By Heath Barnes
Sonnie Johnson started off by saying that 5 years ago she told Conservatives that black men are Capitalist and are more conservative than people think. They desire to be fathers to their children, coaches of their little league, pillars in their communities, etc. but no one listened to her. She said since then she is proved to be correct as President Trump just received the highest number of black men’s votes of any Republican President. She stated that the outcome of the 2020 election could have turned out differently had more focus been on Conservatives within these minority groups. Her response to what conservatism means to her is one of the best definitions that I have ever heard. She said conservatism to her is the conservation of the idea that each one of us has inherent gifts that we are meant to give this world, and that deserves to be protected, even in black skin. All ideas that uphold the Republic start at the local level. If you want your rights protected, you need a base that is steadfast. Reaching out to more of the black community can help create that base, because there are more conservatives in the black community than what is often perceived. The reason the black communities predominantly vote Democrat is, because that party is who targets them for votes much more than the Republican Party does.
Angela Stanton King said that regardless of our skin colors or beliefs that there are some things that bring us together and they are freedom of speech, protection of personal rights, and protection for our children both born and unborn just to name a few. She said that she will continue to fight against child abuse, because she is a survivor of child abuse herself. She will also continue to fight for unborn children’s rights, and against cancel culture. She says when reaching a group of people that the messenger is just as important as the message. The Democrats are extremely good at playing identity politics and we as conservatives do not do that, but we still must know our audience. She said if you want to relate to a single black woman on welfare get someone like herself that can relate, because she was a single black mother that was on welfare and is now a successful business owner.
Shameka Michelle used a great analogy based on the characters from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire. She said imagine that Carlton and Will are both conservatives. Carlton could talk to people in Bel-Aire all day, but you could not send Carlton to Philadelphia you would have to send Will. You must get someone on each person’s level and who has similar life experiences to talk to different groups. This was a great analogy and went right along with what I have said myself and that is you must relate to someone and share experiences to get any point across.
The conference of course finished up with a speech that was full of energy given by President Trump. I was looking forward to his speech and hearing from him for the first time since he left office. I got to hear exactly what I wanted to hear from him, and that is we as a party must come together to take back the House, Senate, and White House. One of the first things that he shot down was the idea that has been floating around about a 3rd party creation. I was so glad to hear him say that as I truly believe if we split the party we will never win again. He said this is our party and we will only win again when we come together and push forward. He did not focus a lot on the election of 2020 but did talk about the voting irregularities and that we must push for election reform. He spoke about Biden’s failed border policies where we are seeing a flood of illegals crossing our southern border that we did not see under his administration. He also spoke of the dangers that we are facing with cancel culture and the censorship of our 1st amendment rights. The speech was a great speech by him, and the crowd was energized and excited hear him. Many in the crowd were expecting to hear him announce a run for President in 2024. I personally did not expect at all to hear that and honestly do not believe that he will run in 2024, however I will be backing him and super happy if he does, because as KT McFarland said the revolution that President Trump started is only halfway over.
To wrap things up in my opinion the Republican Party is evolving even more as a big tent party, and that was proven to me by the diversity that I saw at CPAC. There where people from all backgrounds, cultures, races, sexual orientation etc. that came together with certain guiding principles. There was a large attendance by the Log Cabin Republicans which is the group that I am affiliated with. I was able to witness a gay man and fellow Log Cabin Republican Scott Pressler receive the highest award given at CPAC for his tireless efforts to support the Republican party and Conservatives. We are not like the left where we believe everyone must believe the same exact way, yet we work together to preserve the freedoms that we do have in America. We also fight to ensure that common core beliefs which include equal rights justice and opportunities for all, individual responsibility, limited government, pro-life policies, free market economy, fiscal responsibility, respect for the constitution, law and order, strong national defense, and love for our country are all preserved for generations to come. As the Republican Party evolves and becomes more diverse the left becomes more alarmed. Therefore, the left continues to fight so hard and spread rhetoric that the Republican Party is all racist, homophobic, sexist etc., but as governor Noem said we as Republicans fight for each person’s individual rights to live free according to their god given rights.
In closing I enjoyed my experience at my first CPAC conference, and plan to make this an annual event I attend. Coming together with like minded individuals whether they be private citizens such as myself or elected officials was nothing less than amazing.
- Heath Barnes, President-Maryland Log Cabin Republicans
- Board of Governors- Republican Club of Frederick County
Come back tomorrow for Part Three and hear how powerful those speakers were.
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