At CPAC, shirts are red, people are very predominantly white and “blue lives” matter. From a record attendance of well over 10,000, here are a few portraits of people who paid between $70 and $5,000 to cheer wildly for Dinesh D’Souzas’ new movie trailer and boo about “the Donald Trumps of the left,” whoever they might be.

CPAC attendants in high patriotic fashions.
Sheldon, 18, Molly, 18, and Hayden, 20, from Oregon.

Disclaimer: These is not meant to be a representative survey. Just some people. Anyway, they have some things they’d like to tell you.

Jennifer, 20: “I hope Trump doesn’t win.” Ani, 20: “I love Abraham Lincoln.”
Wesley Foy, 20 from North Carolina. “The main reason I came to CPAC was to see [Trump]. I wanted to see all the candidates but mainly him. The only thing I’ll say about it, the whole KKK thing, he should have handled it better and denied it on the record. Towards racism, I can see how people have issue with that, but he won the Latino vote in Nevada. It’s not as if everyone is disagreeing with him. To say he’s racist, I wouldn’t go that far. He’s not afraid to speak out against them, illegal aliens.”
Around the convention center, almost every conversation is about Trump in one way or another—his impact on the party, if he’ll clinch the nomination, the anger in the base at the elites of the conservative movement, the fractured nature of the big tent, etc. The majority of the Trump talk is hate.
Ben from Maryland is for “sanity in America. Was hoping for Ben Carson. He thinks conservatively and behaves more presidential than the other candidates. Flamboyancy gets the attention and Rubio is now forced to win.”
Dominic, 21. Ben, 21. “We’re sick of political correctness. [Trump] speaks off the cuff, no statements of political correctness.” “He’s a businessman, knows how to balance budget. I like his immigration plan, his plan for the Middle East. Ted Cruz is more radical on immigration than Trump, doesn’t wanna let the good ones come back.”
Arianna, 18. “Liberals and Republicans are too in favor of big government. Libertarian is the best third way.”
And now for some flair.
Howard, 64. “Alcohol and tobacco are not scheduled drugs as of the CSA act 1970. Marijuana should be in the same place. Unscheduled, kick it to the states. Rick Perry was my first choice as he was strong on this issue. Trump is okay. The sheriff was a muffin head, 70% of my felony caseload involved crimes related to prohibition. It’s a destructive and immoral policy of course because of racism. I don’t want any kid in this country having a job option to sell.”
Philip, 34. “He has built a campaign infrastructure that is vastly superior to the typical Republican campaign. He has built a successful business. Because he understands that, I support him. The excitement factor, finally we have a candidate that people outside the political process get excited about... The media does this with every conservative candidate, including Ronald Reagan, because he launched his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi in a Confederate cemetery. They said he was appealing to the old South. He hasn’t appealed to racists, you’d have a hard time doing what he’s done whether it’s George Ross, Randall Pinkett who won season 5 of the Apprentice... By virtue of where he is, what he’s gotten, he can’t be racist.”
This is the first year Log Cabin Republicans were granted a full-fledged booth that appeared on the official CPAC map. Members of the “traditional” marriage group around the corner were calling them “a radical LGBT organization masquerading as conservatives.”
It’s important to end by noting that there are A LOT of young people here, some as young as 18—college Republicans here for the activism seminar and the mingling.
Feel the...

All photos are by Simon Zachary Chetrit for Gawker.

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