CPAC 2014 has started, and a lot of great speakers have been presented. Information on a vast array of topics has been presented. So what? Information and ideas are great; charisma and energy are necessary. That is what is missing from the movement.
Speakers like Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Chris Christie etc. do not have the energy, nor the charisma to provide what the right needs. How can we expect to energize the population when the potential is not there? This is not something unique to Millennials. Barack Obama has tremendous charisma, and was able to win over an incredible amount of people of all age groups to his side. Such charisma and power is missing from the Conservative movement. Having the message is important, yes. But without candidates that empower and embolden the grassroots, such a message is rendered useless.
There were two exceptions to this seemingly constant trend at CPAC 2014: Senator Rand Paul (as we expected), and Governor Rick Perry (no one expected). As the time began to approach for Senator Paul’s speech, the room began to fill to the breaking point with people (I could not even see the Senator from my media spot in the back). Paul seems to be a front runner for the 2016 presidential election, and has been leading in many straw polls over other candidates like Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and Bobby Jindal.
What no one expected was Rick Perry’s fiery address during the first part of day 2. Perry entered with an air of charisma and confidence not seen in other speakers. Could Perry be setting himself for a potential run in 2016? Only time will tell, but he seemed to show the confidence, charisma, and energy that has been largely lacking at CPAC 2014. What must be considered though is that Millennials have been more libertarian-leaning than hardcore Conservative. This will be a major issue going into the next few elections, as more Millennials will be voting. Whether it is Conservative or libertarian, the pendulum seems to be swinging to the right.
In recent history, there were two candidates who got people fired up and started a movement. They were Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul. Both candidates stood firm to rock solid principles, and did so with a charismatic and energetic attitude. People saw that energy, and it rubbed off on each movement. The Reagan revolution brought about some of the best economic times in American history. The Ron Paul revolution is still active, and the potential is still there, specifically among Millennials. This potential will only be unlocked by leaders that are able to unlock it.
This movement will not grow, however, if the leadership in the Republican Party does not find an energetic candidate who can do just that. There are dozens of very important issues that our nation is facing right now, but without charismatic leadership there will not be elected officials who will fix that problem. Let the Republican Party and Conservative movements take note of this. If you want to win elections, find charismatic leaders who stand on solid Constitutional freedoms. The status quo will always lose in the face of Progressives, stop running such candidates.
The last part of CPAC certainly created more of a stir than the first. Dr. Ben Carson and keynote speaker Sarah Palin both stirred up the crowd on topics like Obamacare, Russia, jobs etc. Palin’s version of Green Eggs and Ham certainly created one of the biggest cheers from the crowd of the entire weekend.
It was not only the speakers though that proved the energy finally started to come in. The straw poll put on by the Washington Times put in candidates like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Sarah Palin etc. The results showed Rand Paul winning an astonishing 31% of the vote. To compare results, the second place winner only received 11% of the vote, that being Ted Cruz. Want to know something else? 46% of the votes came from those 18-25 years. That is an incredible amount of young voters. What this demonstrates is that the energy really does lie with Millennials. They overwhelmingly voted for Rand Paul in the straw poll, and that is something the GOP must take into consideration when considering nominees for the presidential race.