Lanterns: Thoughts From #CPAC2016


Thoughts From #CPAC2016

One of the best things about being at CPAC this year was being around so many like minded Americans who care so much about the future of our country and what will be left behind for our children and generations to come. In this post, I hope to share with you some of the incredible moments that stand out the most from an unbelievable event.


There was a surprisingly huge amount of young people at CPAC this year. This was very encouraging but I also think very telling because the narrative that is always reported is that millennials don’t care, aren’t concerned about politics and/or are running towards Bernie Sanders and socialism faster than the establishment towards Donald Trump. This was not the case at CPAC. These young people, overwhelmingly, support Ted Cruz; a modern day image of Ronald Reagan. For anyone under the age of 45 years old, we’ve never had the opportunity to vote for a principled conservative for POTUS. This truly is the closest we’ve come. Speaking for all of us, the under 45 years of age crowd, please give us the opportunity to experience a conservative President in our lifetime.


Trump supporters were by no means hiding during CPAC. From MAGA hats, shirts, posters and secret winks or handshakes, Trumpeters were clearly present. Which is why I feel bad for them. Donald Trump was scheduled to speak at the most conservative event that any Presidential candidate would face during this current cycle. CPAC after all is a conservative event. Trump’s last minute change of heart, to not show up and make the case for his candidacy to conservatives was the admission that all conservative already knew. Donald Trump is not a conservative.

Now I heard the Trumpkins spinning Trump's absence akin to a general who knows ahead of time of an ambush and avoids it, proving his wisdom. I heard that CPAC was in the tank for Ted Cruz. I even heard that it was more important for him to campaign in Kansas where he would get actual votes and not straw poll votes that didn't matter. In Kansas he eventually got his clock cleaned anyway.

I really think that Donald Trump could have sowed up the nomination for the GOP had he attended CPAC, addressed the attendees and made the case for his candidacy. It would have been difficult to impossible to accuse Donald Trump of a lack of principles, ethics, scruples or toughness. His absence does the complete opposite.


Ted Cruz was the winner of the CPAC Straw Poll and was selected as not only the winner of the first pick but the winner of the second choice if Cruz wasn’t the first selection. The apparent late breaking for the Cruz campaign was not exclusive to CPAC as on the same Saturday that the results of the CPAC Straw Poll were revealed, Ted Cruz was awarded more delegates in the States that were up for grabs on that same Super Saturday. This next Super Tuesday will be an interesting one with Mississippi’s popular Governor, endorsing Ted Cruz just hours before the polls open up. Tuesday will be one to watch.


So many different types of people attended CPAC this year. Races, colors, ages, beliefs and causes to affect so many in need. There was no stereotypical Republican demographics apparent. You really couldn’t put a finger on a particular type of individual that called themselves a conservative except that we all adhere to particular set of principles and values laid out in the constitution and the Declaration of Independence. This was the binding amongst the brethren.


So many wonderful speeches, so many incredible cases to be made for conservatism and the conservative movement.

Mark Levin was a succinct recitation of experiential history with Ronald Reagan dating back to the 1960’s and his almost single handed growth and building of the modern conservative movement running to today and what we see happening with people like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Ben Sasse just to name a few.

Dr. Ben Carson was incredibly gracious and humble. A real leader and statesman if there ever was one. He laid out the characteristics of who he could support. He pointed out the need for accomplishment, the well treatment of family members, honesty and civility just to name a few. Although he never came out and officially endorsed anyone, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump didn’t seem to cut the mustard when compared to Dr. Carson’s criteria for a good candidate.

Ted Cruz brought the house down, with a little help from Sean Hannity. There is no doubt and there can be no mistaking that Ted Cruz is a principled, God fearing, constitutional conservative and clearly what America needs at this time in history.

Glenn Beck closed up CPAC and began his time on stage by refreshing the audiences’ minds with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, segued into reading from the Declaration of Independence and highlighted some of the more important rights and privileges of the Constitution. It was amazing to see and feel the inspiration gained by simply reading from our founding documents.

All in all, #CPAC2016 was an incredible experience, one I won’t soon forget. I look forward to returning in the future and seeing all of the wonderful conservative men and women who desire America to remain great.

Written by Trey Roberts

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