CPAC 2022’s big problem: finding a message about the invasion of Ukraine

The crowd cheered wildly as the music played off stage. It was the Ukrainian take they were hoping to hear, and it was only fitting that a so-called meme lord was the one delivering it. Trump’s party is not the party of senior scholars or of ancient Cold War history. It’s a party that’s become bigoted and plump because of the stories of Hunter’s laptop, Deep State transgressions, and the sinister machinations of the globalists. It is also a party sick to death of bitter wars to save democracy which result in humiliations and lost lives. There is no room in this worldview for an expansionist Russia.

An hour later, Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk wove the anti-interventionist stance into another Republican stalwartillegal immigration at the southern border. “I’m more worried about how the cartels are deliberately trying to infiltrate our country than about a dispute 5,000 miles away,” he said. “When your own country is collapsing, I don’t want to hear lectures about why we have to send OUR troops halfway around the world.” The crowd liked this position even better than the Hunter Biden angle.

I was suddenly transported to August 2021, when Trump addressed an elated crowd of screaming fans in Cullman, Alabama. I remember his face when the cheers turned to boos after urging the public to get vaccinated.

KT McFarland said people would provide the answer. Turns out she was right, but maybe not in the way she had intended. When your power comes from the people, you better give the people what they want, lest you find yourself replaced. The folks at McFarland don’t want to talk about “standing with the allies.” They have no appetite for anti-Russian aggression. For years, Putin’s place in Republican lore has been that of a cudgel wielded by the American left to attack and remove its beloved leader. Opposition to Russia stinks of Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. It’s a bridge too far.

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