Speakers at Biggest Conservative Gathering Warn of Rise of Socialism

February 28, 2019 Updated: February 28, 2019

Key figures in the conservative movement called out the Democratic Party’s surging affinity for socialism on Feb. 28, criticizing the ideology as a failure and a threat to the United States in remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.

In speech after speech, the biggest names among conservative activists, pundits, and officials pointed out the hard swing left toward socialism within the Democratic Party and positioned the fight against the ideology as one of the defining issues in American politics and the 2020 presidential election.

The annual conference, the biggest gathering of conservatives in the United States, opened with a video montage depicting the dangers and failures of socialism. The montage featured footage of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stating that breadlines are a good thing, socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) admitting that she is a radical, and images of hunger and violence in socialist regimes.

A theme-setting opening panel featuring Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) targeted the “Green New Deal” proposal by Democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez, suggesting that the policy is emblematic of the Democrats’ embrace of socialism.

Meadows, taking a humorous approach, ridiculed one of the more bizarre proposals of the Green New Deal, which suggested that the United States would eventually need to get rid of “farting cows and airplanes.” The language has since been scrapped from Ocasio-Cortez’s website, but continues to fuel ridicule of the radical proposal.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) at the CPAC convention in Washington on Feb. 28, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

“With this Green New Deal, they’re trying to get rid of all the cows,” Meadows said, referring to the conservative-owned fast food chain. “But I’ve got good news. Chik-fil-A stock will go way up because we’re going to eat more chicken.”

“We can laugh a little bit about it, but this is a serious thing,” Meadows added. “They’re trying to take away everything that is foundational to who we are.”

Conservative television host Deneen Borelli said that Democrats are openly embracing socialism, with 2020 presidential candidates “trying to ‘out-left’ ” each other. Borelli criticized the socialist policies backed by the 2020 Democratic candidates, including the “Green New Deal” and “Medicare for All,” as horrible.

“America will never be a socialist country,” Borelli said, quoting President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.

Trump’s former deputy assistant, Sebastian Gorka, said that socialism endangers the world and warned that socialism’s encroachment on the United States is an even bigger threat.

“But you know what the biggest threat to America is? Not socialism in Moscow,” Gorka said, transitioning from remarks about Russia’s malign activity around the globe. “[It’s] socialism here in America.”

Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, at the CPAC convention in Washington on Feb. 28, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Gorka pointed out that 52 percent of millennials would like to live in a socialist or communist America, citing statistics from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Some 40 Democrats ran on an openly socialist platform during the 2018 midterm election, Gorka said, adding that communism is taking over America under the guise of Democratic socialism.

The danger of socialism and communism is personal to Gorka, whose father was tortured by the secret police in Soviet Russia.

Like the other speakers, Gorka ridiculed the Green New Deal.

“It’s a watermelon. Green on the outside, deep, deep communist red on the inside,” Gorka said.

“They want to take your pickup truck, they want to rebuild your home, they want to take away your hamburgers,” Gorka said, referring to the Green New Deal’s call to get rid of all combustion-engine cars and rebuild all homes. “This is what Stalin dreamed about but never achieved.”

According to an estimate by the American Action Forum, the Green New Deal could cost up to $93 trillion over the course of 10 years, $33 trillion more than the entire projected spending of the U.S. government in the same timeframe.

Charlie Kirk, a conservative activist and president of Turning Point USA, positioned the fight against socialism as the defining issue in what he called a “culture war” leading up to the 2020 presidential election.

“There is a culture war brewing right now and it’s a culture war different from the ’80s and ’90s. It is one fundamental question. What is America? Is America a place for victims or victors? Is America a place where you can achieve your dreams or dwell in mediocrity? Is America a socialist place or is America a place that embraces freedom?” Kirk said.

“That will be the question of the 2020 election. It will be the most important culture war in American history. And we will win.”

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