A well-known conservative writer was loudly booed Saturday night and later needed to be escorted off the premises by security guards after she lambasted the right’s “hypocrisy” over sexual harassment and misconduct, alluding clearly to President Trump without mentioning him by name. Regular National Review contributor Mona Charon also openly criticized the Republican Party’s embrace of Roy Moore, as well as the CPAC appearance of Marion Marechal-LePen, who is a member of France’s far-right National Front party.
According to an article in New York magazine, Charon, who is also a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, was appearing at this year’s CPAC conference on a panel entitled “#UsToo: Left Out by the Left.” Early on in the panel, she took issue with the appearance the day before of Marion Marechal-LePen, the French far-right figure, who is the niece of former presidential candidate Marine LePen and the self proclaimed political heir to her grandfather, Jean-Marie LePen, who was a Holocaust denier and widely considered a racist and anti-semite. The real fireworks came, however, when she was asked about feminist hypocrisy.
“I’m disappointed in people on our side for being hypocrites about sexual harassers and abusers of women who are in our party, who are sitting in the White House, who brag about their extra-marital affairs, who brag about mistreating women. And because he happens to have an ‘R’ after his name, we look the other way — we don’t complain. This is a party that was ready to endorse Roy Moore for the Senate in the state of Alabama even though he was a credibly accused child molester. You cannot claim that you stand for women and put up with that.”
These remarks were met with loud boos and shouts of “not true” from the crowd and Charon had to be escorted from the event by security guards, ostensibly for her own safety. CPAC 2018 had, up to this point, been a celebration of all things Trump. According to an article in the Washington Post, the annual CPAC straw poll indicated that President Trump enjoys a 93-percent approval rating among attendees.
On Sunday, Charon herself took to the New York Times to pen an editorial about her experience at CPAC. She again took the CPAC organizers to task for booking speakers like Marechal-LePen, as well as Sheriff David Clarke Jr., an extremely controversial right-wing figure due to several prisoners who died or were raped in his jail, including one mentally ill man who died for lack of drinking water. In her editorial, entitled “I’m Glad I Got Booed at CPAC,” she refers to Clarke as a demagogue.
Charon goes on in her editorial to criticize what she calls the “hypocrisy” of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, asking how they could engage in a discussion of sexual ethics when they have embraced both Donald Trump and Roy Moore, a man who Charon says has been “credibly accused of child molestation.” She then proceeds to speak for all conservatives who have felt like the “last two years are a Twilight Zone episode,” watching fellow conservatives abandon “every principle they once claimed to uphold,” before doubling down on her CPAC remarks and criticism of Trump.
“There is nothing more freeing than telling the truth. And it must be done, again and again, by those of us who refuse to be absorbed into this brainless, sinister, clownish thing called Trumpism, by those of us who refuse to overlook the fools, frauds and fascists attempting to glide along in his slipstream into respectability.”
Quite a number of commentators took to Twitter to congratulate Charon for her honesty and courage.