CPAC signals a new disturbing era for the Republican Party

CPAC signals a new disturbing era for the Republican Party
Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour
Here's why I yelled at a fascist at CPAC — and left feeling disfigured

While some Republican lawmakers are fighting to return to some form of traditional political normalcy, other lawmakers and members of the political party are pushing for a new direction.

The first night of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which featured some of the most contentious Republican lawmakers like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), signals the Trump era may be far from over. When Cruz took the stage, he made his perspective quite clear as he suggested that he will remain a Trump loyalist for years to come.

"There's a whole lot of voices in Washington that want to just erase the past four years, want to go back to the world before," Cruz said. "Let me tell ya right now: Donald J. Trump ain't goin' anywhere."

Hawley expressed similar remarks. While he admitted that he is aware of the fact that he is not the most popular lawmaker, he and other conservatives like him are not going anywhere.

"I'm not going anywhere," Hawley proclaimed as he insisted the "radical left, their corporate allies [and] the liberal media to cancel me." He added, "I'm here today, I'm not going anywhere and I'm not backing down, not a chance!"

According to Hawley, Republicans like him are the future of the political party. "I just want to say to those people who say to us, 'Oh, you're the past, your moment has passed, it's over, it's Joe Biden's America now,' we're not the past, we're the future, we represent the future of this country," the junior senator said. "We're not going to back down to the woke mob, we're not going to back down to the cancel culture, we're not going to be told what we can say or do."

A new editorial published by The New York Times notes how the first night of the CPAC underscores the uncertainty of the Republican Party's future. The publication notes that "in recent years, CPAC has evolved from a family reunion of Republican libertarians, social conservatives and a hawkish foreign policy establishment into Trump-chella."

This year has been no exception, with speaker after speaker focusing on the pet issues of the former president. "Are your votes being distorted?" one ominous video asked, flashing photos of President Biden on the big screen. Mr. Trump plans to address the crowd on Sunday and anything he says about his future political ambitions will inevitably overshadow the entire event.

The publication also highlighted remarks delivered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). Like Cruz and Hawley, he also signaled that impending changes would be reflected in the Republican Party's governing in the years to come.

"We cannot — we will not — go back to the days of the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear," DeSantis said as he declared his state an "'oasis of freedom' in a country suffering from the 'the yoke of oppressive lockdowns.'"

Based on the first night of the CPAC, radicalized Republicans have no plan on going back to the days of traditional politics.

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