"Partying All Night With the Anti-Woke Right at CPAC"
Dispatches from The New Republic
After 5 days in Orlando, Florida, I am home. I no longer remember what it is to sleep. Two huge articles for The New Republic, plus partying every night, plus speeches all day, for 4 days, followed by a 30-hour writing blitz. We are veering rapidly into geneva-convention-violating levels of sleep deprivation here.
Scheduling has obviously gone off the rails in a big way here at The Weekly, a substack that has exactly one job (every Tuesday). But I think it will be better from here on out. I’m feeling incredibly inspired after a truly fascinating four-day experience, and have a whole list of things I want to learn more about. I don’t anticipate writer’s block any time soon.
People occasionally thank me for putting myself through horrible depressing shit like CPAC or watching Trump’s speeches or researching the weirdest and worst people on the far right. For me, it’s not a sacrifice. I love this shit. I can’t even explain how much and I certainly can’t explain why. I’m exhausted to the point that I’ve fallen asleep twice writing this, and yet I somehow feel refreshed. Revitalized. Ready to work on new projects, chip away at my reading list, learn more, write more.
I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by the far right specifically or why people do bad things generally. No idea. I just know it’s always been that way. I have this very clear recollection of playing My Little Ponies with a friend when I was 7 and she suggested that one of the ponies “turned bad” and clearly thinking “I don’t think that’s how it works,” and then really wanting to know how it does work. That’s my origin story. I’ve been like this pretty much ever since.
I’m liiving my dream. Can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be able to do this. Hope it never stops.
All this to say: this week’s substack is whatever I just wrote plus the article I wrote for The New Republic. I love how the article turned out. I love that the TNR editor gave me so much flexibility with what to write and how. I love that I was able to explore some things I’ve been thinking about for a long time—the conservative worldview, the conclusion surrounding what it means to be a racist, the disconnect, and why conservatives will put up with Nick Fuentes but not Mitt Rombey. It felt good to write. I hope you like it too.
I have such tales to tell you. Tales that did not make it into the article. I was part of a MAGA rap music video. I crashed the GETTR party. I met a woman who used to design custom costume coats for celebrity dogs. I watched a Rolling Stone photographer troll the mothers who want to ban sexually explicit books from high school libraries, and I watched a 19-year-old girl take on an entire room full of transphobes. I got behind-the-scenes insight into the production of the Project Veritas experience from the choreographer and sound guys who were absolutely thrilled that I understood the thing they were trying to do. Oh, and James O’Keefe gave me in-person feedback on the article. Yeah. What a trip.
If you act crazy enough for long enough, eventually your life will go off the rails entirely and you will have the best time.
All right. It’s time to see how many consecutive hours I can sleep.
Until next time!