Lee Murphy and Sherry Jarrell attended CPAC 2021 in Orlando Florida last week and share the following highlights.
This is the third CPAC that we have attended. Three things stood out this year, relative to years past. One, while CPAC attendees have always been very diverse, with all races, cultures and religions represented, this year there were many more young Conservatives in attendance. We met many in their twenties and thirties, and even teens, who are enthusiastic and positive about the future of Conservatism and are committed to getting involved. They are very clear about their values and articulate them very well.
Those representing the future of the party include junior Congressman Byron Donalds, Florida’s 19th, junior Congresswoman Kat Cammack, Florida’s 3d, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is also garnering a lot of attention as an important part of the future leadership of the party, deservedly so.
The second observation we had about this CPAC that stood out was the solemn and serious undertone to all the speeches – even President Trump’s — and the conversations. Conservatism is not just an American idea or cause – the world is watching and hoping that Conservatism thrives in America and carries the torch for freedom worldwide. In fact, the importance of the Constitution and the freedoms it ensures, may be better understood and appreciated by the rest of the world than in some corners of the U.S. If our Republic fails, others will fail as well. The fight here is of utmost importance to the world. And we cannot win that fight by forming a third party – we must move forward as one party and do a better job of communicating our values to others, letting them see how many of those values we share. Those who turn their back on fundamental Conservative values need to be called out and voted out, like President Trump did in his speech on the closing day of CPAC.
To win elections in 2022 and into the future, we must clean the voter rolls in every city, county and state. Conservatives must make the case to every citizen that clean voter rolls are absolutely necessary for election integrity, especially if we fail to suppress mail-in voting. Hand-in-hand with clean voter rolls is voter ID and an end to early voting, particularly with no signature verification.
The third observation is the sense that we cannot count on the formal party organization, the current leadership, or the courts to protect the Conservative ideal. It is up the each of us as individuals to carry the message, to get involved, to support candidates and, most importantly, to SPEAK UP, regardless of the situation, whether you are censored on social media, in the classroom, at the local city council meeting.