The Conservative Political Action Conference took place over the weekend, and by all indications it was a clown show and a frat club party rolled up into one. A British journalist claimed that the conference was a glimpse into how conservatives view American culture, which is to say America doesn’t have any actual culture worth preserving.
This brings us to the quick note about CPAC: Not only was no one at that conference in the business of “conserving” anything organic or real, such as a particular people with a particular way of life, but the focus, once again, was on the Civic Religion of Americanism: The obsession with the Framers, the Constitution, the Rule of Law, individualism, limited government, “freedom,” etc. etc.
This is unremarkable to those in the Alternative Right/North American New Right who know mainstream conservatism inside and out, but it’s important to remember for this reason: The kind of white people who attend CPAC are just as unlikely to stand up for their race or any kind of traditional way of life as the white liberals at silly places like the Daily Kos and Alternet who lament the “white supremacy” of those same CPAC attendees.
CPAC by no means covers the entire spectrum of White people with traditionalist, perhaps even race-conscious leanings, so it’s not like CPAC’s continued failures justifies the dismissal of everyone who calls themselves conservatives but wouldn’t think of attending an American Renaissance or National Policy Institute conference.
That said, a fine line needs to be drawn between the “go along to get along” crowd and the Civic Religion crowd that’s already made up its mind on where its loyalties lie. CPAC 2014 offered yet more proof that its attendees fall in the latter category as opposed to the former.