By Michelle Lee -
I wasn't sure what to expect my first time attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, commonly called CPAC. I had plenty of time to think about it on my 24-hour drive there from Joliet, Illinois to Orlando, Florida. Don't worry – I didn't drive the whole way myself. My friend Jasmine and I took turns sleeping, as our kids crammed in the backseat due to all of our luggage. It felt like a real life version of "Are We There Yet!" We were all glad to finally arrive and enjoyed the beautiful weather poolside before bed. I could hardly sleep due to my anticipation about my first day at CPAC.
The next morning I attended a meeting for volunteers where we were given further instructions, badges and t-shirts. I was pleasantly surprised at how organized everything was and the variety of things to choose to do. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to volunteer at CPAC, which comes with plenty of perks! However, this did limit the time I had available to experience everything, so I would keep that in mind if you choose to volunteer. Also keep in mind as a volunteer you can be assigned anywhere during your 4 to 6 hour shift. I was assigned to work the doors in the General Session area, which turned out to be pretty cool for a few reasons.
When I arrived for my shift, I realized I was assigned to the media entrance. Due to limited space for social distancing, it was more like a security position. My job was to make sure the media that had a specific pass could come in to watch the speeches live on stage. I was to redirect any other media to an overflow room where they could watch the speeches from a screen. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to meet and work with some of the people who organized CPAC. However, the best part was on Sunday when I had the opportunity to work with the Secret Service to guard the media entrance during President Trump's speech.
The audience could feel President Trump spoke from his heart, with authority, very clearly covering many important issues facing America. I stood in amazement thinking about how he had been cheated, mocked and harassed by the mainstream media and some Americans; yet here he was, addressing the nation.
At the same time, Biden hides behind a barricaded wall surrounded by the National Guard to protect himself from the very people that supposedly elected him. I admire the hope Trump represents to those of us willing to stand up against the smoke of tyranny ascending from the bottomless pit of medical opinions upon America.
The media, elected and unelected persons, as well as government- and privately-funded organizations that have crowned themselves with the authority to force shutdowns, quarantines, social distancing and mask mandates based on unproven projections riddled with hypocrisy, are like locusts on our nation's economy and God-given rights of its people.
This trip was special for many reasons, but one thing that made this trip so significant was that it fell on the Jewish holiday, Purim. To my surprise, one of the activities to choose from at CPAC was to attend an authentic Jewish ceremony for Purim. I was even given an authentic Siddur (Jewish prayer book) translated in both English and Hebrew. As a Judeo-Christian, I find that celebrating the feasts in the Bible helped connect me to the time period, traditions and historical aspects of when the stories were written and give insight into biblical prophecy and what is going on today.
If you are not familiar with the story of Purim, it can be found in the Old Testament Book of Esther. In the story, Esther becomes the Queen of Persia. Her Uncle Mordecai informs her that the King's advisor Haman has a plot to kill all of the Jews. What stood out to me this year was her first reaction being that of fear because no one was allowed to approach the king under penalty of death. Mordecai convinced Esther to petition the King by explaining to her that her position at the palace will not protect her and that if she remains silent, God will provide salvation through other means but that "You and your father's house will perish."
It reminds me of what is going on at this very moment in society as many Americans have stood by as the Silent Majority, expecting that all of the political policies would not one day come knocking on our doors. The time has come where the overreach of big government has become a crushing financial burden and encroachment of our freedoms in the guise of safety.
We have a choice: sit back and be silent, or make our voices heard!
This is why I am running for Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees. Our schools are pivotal in restoring our nation's morals and values. I grew up in Joliet, went to public schools and attended JJC. I am an active member of our community, victims' right activists, an avid reader with a desire to better our community and the conviction to no longer be silent – no matter the cost.
The election is on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Early voting has already begun.
Overall CPAC 2021 was an amazing experience, uplifting and inspiring to be around so many like-minded people promoting freedom, liberty, and justice.
For more information you can check out cpac.conservative.org