This past week the famous conservative gathering, Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, was held on the outskirts of Washington D.C. As a first time attendee, the conference provided me and others with many different experiences that helped grow our conservative and patriotic hearts.

The Speakers

Probably the most exciting of these experiences, especially for the new attendees, was the speakers. CPAC hosted speakers like Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Ben Shapiro, and Devin Nunes. Though these public figures remain all prominent draws for people on the right, each of these men had very different messages. For instance, Vice President Pence speaks proudly of his faith, as evidenced in his now famous line, “I’m a Christian, Conservative, and Republican in that order.” 

The Friendships

While it was the speakers who attracted new attendees, a lot of the repeat guests came to see their friends and connections. Conferences like CPAC allow students the opportunities to network and create relationships with other conservative students from all over the country. While this is a great part of the conservative movement, it also means that the only times you get to see them again is at other conferences; which I suppose just means you’ll just have to come back!

Free Stuff

One may ask: “Don’t Conservatives hate handouts?” Well, we’re college students as well as conservatives and we’re on a budget. This conference provided free books, shirts, pens, pamphlets, and food, just to name a few. With the amount of money spent on plane tickets, hotel rooms, and Uber rides, the free paraphernalia was refreshing.

Getting Out Of Class

Not all of the motivations for attending this conference were political. CPAC has a broader scope of interest, and therefore, allows an excuse to miss a day or two of classes. I am most definitely not complaining, but I didn’t get any more sleep at CPAC than I do at school, but I guess that’s the price you pay for freedom.