Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who opened his remarks with a joke about his much-criticized journey to a Cancún resort, forged conservatives as Jedi “rebels” towards the “rigid conformity” of the socialist left — a name to arms at an occasion steeped in complaints of cultural victimhood. This 12 months’s convention is titled “America Uncanceled.”
But Mr. Cruz additionally had a message for members of his personal celebration.
“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,” he mentioned. “Let me tell ya right now: Donald J. Trump ain’t goin’ anywhere.”
Josh Hawley, a junior senator from Missouri, after defending his efforts to contest the election outcomes as “taking a stand,” proclaimed a “new nationalism” that included breaking apart expertise firms, standing as much as China and tightening borders. The “oligarchs” and “corporate media,” he mentioned, need to divide Americans with “lies” like systemic racism. Hours earlier than his speech, Mr. Hawley introduced laws requiring a $15 minimal wage for companies with revenues over $1 billion.
None of the males, it’s value noting, made any reference to Mr. Biden, an indication that the celebration continues to lack any cohesive line of assault towards the new administration.
But what was equally hanging is how far the speeches differed from conventional Republican ideology. A celebration that has outlined itself as defenders of the free market now believes large expertise firms wield an excessive amount of energy and the authorities must put extra restrictions in place. Concerns about interventionism overseas have changed hawkish doctrine as the driving international coverage drive. Nativism has gone mainstream and the politics of cultural grievance, centered closely round race, dominate amongst conservatives that when delighted in mocking delicate liberal “snowflakes.”
Of course, a few of this rhetoric isn’t fairly correct. Although pandemic guidelines differ throughout the nation, stay-at-home orders are lifted in all states and companies are largely open in most. Even as Republicans fret about being “canceled” by liberals, native events in latest weeks have censured members of Congress who strayed from overwhelming help of Mr. Trump.
But Mr. Cruz is right that there are some Republicans who hope that the celebration will revert to its pre-Trump insurance policies and rhetoric. After watching the speeches at CPAC, it’s onerous to think about how the celebration may have as soon as rally round a fiscally conservative, hawkish on international coverage Republican like Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, their 2012 nominee.