For the past three decades, public perception of the Republican Party has never been spectacular, to put it politely. While national-minded Rightists have generally perceived the GOP as a party of spineless, self-serving politicians detached from the concerns of their voting base, left-liberals have long criticized the party as that of neoconservative imperialism, ultra-wealthy white men, country club elitists, and multinational corporations.
At one point, especially prior to Donald Trump’s ascendancy to high office, these critiques may have been well-founded. However, if last week’s events at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Texas are of any indication of the party’s direction, the same cannot be said for the Republican Party in 2022.
The new Republican Party, as I saw it at last week’s conference, has taken on an entirely new character, one that is energized, principled, international yet combatively anti-globalist, multiethnic, younger, unapologetically lobby for working and middle classes’ interests—and has considerably more women, many of whom are among the rising stars of the party.
One needn’t look any further than the list of keynote speakers at CPAC Texas to observe the monumental shift that is presently taking place within the GOP.
Unlike pre-Trump era conferences, which regularly saw milquetoast, establishment neoconservatives like John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum receive key speaking slots, CPAC Texas 2022 reserved the spotlight almost exclusively for fire-breathing, populist-conservatives like Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Nigel Farage, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Lauren Boebert, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, Republican candidate for Arizona Governor Kari Lake, Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance., and of course President Trump.
The Conference’s Overarching Theme: Unite & Fight
By far, the overriding message of the gathering was this: conservative, sovereigntist forces across the Atlantic and throughout the world are at war with the globalists—and if they expect to emerge victorious in this political struggle—they must unite and fight with every fiber of their beings.
In two of the conference’s most rousing speeches, delivered by Steve Bannon and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, both figures emphasized with great zeal the need for patriotic sovereigntists to oppose the anti-democratic, globalist Left with every fiber of their being.
Bannon, during his closing remarks, said:
We are at war. I like our odds as long as everyone one of you is committed. Remember, when you go home tonight think about something. If you’re not 120% committed to this, it’s not going to happen… These are not Democrats from the old days, these are not Kennedy Democrats or guys from the 50s and 60s. These are radical cultural Marxists that want to destroy this Republic. It’s either there way or our way. One side is going to win.
It’s your personal commitment—your 100% personal commitment—will make this happen. If we spit the bit, it will not happen. And I’m telling you, you think what they’ve tried to turn this country into is ugly today, you’ve not seen anything about where it’s going.
Prime Minister Orbán, for his part, echoed Bannon’s sentiments, telling attendees:
The key to our success story is that when we fight we give at least 100%. We tell the truth and represent the truth even if half the world attacks us for it. You cannot win halfheartedly. You either give everything you got or play it safe and lose.
Play by your own rules. You must play to win. You cannot expect victory and plan for defeat. You have to believe that you are better than your left-liberal opponents are—and don’t care what the liberals say … We cannot fight successfully by liberal means because our opponents use liberal institutions, concepts, and language to disguise their Marxist and hegemonic plans. Politics are not enough. This war is a culture war.
Republicans for a National Renewal (RNR) is one organization—whose members I had the chance to meet and speak with in Texas—which has positioned itself at the vanguard of uniting the populist-nationalist conservative forces across the Atlantic.
In comments given to The European Conservative, Executive Director of RNR Mark Ivanyo said that his organization is working to “build a bridge between Republican leaders and the leaders of right-wing nationalists parties in Europe.”
We are convinced that Republicans can learn a lot from European parties, and vice versa. Moreover, there is an organized effort by leftists and globalists: they give marching orders and everyone follows them. So they are always on the offensive, and we are always on the defensive. We have to defend ourselves effectively and eventually be able to go on the offensive ourselves, and that only works when we work together. United we stand, divided we fall.
The New Face of the Republican Party
The presence of several Spanish-language TV streaming networks and media outlets, including Americano Media and Voz Media, both of which are oriented toward national conservatism, anti-communism, and counter-globalism, is also worth mentioning. This is a new development in Republican Party politics, and it is indicative of the New Right’s desire to build a broad, multiethnic coalition to oppose left-liberal globalism.
Walking through the corridors of booths situated inside the conference’s exhibition hall, I was struck by the many tables occupied by grassroots conservative women’s organizations—like Moms for Liberty, Moms for America, Independent Women’s Network, Concerned Women of America, and Young Women for America, just to name a few. This, to me, also appears to be a new development in Republican Party politics, as well as a distinguishing characteristic of the right-wing populist movement in the United States.
In contrast with past conferences, CPAC Texas—having taken place only a few months after CPAC Hungary, which brought together counter-globalist conservative parties from across the world—also exuded a uniquely international character, in what perhaps might come as a surprise to those who are unfamiliar with the disposition of the new Republican Party.
A large delegation of Hungarians—comprised of the likes of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjárto, Managing Director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights Miklós Szánthó, MP Balázs Orbán, Executive Director of the Danube Institute István Kiss— spoke and made appearances in Dallas alongside figures like Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party, and Eduardo Verástegui, a high-profile Mexican actor and film director who’s set to host CPAC Mexico in November.
The Anti-Globalist Message Resonates Across the World
Having attended CPAC’s latest conferences in Hungary and Texas, one thing is clear: the anti-globalist message, whether spoken by politicians from the U.S., continental Europe, Mexico, South America, and elsewhere, clearly resonates in the minds, hearts, and souls of regular working people, and it transcends ethnocultural, religious, and economic dividing lines.
Bearing this in mind, it’s not difficult to understand why the globalist cadre has resorted to desperate authoritarian tactics and strategies to smash this social, cultural, political, and dare I say spiritual movement, as it is, without a doubt, the sole force in the world today that truly threatens their power.
Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.