Students Go to CPAC

March 16, 2017

By Vikram Prasad

It’s not every day that you run into former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, but such is life at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Our random encounter with Bolton – before we had even stepped inside the venue – was the perfect way to start the College Republicans’ trip to the annual event held just outside our nation’s capital. 

Sure, we had missed Thursday’s jam-packed slate featuring Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Ted Cruz, Mike Pence, and others, but we were still excited for what lay ahead and the chance to run into folks like Bolton only added to our enthusiasm. 

Of course, the main event was President Trump’s speech on Friday morning, all the more intriguing given that he had skipped the event last year even as all of his GOP primary rivals attended. His speech was much of what we have come to expect from him, with a particularly heavy emphasis on attacking the media. I personally do not support Trump, but it was still interesting to hear what he had to say, especially in person. 

With panels on topics such as Brexit, free speech on college campuses, and Trump’s immigration policies, there was a lot to take in. As an active member of the College Republicans, I hear about these topics on a regular basis, but attending CPAC allowed me to hear from a wide range of experts, surrounded by hundreds of like-minded individuals from all sorts of backgrounds. Despite its reputation, CPAC is far from an echo chamber for conservatives; it is a forum for meaningful debate and a place to discuss policies, with the people who make and influence them. And, maybe, run into former U.N. ambassadors while you’re at it.

Check out more NEWS