The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is a yearly exercise that celebrates the intellectual mantle handed down from Edmund Burke to Dinesh D’Souza. It’s a chance to hear informative speeches from politically-minded thinkers like Rick Harrison, the former host of The Apprentice, and Charlie Kirk.
The @NRA is the only organization in America that gets routinely blamed for things their members did not do
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 15, 2018
It’s also a place to broaden your perspective on conservatism by hearing from small-government warriors from across the pond. Nigel Farage, former leader of UKIP, spoke last year, but this year’s conference has a new surprise in store.
Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen and niece of Marine Le Pen, was the youngest MP in modern French history when she took office in 2012, and she’ll be speaking at CPAC this year.
Her grandfather, Jean-Marie, was the Holocaust-denying leader of the far-right National Front (FN) for nearly 40 years, unceremoniously booted from the party in 2015 as part of Marine’s efforts to stop saying the quiet part loud. Marion, too, is a member of the FN, but is known for her support for Jean-Marie, and for resisting the efforts of her aunt to moderate the party.
Resisting attempts at moderation seems to fit right in with CPAC’s spirit these days. Breitbart loves Marion, and inviting her is yet another step towards the howler monkey politics that have infected too many political operatives and institutions who ought to know better.
Jesse Bernstein is a former Intern at Tablet.