CPAC 2013 was one to remember. Out of the approximately 11,000 attendees, 54% were under the age of 24.
Speakers encouraged and engaged this diversity throughout their speeches. Overall, it was the much needed boost in enthusiasm that Republicans needed after the election.
The crowd swooned over the speeches of Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, just to name a few. The emphasis was on the so often forgotten third word in the conference’s title: action. It was a call to action to all Conservatives to put aside minor differences to work for the greater good.
These differences were noticeable in the audience itself. From young libertarians to the old establishment to the social conservatives, the party felt diverse. Away from the major youth presence, it’s notable at how many Jewish people were in attendance. One Jew in attendance told me that he believed that “Jews reflect the Conservative movement today.” While Jews have traditionally voted for democrats, their has been a shift due partly to the Republican Party’s acceptance of Israel.
One of the biggest changes I have seen in the Conservative movement recently is more of an aggressive message. Saturday, Jenny Martin fired up the audience by yelling what the Conservative movement needed to change. Sarah Palin also energized the crowd through the now infamous “Big Gulp” making fun of mayor Bloomberg.
There is no more playing “Mr. Nice Guy” for Conservatives. They tried being defensive in 2012 and it did not work.
It is time to take the offensive–to take action.