The Republican Party has evolved radically in just a few short months to the point that it's virtually unrecognizable in the age of Trump. What does it even mean to be a conservative anymore? That's what Samantha Bee aims to find out; she made a little progress tonight, but mainly uncovered the identity crisis currently occurring in the GOP.
Bee decided that the best way to figure out what in the world is going on in the GOP would be to hit up the source: CPAC. Otherwise known as the Conservative Political Action Conference, the event features top conservative activists and officials. In the past, we took it for granted that typical conservatives such as Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich would appear, but that has all changed.
People who were once deemed not particularly conservative — or way too far to the right — are now being embraced by mainline conservatives, or at least accepted somewhat reluctantly in the interest of maintaining the majority. For example, as Full Frontal with Samantha Bee points out, Steve Bannon was once regarded as too extreme to be invited to CPAC. Even Milo Yiannopoulos was expected to appear until quite recently, when even he took it too far.
The big names at CPAC aren't the only ones who have evolved. There are a lot of MAGA types these days. When Full Frontal asked if today's brand of conservatism is primarily about "pissing off libtards," two attendees claimed, "That's what we do for fun!" They didn't seem particularly concerned about advocating for traditional conservative issues such as small government; as long as their guy can do what he wants, they're happy.
One of the worst things about the GOP is that we just don't know what to expect. The previous Republican Party was very predictable, but with Trump leading the charge, it feels like anything goes. It feels weird to be wishing for the return of political figures such as George W. Bush, but that's where we are. Let's just hope that the remaining traditional conservatives get their mojo back.
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