The Conservative Political Action Conference convened for its annual gathering this past Wednesday through Saturday (February 22 through February 25). Ten Millersville College Republicans students had the opportunity to attend the four-day conference and hear from prominent, influential conservative speakers.
The conference was held at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just a few miles outside of Washington, D.C. Thousands of students have attended this conference every year since its in start in 1974.
The conference is part of the American Conservative Union, which has been establishing conservative beliefs across the nation since 1964. This specific conference is aimed to help guide conservatives and help the conservative voices of students and adults alike establish and share these common beliefs.
Key speakers at the conference included President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Ted Cruz, Sheriff David Clarke and Businesswoman Carly Fiorina.
President Trump engaged the crowd with a forty-minute speech, highlighting immigration control, economy reformation and his signature slogan, “make America great again!’ He focused on prominent change and encouraged the people to be involved and hold the power of the nation as the “founding fathers intended.”
Students were also able to hear from members of Trump’s cabinet who have established this as a new conservative movement focused on reshaping the nation. The speakers were applauded for their focus on America first and putting people back to work, while still focusing on a fiscally conservative mindset.
The conference focused on the inclusion of all backgrounds by creating a widespread republican movement across America. Rather than just the traditional white man, the conference encouraged everybody to join and brought speakers of all backgrounds to share their story on conservatism and republicanism.
The Trump Administration speakers included Presidential Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.
Steve Bannon was quoted saying “hold us accountable.” Both Bannon and Preibus believe that the citizens of the United States need to be in control and need to make sure that they “hold the leaders accountable to the promises we made.”
During the conference, the media manned booths outside of the primary ballroom. News organizations, such as the Washington Post, interviewed students and speakers, featuring Millersville’s own Amy Koss, Allison King, Andrew Longenecker and Angel Pagan.
Trump spoke about the media during his speech, elaborating on the idea of “fake news” and their inability to properly inform “the people.” He encouraged that people avoid the fake news and read the prominent news that actually does tell the truth.
Sophomore Amy Koss had the opportunity to hear from two of her favorite republican leaders, Senator Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. She was able to get a picture with Senator Cruz, which she referred to as an “once-in- a-lifetime opportunity… leaving me speechless.”
Koss was quoted saying “Conservatism is really changing and republicanism is open to anybody who wants to join. You don’t have to be an old, white man.”