by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Her friends warned her “not to get killed,” and wanted to have her check in regularly with them to make sure she was safe.
So what did Wahed find? Diversity — and a sense that she’d applied some prejudices of her own unfairly: …
“… Where some saw a circus, I saw a big tent. I spoke with Jennifer C. Williams, chairman of the Trenton, N.J., Republican Committee and a transgender activist. Twenty feet away, I spoke with a religious leader who opposes same-sex marriage. While a panelist touted capital punishment, several attendees crowded the Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty booth. Hours after President Trump recast Oscar Brown Jr. ’s song “The Snake” as an ugly anti-immigrant parable, several influential Republicans were asking me, a naturalized citizen, how they can support my startup.
In retrospect, I’m embarrassed at how nervous I was when I arrived. I found myself singing along to “God Bless the USA” with a hilariously rowdy group of college Republicans, having nuanced discussions about gun control and education policy with people from all walks of life, nodding my head in agreement with parts of Ben Shapiro’s speech, and coming away with a greater determination to burst ideological media bubbles.”
First off, allow me to offer my sincere appreciation for Wahed, both for her willingness to attend the conference and for her determination to write honestly about the experience. She could have easily just offered a snarky anthropological look at CPAC and conservatives; Lord knows there’s plenty of material for that, and other media outlets seem to find endless enthusiasm for such takes. Her friends and colleagues might have appreciated that kind of narrative.