial of the election results. I have seen those who have redefined their lives to destroy the new president, and some of those are self-described conservatives.
The conservative side sees the above-mentioned "anti-Trump" to the "always-Trump," as those with whom Trump can never do anything to please them to those who will excuse anything he might do. And everything in between.
Late last night a friend sent me a message with a question. “How is it feeling, the trust of the new administration?” That was an excellent question.
I have been quite cynical about politicians for more than ten years, including the George W. Bush administration. My response to his question was that the group seems very supportive. The speakers are saying the “right things,” and the people are energetic in their support. My cynicism remains, but I am hopeful. As I write this, it is about an hour before Donald Trump speaks, but I will wait to report on that in a recap of day two.
My wariness stems from the Republican’s ability to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. It comes from the progressiveness that has become pervasive, especially in the leadership. It’s the idea that government is the answer rather than the problem. If you follow my writing you know I am fond of saying, “Everyone loves a tyrant, as long as it’s their tyrant.”
I hear positive things that if taken to a conclusion will be good for the republic. I am also hearing things that are still government doing something it should not be doing but trying to do it better or cheaper. I’m not from Missouri, but, “show me,” or as Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.”
The bottom line is that the people gathered here are hearing what they want to hear and are enthusiastically accepting of the presentations. I am one who believes we need to work together more, and fight less. This does not mean we compromise principles, but if we continually fight among ourselves, in addition to the other side, we will never win any battles against progressives who seem to always unite against conservatism.
I will give a daily write up of the events and my take on what was said, along with a final overall view. Stay tuned….