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Conservatives Congregate in Florida at CPAC

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or “CPAC,” is ongoing in Orlando, Florida for the second year running, having relocated from its recent home in Maryland.  The organizers had to move from the Old Line State to sunny Florida because the callow, weak willed political elites in Annapolis refuse to follow the science and instead rely on leftist pseudo-science (completely ignoring the recent Johns Hopkins University study on facemasks).  It has been 49 years since the founding of CPAC and it continues to grow year after year.

All the big names in Conservatism in America and a few key conservative voices from around the globe are also present, including BREXIT architect Nigel Farage and a North Korean defector.  At the time of this writing, big names are yet to come, including President Trump, Mark Levin and a host of others.  But one thing is clear at the midpoint after two days, far from cowering like US foreign policy under Joe Biden, conservatives are energized and ready to continue the fight against a global leftist elite undermining liberty and targeting any who dare ask questions or run counter to their narratives.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis (a popular figure nationally) gave a rip roaring and inspirational speech as the first big gun to speak on day one.  Senator Ted Cruz also came out firing on all cylinders, going after the failed policies of the current administration and warning of the dangers north of the US border.  While many present found DeSantis and Cruz exciting, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre also drew wild, enthusiastic applause with his defense of the Second Amendment.  Trump acolyte Kimberly Guilfoyle garnered a fair amount of applause when she spoke earlier in the day.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio led off day two.  Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo clearly laid out what he characterized as Biden administration foreign policy failures that encouraged actors like Communist China and Vladimir Putin to act aggressively.  Pompeo, sporting a much slimmed down physique, drew frequent applause and cheers from the audience.  The list of speakers continued with a powerful speech by ambassador and former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell who, while clearly reading from his script, nonetheless delivered an artful speech that picked apart Biden and Blinken failures.  British firebrand Nigel Farage capped off the day with a teleprompter free, cutting speech in which he appealed to American conservatives to hold the line, warning if liberty is extinguished in the USA, then there is no hope for the rest of the planet.

With so many powerful speakers on day two, for those paying close attention, it was perhaps South Dakota governor Kristi Noem who best summed up the differences between the political left and conservatives with the following remarks:

“The line between tyranny and freedom is getting more clear by the day around our country.  The left divides us, based on our differences, conservatives, we unite around our shared values.  The left crushes free speech, conservatives celebrate free expression.  The left says America is racist and that it is evil, conservatives know America is not the sum of our past mistakes.  The left says only an elite class of so-called experts is smart of enough to solve all our problems.  But conservatives know that everyone can contribute, and that “experts” are often the last group that should be put in charge.”

Noem articulately laid out key differences between both sides of the political spectrum in the United States, yet one can easily insert South Africa, New Zealand, Great Britain, Australia or Canada in place of the United States to describe the current political situation.  DeSantis described Florida as the freest state in the Union (a reference to Tallahassee’s rejection of Federal policies from Washington DC).  Yet, it seems that judging actions throughout the pandemic era, South Dakota under Noem has given Florida a run for that title.

Another important aspect of CPAC 2022 is the diversity of conservatives present, from the gay community (Log Cabin Republicans), to women, ethnic and racial minorities, and different religious faiths, one can clearly see variety in the conservative movement in the United States.  Hundreds of young political activists have also been engaging in CPAC 2022 events. Of course, the score card on how successful conservatives will be in 2022 will be decided in November with the mid-term elections.

As Putin’s forces enter Kiev at this hour, the failure of conservatives to retain political control and prevent the ascendancy of an America hating, liberty crushing, anti-science “the science is settled” woke cabal in Washington and in a least a dozen individual states, is painfully obvious.  Unfortunately, Biden and his team of incompetent appointees remains in charge of the nuclear football and machinery of the most powerful nation in the world.  Then again, I suppose Biden’s “climate Czar” (an appropriate title now, no?) John Kerry may have a point when he expressed hope that Vladimir Putin would “stay on track” in the fight against climate change.  Whew.  For a moment I thought the man who denigrated fellow Veterans with his anti-Vietnam Conflict rhetoric might be concerned about liberty or at least life and limb for millions of innocents in Ukraine.  Well, whomever survives Putin and Biden’s Ukraine invasion can at least rest assured Americans are on the job cutting carbon dioxide.

Chris Wyatt

Chris Wyatt

Colonel (Ret) Chris Wyatt, the Principal & CEO of the Indaba Africa Group, is a retired U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer and Foreign Area Officer for Sub-Saharan Africa and past Director of African Studies at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He was previously the Senior Military Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the African Union (USAU). He has lived across the continent (eight countries) and working in over 30 African countries.

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