The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), 2018 began on Wednesday, February 21 and ended on Saturday, February 24. The speakers at this event were a strange conglomeration:
- Donald Trump & Mike Pence
- Secretaries Betsy DeVos, Rick Perry and Ryan Zinke
- Sean Hannity (Fox entertainer and conspiracy theorist)
- Ajit Pai (Chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC))
- Laura Ingraham (radio talk show host)
- Marion Maréchal-Le Pen (granddaughter of National Front (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, and niece of FN current Leader Marine Le Pen)
- Wayne LaPierre & Dana Loesch (Vice President and spokesperson for NRA)
- Nigel Farage (Former leader of UK Independence Party)
- ‘Judge’ Jeanine Pirro (Fox News entertainer; former judge)
- Sebastian Gorka (former deputy-assistant to Trump, could not pass security clearance due to ties to a Nazi group)
There were many, many other, lesser-known, but I found these the most interesting. Of particular interest were Marion Maréchal-Le Pen and Nigel Farage. And while I could do some serio-humorous speculation on the likes of Hannity, Igraham and Pirro, I have another topic in mind for this post, and that is Wayne LaPierre and Dana Loesch, particularly LaPierre, for his speech was … convoluted, at best, and begs for attention. Gorka’s appearance and behaviour was especially interesting, also … I may have to re-visit CPAC again tomorrow!
Wayne LaPierre is the Executive Vice President of the NRA. The President of the NRA is actually Pete Brownell, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Brownells, Inc., supposedly the largest supplier of firearm re-loading equipment. Interesting, yes? But it is Mr. LaPierre who does most of the talking for the NRA, and he is the main focus of this post.
LaPierre’s speech lasted for 35 minutes, so I cannot provide the full transcript (you can breathe a sigh of relief now), but how about a few snippets …
“Chris Murphy, Nancy Pelosi, and more, cheered on by the national media, eager to blame the NRA and call for even more government control. They hate the NRA. They hate the Second Amendment. They hate individual freedom … Their goal is to eliminate the Second Amendment and our firearms freedoms, so they can eradicate all individual freedoms.”
“Any American school that needs immediate professional consultation and help with organizing and defining these solutions should call the National Rifle Association school shield program. And we will provide immediate assistance and we will also provide it absolutely free to any school in America. I’ll tell you this, that’s more than anybody at the Democratic National Committee or NBC News or the “Washington Post” is offering.”
And now begin the shades of lunacy …
“But during the last decade, the Obama decade, many of those leaders have been forced out as a tidal wave of new European style socialists seize control of the Democratic Party. Obama promised a fundamental transformation of our country. And you know what, it began with his own national party. A party that is now infested with saboteurs who don’t believe in capitalism, don’t believe in the Constitution, don’t believe in our freedom, and don’t believe in America as we know it. Obama may be gone, but their utopian dream, it marches on.”
“But how about Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bill de Blasio, Andrew Cuomo, Cory Booker, Christopher Murphy and Keith Ellison? They are not Democrats in the mold of John F. Kennedy or Tip O’Neill. They hide behind labels like Democrat, left wing and progressive to make their socialist agenda more palatable. And that is terrifying. That should terrify every citizen who values the American ideal in this country of individual liberty. They politicize the Department of Justice. They weaponize the internal revenue service. The EPA. Perhaps cripple the FBI. And the Intelligence Community. And seized an embedded leadership in all of them to advance their agenda. Absolute control in every corner of our government is their ultimate dream. These intellectual leads, they think they’re smarter than we are. They think they’re smarter than the rest of us. And they think they’re better than we are. They truly believe it, and you know it.”
You know what terrifies me, Mr. LaPierre? People like you who believe that ‘freedom’ means the right to take whatever you want in life, even if that is another person’s life. People like you who believe that your rights supersede the rights of everyone else. Those of us who are liberal thinkers may, perhaps, not be any smarter than you, but we are a hell of a lot more compassionate toward our fellow human beings!
“We do live in the socialistic age of the art of the smear. Doesn’t have to be true. It just has to stick somewhere. Anywhere. It is designed to degrade, destroy, and it is all over the national media to serve their agenda. And socialism is a movement that loves a smear. Racist, misogynist, sexist, xenophobe and more. These are the weapons and vitriol these character assassinations scream to permanently hang on their targets and create a growing segment of victims. Because socialism feeds off manipulated victims. You name the group, and they will find a way to turn them into victims.”
No, Mr. LaPierre … we did not turn them into victims … you and your ilk have done that with your bigotry and prejudice.
“This growing socialist state dreams of manipulating schoolchildren, to squeeze and squeeze information about their parents. They’ll be asking your kids if mommy and daddy spank them, or what mommy and daddy feeds them for dinner, they’ll want to know what tv shows you watch, what magazines, newspapers you read, and, oh, yes, do mommy and daddy own a gun? And all that private information will be entered into that ultimate list that cloud of data storage that couldn’t care less about due process and constitutional freedom and your privacy as an American citizen.”
Interesting to note that what he describes is precisely what Hitler did in Germany at the beginning of his reign of terror. If there is a danger of those things happening, perhaps Mr. LaPierre might consider the wanna-be king sitting in the Oval Office and point his gnarly finger in that direction.
There is more, but these were the statements that stood out in my mind as those of either a man who has completely lost sight of reality, or one who is seeing the end of his era, and knowing that he is powerless to stop it. Just for the record, Mr. LaPierre takes a salary of over $5 million per year, and his net worth is currently estimated at $10 million.
Trump came out in support of LaPierre’s speech the following day …
“What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing.”
The right thing for who? It is painfully obvious to me, a liberal-thinking ‘snowflake’, that there is nobody looking out for We The People.
And lastly, Ms. Dana Loesch, a media personality (note that I do not say what sort of personality) and spokesperson for the NRA had some things to say also, but one stands out as remarkably reprehensible …
“I’m going to say something that some people are going to say is ‘controversial,’” she said. “Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. I’m not saying you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold… And notice I said crying white mothers because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend and you don’t see town halls for them do you?”
And with that, I will leave you to ponder the fine and upstanding leadership of the NRA, the organization calling the shots at the highest levels of our federal government.