RussiaSeptember 19 2022, 9:12 am

National Conservatives Hold Third US-Based Conference in Miami; Ron DeSantis Featured Speaker

US media is report­ing on the third US-based Nation­al Con­ser­vatism Con­fer­ence, held in Mia­mi from Sep­tem­ber 11 — Sep­tem­ber 13. Accord­ing to one report:

Nat­Cons see an exis­ten­tial threat from the sec­u­lar left, and they want to use the pow­er of the state to put con­ser­v­a­tive val­ues back in the cen­ter of pub­lic life. These ideas were on full dis­play dur­ing the Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive Con­fer­ence in Mia­mi, Flori­da, this week. For three days, hun­dreds of con­ser­v­a­tive activists, intel­lec­tu­als, and aspir­ing politi­cos debat­ed the future of America’s con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment at the third annu­al gath­er­ing of the Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive Conference.

Read the rest here.

A Salon report iden­ti­fied the most promi­nent speak­ers at the con­fer­ence, includ­ing Flori­da gov­er­nor and poten­tial Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Ron DeSantis:

Last year, Vik­tor Orbán’s Hun­gary emerged as the nation Nat­Cons saw as their most imitable mod­el. But more recent­ly, Flori­da, which this week hosts its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive Nat­Con con­fer­ence, has been declared Amer­i­ca’s most promis­ing ver­sion of a domes­tic Hun­gary. So it was no coin­ci­dence that DeSan­tis, a nation­al con­ser­v­a­tive light­ning rod and like­ly 2024 can­di­date (even, per­haps, against Don­ald Trump), was the head­line act on open­ing night. Sun­day also fea­tured keynote address­es from Sen. Rick Scott of Flori­da (the embat­tled chair of Sen­ate Repub­li­cans’ cam­paign arm) and con­ser­v­a­tive tech bil­lion­aire and GOP mega-donor Peter Thiel. Mon­day fea­tured speech­es from Flori­da’s oth­er Repub­li­can sen­a­tor, Mar­co Rubio, the slight­ly tar­nished Sen. Josh Haw­ley of Mis­souri and Rep. Ken Buck of Col­orado. Lead­ing South­ern Bap­tist the­olo­gian Albert Mohler will close the con­fer­ence Tues­day night. While both Rubio and Haw­ley spoke at last year’s Nat­Con, DeSan­tis’ debut address was greet­ed with a rap­tur­ous wel­come. Mar­i­on Smith, CEO of the Com­mon Sense Soci­ety, an inter­na­tion­al con­ser­v­a­tive non­prof­it, intro­duced DeSan­tis as not only “the future pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States” but one fash­ioned after Ronald Reagan.

Read the rest here.

Salon fur­ther reports on DeSan­tis’s speech with themes echoed by oth­er speakers:

  • Even if Twit­ter, Face­book and Google are not “for­mal­ly col­lud­ing with the [Chi­nese] gov­ern­ment,” he con­tin­ued, “they are de fac­to the enforce­ment arm of regime narratives.”
  • DeSan­tis also echoed oth­er speak­ers on Sun­day in attack­ing the recent FBI search of Don­ald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago res­i­dence as evi­dence that nation­al law enforce­ment and nation­al secu­ri­ty agen­cies “have been weaponized” “against the rest of us.”
  • They tend to view many large cor­po­ra­tions with skep­ti­cism, believ­ing that they have become a cor­ner­stone of “woke” cul­tur­al hege­mo­ny and — per­haps to a less­er extent — that they have fos­tered a labor mar­ket that harms mid­dle-class fam­i­lies. DeSan­tis echoed some of these argu­ments as well.

A Feb­ru­ary 2022 Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report exam­ined the new and devel­op­ing alliance between US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean nation­al­ists, described as a poten­tial means for Rus­sia to exert covert influ­ence in Europe and the US, using Hun­gary as a plat­form. The report iden­ti­fied a series of ear­li­er Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive con­fer­ences spon­sored by the Edmund Burke Foun­da­tion and char­ac­ter­ized them as follows:

In the US, the Nation­al Con­ser­vatism alliance is being spear­head­ed by the EDMUND BURKE FOUNDATION, head­ed by an Israeli aca­d­e­m­ic who had his ori­gins in a lit­tle-known Israeli-Amer­i­can con­ser­v­a­tive nexus. This foun­da­tion has spon­sored five unusu­al inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ences bring­ing togeth­er a wide vari­ety of US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean right-wing nation­al­ist politi­cians, aca­d­e­mics, and oth­ers for the first time. The most promi­nent of these was Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor ORBÁN, who took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to rail against “the com­mu­nist way of think­ing.” Oth­er promi­nent speak­ers have includ­ed FOX News star Tuck­er CARLSON and three Repub­li­can US Sen­a­tors. The con­fer­ences were said to have an “apoc­a­lyp­tic” tone, with speak­ers assail­ing var­i­ous alleged left-wing attempts to destroy nation states, fam­i­lies, and local cul­tures, and anti-immi­gra­tion sen­ti­ments were also expressed.

Read the full report here.

The GIOR report fur­ther concludes:

…the ORBÁN gov­ern­ment, has spon­sored events and teach­ing posi­tions for promi­nent US right-wing fig­ures. Rus­sia has already begun to employ Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive themes in its influ­ence oper­a­tions which will like­ly find a more recep­tive West­ern audi­ence than in the past. Hun­gary is par­tic­u­lar­ly fer­tile ground for Russ­ian exploita­tion of Nation­al Con­ser­vatism giv­en the exist­ing close rela­tion­ship between Russ­ian and Hun­gar­i­an elites and an exten­sive pre-exist­ing Russ­ian influ­ence network

The Mia­mi con­fer­ence reflect­ed ongo­ing links between US nation­al con­ser­v­a­tives and their Hun­gar­i­an coun­ter­parts. Con­fer­ence pub­lic­i­ty mate­ri­als iden­ti­fied con­fer­ence speak­ers Balázs Orbán, the  Polit­i­cal Direc­tor for Vik­tor Orbán (no rela­tion), and Rod Dreher, a US jour­nal­ist and avid sup­port­er of Orbán. Balázs Orbán also tweet­ed that he appeared on a con­fer­ence pan­el on the “Woke World Order.” [see note below]

GIOR report­ed ear­li­er on a Dutch polit­i­cal par­ty fig­ure and con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist with close ties to Rus­sia who spoke at the aca­d­e­m­ic year open­ing of a Hun­gar­i­an edu­ca­tion facil­i­ty asso­ci­at­ed with the gov­ern­ment of Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orbán.

[NOTE: Woke (/ˈwoʊk/ WOHK) is an Eng­lish adjec­tive mean­ing “alert to racial prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion” that orig­i­nat­ed in African-Amer­i­can Ver­nac­u­lar Eng­lish (AAVE). Begin­ning in the 2010s, it came to encom­pass a broad­er aware­ness of social inequal­i­ties such as sex­ism, and has also been used as short­hand for Amer­i­can Left ideas involv­ing iden­ti­ty pol­i­tics and social jus­tice, such as the notion of white priv­i­lege and slav­ery repa­ra­tions for African Americans.


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