by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
It was my first CPAC meeting, and it was awesome! But it was more than that. It was informative, encouraging, engaging and sobering.
So from a first-timer Here are some of the more prominent issues in the minds of conservatives this year.
The State Of The Union
Almost to a tee, conservatives were concerned about the state of the nation. They recognized that for far too long America has been headed in the wrong direction, and they were painfully aware of the difficulty and the effort required to turn such a large and massive ship around. Despite their optimism towards President Trump and the work he has been undertaking, very few seemed to believe America was headed in the right direction.
For most in attendance, the media have become an unapologetic instrument for left-wing propaganda. The government footprint is way too large. Our educational institutions have become liberal indoctrination camps, and the youth in our country is perilously close to accepting socialism as a valid socioeconomic alternative.
But despite these challenges, those in attendance knew they had a champion, a man who seemingly had come from nowhere and was now sitting in the White House calling the shots on the war against the Left. And no moment solidified their faith in this President than when Donald J. Trump appeared at the CPAC stage, made his way to Old Glory, faced the audience, and gave the flag a protracted and joyous embrace. It was a gesture that no one ever recalled any president ever doing, and it sealed their faith in the man that was both the spear for the conservative agenda and the target for the vitriol from the Left.
That image of President Trump hugging the American flag with a big, satisfied smile will likely become one of the great, indelible images in the minds of those present.
The State Of The Democratic Party
Conservatives’ view on the state of the Democrat Party was best articulated by Sen. Ted Cruz who, in his eloquence and sophistication, expertly and precisely described the Democrats in 2019. To quote Senator Cruz, the Democrats have gone “bat-crap-crazy.”
From their position on border security to their Green New Deal, their open and unfettered embrace of socialism, their threats to disarm Americans, and their calls to execute American citizens without due process the Democrat mantra has devolved so precipitously that it defies belief. The devolution of Democrat political policy is so extreme that, in a taste of so much more that is to come, it allowed President Trump to openly mock the Green New Deal and to encourage Democrats to continue to discuss it.
Objectively, it is difficult to see how a policy proposal that calls for the eradication of “farting cows,” the discontinuation of cars, and the termination of air travel can ever attract America’s swing voters. And that’s without mentioning the Left’s renewed assault on the newborn.
The State of Right To Life
Amongst the issues where conservatives felt the most confident is the issue of the right to life. Supporting their position is a recent Marist poll showing that 80% of Americans support limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy. Additionally, those identifying themselves as pro-life rose nine percentage points to 47% and even with those who called themselves pro-choice.
The most likely explanation for this renewed confidence is the predictable tendency for the Left to overplay its hand. Other than possessing an inherent disdain for life, it is difficult to explain how Democrats would undertake such an aggressively destructive stance on human life. Yet this is exactly what they have done.
The Democrats’ position on abortion can no longer be explained as a defense of women’s right to choose, nor can it be hailed as a women’s-health issue, as the babies they are arguing may be sentenced to death are the very ones that have either already achieved viability or are freely living.
Worse yet, the celebrations that took place in the New York legislature after the passage of a bill that would allow for the death of a baby as late as during partum plays out as a disgusting site when viewed under the lens of decency and respect for others. And the audacity of lighting One World Trade Center pink in celebration for the passage of a death sentence for scores of thousands will definitely shine as a low point in American history.
The attendees at CPAC could sense this and were salivating at the chance of bringing the Left’s misconduct and insensitivities to the public fore — and get it past the blocking line of the media.
The State of Socialism And The GND
For the first time in history, the Democrats are openly and unabashedly embracing socialism as a viable policy answer for America. It is a direction that goes against every principle upon which our nation was created and one that brings to mind images of the open assault on the liberties Americans cherish. And of course, it is a system that has miserably failed in every country where it has been tried.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President and The Green New Deal have become the symbols for such policy changes and the overtly oppressive measures the Democrats are willing to promote.
One would think that socialism would represent an untenable position for anyone to seriously propose, yet the Democrats, espouse it and openly defend it. Their disregard for the dangers of even flirting with a socialist governmental scheme will surely come back to haunt them in a general election.
The State of Gun Rights
With a powerful appearance by Wayne LaPierre, the Executive Vice President and CEO of the NRA, and Oliver North, its greatest advocate, the National Rifle Association has doubled down on its expanded role as the great defender of social liberties and individual freedom. It is certainly the right approach because ultimately, although the Left may argue statistics and trends, or even make some up, it will never be able to propose a viable substitute for the ultimate defense of liberties and personal freedoms; a loaded weapon.
At the end of the day, this is shaping up to be a strong year for the conservative movement in America. Between a President who is adamant about promoting a conservative vision for America, a House of Representatives in disarray, Democrat members of Congress defending absurd political philosophies, and an economy that continues to perform light-years above the rest, it is easy to see how conservatives at this year’s CPAC feel they have the wind at their backs.
Whether they do or not, remains to be seen.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.