In the past, I've always been super disappointed in missing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Now, I'd say I'm not missing much by not getting to hear prominent white supremacist Steve Bannon denounce "the corporatist, globalist media."
In fact, I'm a little concerned, reading reports that President Trump and his advisors have spent this weekend bashing the media, suggesting the First Amendment needs "revisions." I'm a little concerned to read that the largely Republican audience cheered against free press. I'm a little concerned one of the largest conferences for young conservatives has become a platform to bash the first amendment and uphold nationalism.
I've said it before, I'll say it again, but President Trump's attacks on the media do not reflect American, conservative values. Sure, biased liberal commentators exist. But the media exists to protect us from corrupt politicians. Americans should not view press as the enemy, but in the Trump era, Americans' views have been turned upside down.
I guess I'm not surprised that the American Conservative Union gave the President and his rag-tag band of white supremacists and speakers of alternative facts a platform at their conference this year. Never Trump Republicans are a dying breed. Far too many conservatives have shrugged and said, "Well, he's our guy now. At least Clinton didn't win."
But I feel like CPAC shouldn't be a conference where hundreds of "conservative" college students cheer for protectionism. It shouldn't be a conference where free speech is attacked. It definitely shouldn't be a place where white supremacists are even considered to speak. The ACU made a big deal out of uninviting former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopolous, after he defended pedophilia. But Milo is notorious for white supremacy and blatant sexism -- he never should have been invited in the first place.
CPAC 2017 could have been a place to discuss how the GOP could and should rebuild at the state and local levels. The audience largely comprises college students, who still need a degree of adult guidance, who need to be encouraged that their professors aren't actually out to get them and who need advice in how to better articulate their conservative beliefs. It's a shame the members of the ACU have gone the way of so many other Republicans and embraced Trumpism, rather than standing with their conservative principles.