I’m not sure what I expected from CPAC 2022. Prior to 2021, I had never been to a political event. Not one. Sure, I had opinions and I shared them when asked, but events in my home state lit my political fire.
AB5, the god-awful anti-freelancer law in California, forced the LA Times to “furlough” me after I had drawn 35 cartoons in 2020. A bandaid fix-it law allowed me to return to cartooning, but the damage was done, or better stated, it headed me in a different direction.
RedState brought me on 7 months ago, and as CPAC approached, I wondered if I would or should attend as a member of the media. I did, but my medium is primarily as an editorial cartoonist, not a journalist or a podcaster. I suppose I could have shown up with a pad and pen and cartooned what I saw but I’m not a street corner cartoonist (not that there’s anything wrong with that). In any event, my favorite subjects, Biden, Kamala, and Nancy didn’t show for some reason.
So, for my first CPAC, I watched. Attendees ran the age gamut — old to teenagers, suits to dresses, shorts, and hats, straight and gay, Asians and Hispanics but not a single “Latinx” in sight. And yes Joy Reid, there were plenty of conservative Blacks at CPAC. I didn’t do a head-count or estimate percentages — that’s for the other side to do.
The general admission attendees were respectful and polite. I heard only one silly outburst from a guy in the back. He was listening to Rick Scott’s speech. In the crowded hallways, loaded with attendees, media, speakers, and panelists everyone was polite.
The panels, on-stage conversations, and speakers were, for the most part, interesting to watch and listen to. The set design was excellent. A couple of mic issues but the quality of the presentation was terrific. RedState vets Kira Davis, Jeff Charles, Jennifer Oliver O’Connell, Scott Hounsell, and Brad Slager reported from CPAC. I finally met Tony Katz, and instantly liked him, but Brad Slager is likely my favorite because he brought me a beer. Lots of it.
I enjoyed watching speakers who represented CPACs from other countries. Each speaker was passionate and engaged. Some were good, some were great.
Outside the venue on the street across from the gate, there were occasional protestors, but the vast majority of folks there were waving flags and having fun. I walked to the venue from the condo I stayed at and walked through the crowd. I listened to them. It was a party.
I didn’t get to meet some of the people I wanted to engage with. Don Jr. shared one of my cartoons on social media last year, and I wanted to thank him. I knew that wasn’t likely. Seb Gorka also shared one of my cartoons last year on social media. I wanted to speak with him but he was surrounded by people. Maybe they were pulled in close by the gravitational pull of his head. Dr. Gorka is a big man, with an enormous head. And, I wanted to meet Katie Pavlich. She’s friends with the author Jack Carr and my son is also good friends with Carr. Maybe next year.
Why does Miley still have a job?
And wear an American uniform? pic.twitter.com/Snd589oSu5
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) August 21, 2021
Next year will be different. No longer a virgin. Maybe by next year, I’ll see attendees wearing a T-shirt with one of my cartoons on it. Next year I’ll bring something to draw with. I won’t draw attendees on Disney rides. Sorry. I’ll draw political figures. If Joe Biden shows up as an attendee, I’ll draw him on a Disney character ride. Dumbo on Dumbo.
See you next year?
Originally Posted on: https://redstate.com/jimthompson/2022/03/02/observations-of-a-cartoonist-at-cpac-2022-n530409