Right-wing US meeting: “My pronouns are: ‘Fuck my ass'”

“The militant left in America is the modern version of the book burners,” says Rick Scott, Senator from Florida. “They’re after you,” he says, “you have to fight back.” Probably not every viewer here at the Hilton Hotel in Dallas knows that book burners are synonymous with Nazis.

Sofia Dreisbach

North American political correspondent based in Washington.

But in front of the door of the Trinity Ballroom, in which speech after speech with short interruptions has been lined up since Thursday, a black T-shirt with a Biden photo and a Hitler beard is hanging on a stand. “Not my dictator,” it says. On a roll of toilet paper there is the Democratic “speaker” of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, either behind bars or with a Hitler mustache.

In the hall, Scott continues to taunt the American government. Americans have had enough of their leaders’ “woken” nonsense. The audience cheers and applauds. The 68-year-old was among eight Republican senators who declined to confirm Joe Biden’s election. “We have to get serious,” says Scott. It’s time to have a plan, to execute a plan. “We have to win this fight.”


One stall sells toilet paper rolls that vilify House Democratic “speaker” Nancy Pelosi.
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Image: Sofia Dreisbach

That’s the tone at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), this year’s gathering of America’s right-wing conservatives, which is also attended by many conspiracy theorists and religious right-wingers. Very few here think that Joe Biden is the legitimate President of the United States.

They are coming together in Dallas for four days this year, from Thursday to Sunday, and the number is getting longer every day, because the highlight for many is on Saturday evening: Donald Trump speaks. Criticism of Joe Biden is omnipresent, in the speeches the guests railed against his migration policy (there is almost always talk of an “invasion” by migrants) and against “gender ideology”.

Biden government is reviled

“My name is Ted Cruz, and my pronouns are, ‘Fuck my ass,'” exclaimed Texas Senator Ted Cruz on Friday to roaring applause from the crowd. A large part of the speeches consists not in making political plans of their own but in vilifying those of the Biden administration. For example, Cruz mocks the obligation to wear masks in restaurants, which applied to doors but not to places. “The coronavirus reacts at altitude,” he says while gesturing on stage. The audience laughs again.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz during his speech on Friday


Texas Senator Ted Cruz during his speech on Friday
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Image: AP

Between the speeches, advertising is repeatedly played, for example for a conservative dating platform. Not that you get to know someone, says the young woman in the video, and then find out that he is a democrat. In the trailer for a film titled Kulturkampf, an off-screen voice whispers of the “enemy siege.” Your own freedom is threatened by the cancel culture. Images of bleeding demonstrators and people allegedly silenced, for example in court, are also shown. “Cancel culture is real and coming to your neighborhood,” they say. Anyone who follows many of the speeches throughout the day will see and hear the video over and over again.

The rows are mostly made up of older people, many wearing T-shirts with Trump’s likeness that they bought at the stands or clothes with the American flag pattern. Five women wander through the corridors in red sequined jackets, wearing shirts underneath that together make up the name TRUMP. At the stands there are also glitter pumps with Trump writing and caps with his name or MAGA writing, “Make America Great Again”.

Glitter Trump slogan pumps at CPAC


Glitter Trump slogan pumps at CPAC
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Image: Sofia Dreisbach

Brent Larsen’s chest reads “Reject Communism” and his back reads “Live Free”. The Canadian just moved to the United States. In his home country, “socialism and borderline communism” prevail, as Larsens says. You have to call the system almost totalitarian. “Trudeau has become a dictator.” Fearing for the safety of his company if this “dictator” interfered with the border, he moved his family to Oklahoma. Here in America, he’s not afraid of being shut up. “No one here is afraid to speak freely.”

Larsens says sentences like “They are after our children”, calls the rainbow colors of the LGBTQ movement a “propaganda flag”, wants to know that Germany has a migration problem. “Is it true that women are groped in public places?” Larsens read that. Angela Merkel was a “disaster” anyway. He also shows how quickly speeches at CPAC meetings get bogged down. He says of Ted Cruz that he likes the fact that he speaks straight from the heart. “He knows what’s really going on.”

On Thursday, Larsens listened to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whose name he can’t remember. But he’s also free to say what he thinks. “And Hungary is doing well, salaries are going up.” Larsen’s family drove to Dallas from Oklahoma on Saturday. He wants to take his son to Trump.

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