Some have noted that this CPAC has lacked the energy and enthusiasm of previous years. It took a speaker from across the pond to bring it back to life.
Daniel Hannan, who has been a conservative member of Parliament for South East England since 1999, shot to fame among the right in this country for his 2009 European Parliament speech that went viral online. “The truth, prime minister, is that you have run out of our money,” he famously told former UK leader Gordon Brown.
He came to CPAC “as a patriotic British conservative” with a dire warning: the United States, in which the British ideal of representative government reached its “most sublime form,” is on a crash course to wind up in a European Union-scope disaster.
“If you repeat our mistakes, if you shift power from the 50 states to Washington … we know exactly what lies in store for you,” Hannan said.
“I am living in your future, or at least the future your leaders seem intent on taking you,” he said. “And believe me, you are not going to enjoy it.”
He joked that whereas a few perpetuate rumors that President Obama was born in Kenya, he knows the president was really “born in Brussels.”
“We’re screeching toward the cliff” with a few politicians “desperately trying to hit brakes,” Hannan said. “When we look in the rearview mirror we see you, desperately trying to accelerate!”
“My friends, there is still time to turn aside,” he said.
Hannan said the EU “is in the grip of a prolonged winter, literally and figuratively,” from Greece deteriorating to the point of being “ungovernable” to France, where “every weekend there’s a protest against a plan to raise their retirement age to 42 or whatever it is.”
“To see how the U.S. policy is set apart from others, compare it with the alternatives…and see how dangerously you are approaching it.”
The funny, poised parliamentarian, who clearly gave one of the best speeches at CPAC, urged conservatives to infuse their words with warmth and positivity. “It is when we are optimistic that we win,” he said.
Changing course starts with legislators, he stressed, and strong, determined majorities in Congress.
“Every congressman should take his oath of office seriously; that’s all you need,” Hannan said. “The greatness of a constitution like this is reflected by those who serve under it.”