Multiple conservatives were booted out of this year’s GOP-backed Conservative Political Action Conference, while left-leaning journalists were given press credentials and one well-known radical leftist was even invited to speak.
By John Friend
The 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference, commonly known as CPAC, wrapped up on Saturday, March 2, with a reported record crowd of attendees and a fiery concluding speech by President Donald Trump in which he ripped Democrats and their socialist agenda while defending American values and his administration. The four-day conference, which brought together conservative activists from across the country, was held once again at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., just south of the nation’s capital on the Potomac River.
The president spoke for over two hours and touched on a variety of topics central to his 2016 presidential campaign, including the threat of illegal immigration, America’s disastrous trade deals, the reviving U.S. economy, and related subjects. Trump, like virtually all speakers and panels at this year’s conference, denounced the socialist agenda of the Democratic Party, focusing particular attention on the proposed Green New Deal advanced by radical far left congressional representatives including the firebrand freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.). The Democrats were also characterized as promoting “a culture of death” for their support for controversial abortion practices, including partial-birth and late term abortions.
Trump’s freewheeling speech and the crowd’s response was reminiscent of the spirited, high-energy rallies then-candidate Trump held around the country during the 2016 campaign season. The president expressed confidence in his political future and that of the Republican Party heading into the 2020 election season.
“Our movement and our future in our country is unlimited,” President Trump stated. “I think we’re going to do even better in 2020.”
Perhaps one of the biggest stories to come out of the conference was the fact that a number of America-first nationalists and independent journalists were either excluded or expelled from the conference. Nick Fuentes, a young, independent pundit who hosts a popular YouTube program called “America First,” was kicked out of the conference, as were the independent journalists and political activists Patrick Casey, Faith Goldy, and Laura Loomer.
Meanwhile, several left-leaning journalists, including Jared Holt of Right Wing Watch, who regularly maliciously targets American populists and nationalists, were given press credentials and allowed to attend and cover the event. Van Jones, a radical left-wing commentator and pundit, even spoke at the conference, while some of the most popular conservative voices in America, such as Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson, were not even invited.
Fuentes, Casey, and Goldy organized and held their own press conference after it was made clear to them they were not welcomed at CPAC.
“This year, CPAC decided to ban American nationalists, while welcoming anti-American leftists,” Casey stated on Twitter when announcing the press conference, which took place the evening of March 3 at a private suite at the Gaylord.
Fuentes was especially targeted, not only by CPAC but also by many journalists and activists at the conference, who were determined to expel him from their venue.
“There has been a lot of slander and name-calling going on this week by so-called ‘conservatives’ trying to justify keeping me out of their little corporate club,” Fuentes tweeted recently. “I’ve been called a lot of things, but I’ve never been called un-American, and that’s all that matters.”
The fault lines in the conservative movement are becoming increasingly well-defined. A clear divide exists between the more populist, rightwing conservative movement, which denounces political correctness and is unafraid to openly address some of the most controversial and taboo subjects, and establishment conservatives represented at CPAC. Both factions are vying for the hearts and minds of conservative voters and activists in an attempt to bring the movement more into line with their worldview.
John Friend is a freelance author based in California.