A liberal might not have much liked it, but its grandees have commanded a respect that if anything has grown down the years: from its intellectual powerhouse William Buckley, founder of , with his languid manner and mid-Atlantic drawl, to the sainted Ronald Reagan himself.
Another constant of the movement for the last 40 years has been CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of activists and true believers that gave a sense of where the movement was heading.
A decade ago, Trump was considered if anything a Democrat.I recently started going to therapy for some pretty serious self esteem issues that had led to me isolating myself for a long time.Up until this year I hadn’t been to a non-family social event – including just one-on-one hangs – in over five years (and even before that it was pretty rare)."I remember them well." The 73-year-old president paused to allow the laughter to permeate the room before going in for the kill."Of course, I was only a boy at the time," he added with impeccable comedic timing."We need to teach the Republican establishment a lesson," says Newt Gingrich, and with that he has finished to a wall of applause.So there we are, a day at CPAC with all the contenders other than Ron Paul. Gingrich appeared to get the most enthusiastic response, followed by Mitt Romney, and an oddly downbeat Rick santorum, who should have been the most upbeat. One is the CPAC straw poll of presidential candidates, which will tell us who has the most conservative mojo – although this like any straw poll is open to manipulation by campaigns.The battle between Trump’s version of conservatism and the conventional variety is not yet decided.It may yet be he makes one error too many and the establishment rallies its forces, and stages its counter-coup Once upon a time there was an American conservative movement.A fat girl talking about sex is almost always a punch line, a character for everyone else to make “ew, gross” faces about.Despite intellectually knowing better, I’ve internalized this message.