March 13, 2017 37th and O

CPAC: “Proud to be an American”

by Natalia Campos Vargas

After a very early Friday morning trip from Georgetown to Union Station, from where I boarded what seemed to be the “red hat bus,” I arrived at the Conservative Political Action Conference, commonly known as CPAC. This event brings thousands of conservatives and curious-minded people to gather for speeches, panels, bootcamps, and free merchandise.

After getting to hear some interesting and new ideas at an event cleverly titled “50 Shades of Property," the room filled and FOX’s Lou Dobbs introduced the main speaker of the day: President Donald Trump, who had spoken previously at CPAC in 2015 when considering his run.

I was quite surprised when instead of “Hail to the Chief,” President Trump walked out to “Proud to Be an American.” Though I must admit that his administration has continuously surprised us with one unusual act after the other. It was this element of the unknown that filled the beautiful Potomac Ballroom of the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel with chants and excited looks. “Trump, Trump, Trump,” and “USA, USA, USA,” filled the room and brought most of the listeners to their feet, anxious to hear what the Commander in Chief had to say.

After an unusually long speech filled with messages of distrust of the media, attacks to his former opponent for the presidency, and what seemed to be an endless stream of campaign-focused messages, President Trump united the room with messages of an aggressive agenda regarding issues that extended from the wall to ISIS, and promised to return to every CPAC in the near future. Once again, he left the stage to an unusual song - The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want" - a hit from the band that was one of his favorites to play at campaign rallies.

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