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CPAC 2023 Proves the Great GOP Transformation Is Real

President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Image Credit: Gage Skidmore.
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Image Credit: Gage Skidmore.

JD Vance and Ted Cruz Fire Up the Crowd During CPAC Panel: Senator JD Vance of Ohio has been busy lately. He probably did not know that a train derailment in his home state would be such a significant story in 2023 and thrust him into the national spotlight.

Vance spoke to the conservative gathering CPAC outside Washington, DC on March 2. Vance has fought hard for his constituents in East Palestine, Ohio who have endured a train wreck that spewed dangerous chemicals into the air and water in early February.

After the chemical leak happened, Vance was quick on the scene. He made a video of a stream in East Palestine that was affected by the spill.

The senator took a stick and stirred it around in the water. Up came the chemicals that showed discolored water that you would not want to drink or touch.

CPAC 2023 Shows Ted Cruz Is Now Allied with Vance

Senator Ted Cruz from Texas who spoke with Vance onstage in a panel discussion at CPAC gave the freshman Ohio senator credit for his actions during the train derailment crisis.

“Everyone here is horrified by the derailment. JD has been fantastic going back there poking public water with a stick and finding all the scary crap that came up from the water. Biden has been AWOL. Pete Buttigieg has been AWOL,” Cruz said.

The Pair Notes that the GOP Has Changed

Cruz and Vance used this example to ponder the future of the Republican party.

Both agreed that the party is now taking the side of blue-collar workers.

Cruz cited the party’s support of rail workers who wanted to have sick days during a potential strike that was averted.

This is a different party compared to the Republicans who were in power 30 years ago.

Vance and Cruz discussed “blue collar conservatism.”

They agreed that the party should talk about soldiers, sailors, nurses, construction workers, and all who go to work and pay taxes. They explained how the GOP should be proud of that base and serve that base.

Democrats are ashamed of that group of voters, they both emphasized.

The Republicans Are the Party of Workers, Vance Said

Vance drove the point home. “What is the future of GOP – how are we different? We are the party of wage earners who work hard who pay taxes and fight wars. We have a different coalition than 30 years ago. The GOP used to be ok with trade deals and China that destroyed the manufacturing base and destroyed middle class jobs. We are the pro-American party not the pro-China party. The Democrats approach to people struggling or if you lose your job, is that they will give you welfare. We support working people and people who are wage earners,” Vance said.

Cruz Lauds Political Leaders Like Vance at CPAC

Cruz pointed out how young leaders like Vance are also the future of the party.

“JD is a powerful and effective person on the stump. JD’s story is a story that describes who the Republican party is. He is from Appalachia. JD’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fantastic book. Probably the best explanation what JD did so powerfully is describing the hammering working men and women and people have undergone and who are not working. There is the opioid crisis and losing manufacturing jobs loss and fathers losing kids. There is a clarion call that the GOP is no longer the party of country clubs. We are excited now,” Cruz said.

What About Covid-19?

Cruz and Vance were also fired up about how the virus that caused the Covid-19 crisis may have been let loose at a Chinese government lab in Wuhan.

They both want Anthony Fauci to be investigated and held accountable, even prosecuted for his activities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cruz explained how three years ago people could be censored for saying that the virus came from a lab leak. You could be banned on social media, he said. Those in charge could deride you as a conspiracy theorist.

CPAC Shows Republican Party Has Made a Generational Shift

It is interesting that Cruz and Vance have their fingers on the pulse of the Republican party. It is now, they believe, the party of the working class in rural areas and small towns who have been forgotten by politicians in Washington, DC.

Cruz and Vance think that the Democrats are abandoning working America and that the left is comprised of coastal elites who do not care about people in the heartland. This is a generational change in the Republican party, according to the two senators.

19FortyFive will continue its comprehensive coverage of CPAC for the next two days.

Former President Donald Trump will speak on March 4 and there will be CPAC’s closely watched straw poll that will give you an idea of who the conservative movement supports to take back the White House in 2024.

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Author Expertise and Experience

Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.