Today was my first full day at CPAC and here are my thoughts for the three main events.
- Trump’s Speech. A conservative speech but not in the political sense, rather this speech was pure Trump. About fifty minutes long it began with a ten-minute section praising his supporters but mostly ranting against the media. Once he got into the actual substance of his speech the first thing he did was praise Bernie Sanders and gloat about his economically illiterate protectionism. Beyond that, it was like any other Trump speech. He hit some Obamacare, immigration, and terror and used his regular pejoratives and myths. It was a good speech on delivery but only decent on substance. Two side note. Firstly, I noticed that multiple members of the hotel staff came out to listen to Trump’s speech, all were either racial minorities or women. On a more general note, Trump is really poorly dressed and ever since I noticed that I have not been able to stop noticing it.
- Armed and Dangerous. Anchored by Townhall editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich it also included Antonia Okafor, Kristi McMains, and Ashlee Lundvall. This panel was a fantastic defense of gun rights by free either one time or two time Obama voters.
- AEI President Arthur Brooks interviews Carly Fiorina. Hands down my favorite panel of the day. While Carly Fiorina really improved my view of her, Arthur Brooks made the biggest impact in my opinion. He made two statements that really struck me. Part way through the talk he said that the free market system “is the only system to wipe out poverty by the millions” and later he also said that, as conservatives, we should strive to “make Washington less interesting and important.., let’s make this country local again”. I was not the only one who enjoyed this speech. While most speakers left though a door into the lobby, Carly and Arthur had to be taken out through a back door because of the huge crowd waiting for them.