The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is the big event of the year for anyone to the right of center in politics, journalism, or activism. CPAC 2024 kicks off later this month, and one of the speakers is, of course, former President Donald Trump. Lots of political and media figures will be present.
This year, however, CPAC has some competition. On the same weekend as CPAC, a group called “Principles First” is holding a sort of anti-CPAC, also in Washington, D.C., and the personalities involved shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
The group Principles First is set to host a summit Feb. 23-25 at the Conrad hotel “focused on advancing a more principled center-right politics in the United States” and “rebuilding principled leadership that serves our country—not partisanship or personality,” according to the organization’s website.
Speakers for the event, the dates of which overlap with CPAC, include former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), former federal Judge J. Michael Luttig, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and conservative lawyer George Conway.
The event was described by organizers as an “anti-CPAC summit.”
The reason for the alternative event on the same dates should be clear as well:
CPAC will be taking place in National Harbor, Md., just outside D.C., around the same time and will include former President Trump and many of his allies, like House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Sens. JD Vance (R-Ohio) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), among others.
This isn’t the first time Principles First has held such an “anti-CPAC” (and anti-Trump) event; they also held a competing event in 2022.
See Related: Never Trumpers to Hold Anti-Trump Event During CPAC
It’s interesting to take note of some of the principal political and media figures featured at the Principles First event:
- Mike Pence (didn’t he run for president once?)
- George Conway
- Adam Kinzinger
- Bill Kristol
- “The Bulwark’s” Jonathan Last and Mona Charen
It’s a list of people that seem to be united primarily by their opposition to Donald Trump. That’s fine; people have every right to support or oppose the candidates of their choice –Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, with their less-than-stellar records of electoral success, as much as anyone.
Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump, his capacity for driving his detractors to distraction is unparalleled.
See Related: WATCH: Trump-Obsessed Psaki Absurdly Scolds the Media for Honest Reporting on Biden’s Mental Decline
Biden Campaign’s Desperate Race-Baiting Attack on Trump Gets Ripped to Shreds by the People
CPAC is probably in no danger of losing its place as the 800-pound gorilla of conservative and libertarian events in the United States. It seems like being opposed to Donald Trump is a poor basis on which to form what the organizers intend to be a major forum; what do they anticipate focusing their efforts on when, as will one day inevitably happen, they don’t have Donald Trump to kick around anymore? Will they continue to oppose populist, America-first figures, or will they “go gentle into that good night?”
2024 is going to be a big turning point in American politics, no matter who ends up sitting at the Resolute Desk in January 2025. The success or failure of “Principles First” may well hinge on the outcome of that election – as will so many other things.