Originally published March 3, 2021
The annual gathering of Conservatives from around the country, CPAC, occurred this past week, and as usual, the trained eyes of the Left eagerly searched for weaknesses to exploit. For a Party that thrives on conspiracy theories, this latest one is a doozy. The story around CPAC is that the stage was deliberately designed to look like an obscure Nazi symbol no one has ever heard of.
The Left, which likes to claim that conservatives fall prey to conspiracy theories like Q-Anon on a regular basis, gobbled this one up with a spoon. The CPAC stage was apparently similar to the Odal Rune, which was used on the uniforms of the 7th Volunteer Mountain Division of the Nazi SS, which occupied a part of Yugoslavia during the war. The symbol goes back centuries before that. Anyone without a history doctorate in Yugoslavian history during the first half the 20th century would have never noticed it, but the online sleuths figured it out.
This was merely confirmation bias for many who believe that CPAC is an annual gathering of Nazis, as they believe that all conservatives are, in fact, Nazis. Alyssa Milano told her 2.9 million Instagram followers, “This is the stage at CPAC. THEY’RE NOT EVEN TRYING TO HIDE IT ANYMORE,” with a picture of the stage. Filmmaker Morgan J Freeman (not the actor) tweeted, “The [CPAC] stage is designed to be a rune used by the Nazis…” to which California Representative Eric Swalwell replied, “I’ve seen enough of these that I’m concerned. Is this for real? Did [GOP Leader] McCarthy speak from a stage shaped like a Nazi symbol?” Many other leftist celebrities and politicians jumped on this bandwagon on social media.
Democrats used this preposterous conspiracy theory to attack the hotel chain Hyatt, which hosted CPAC. They demanded that the stage be torn down and rebuilt in the middle of the 4-day conference, and anything less would be implicit approval of Nazi imagery. Hyatt, at first, stood by CPAC. “We take pride in operating a highly inclusive environment and we believe that the facilitation of gatherings is a central element of what we do as a hospitality company,” a spokesperson for Hyatt told Fox Business. Later, Hyatt tried to distance themselves from CPAC. “The CPAC 2021 event is hosted and managed by the American Conservative Union that manages all aspects of event logistics, including the stage design and aesthetics,” they wrote in a statement. Later still, they issued another statement trying to get back into the Left’s good graces. “When we learned that CPAC 2021 stage design had been compared to a symbol of hate,” they wrote, “we promptly raised this concern with meeting organizers who strongly denied any connection to such symbols. Had we initially recognized the potential connections to hate symbolism, we would have proactively addressed it prior to commencement of the event.”
CPAC fought back against the claim that they were solely responsible for the stage design. “For months we have collaborated with your team on logistics, including sharing, reviewing, and approving the stage design that was created by one of our subcontractors,” they wrote in a statement. “The fact that no one on the Hyatt staff ever raised concerns during the process shows the ridiculous nature of your statements. Moreover, your statements falsely conceal your oversight role. In fact, the Hyatt Hotel, with our organization and subcontractors, approved and worked collaboratively to build this stage. Only after a coordinated far-left assault to destroy our conference arose did you succumb to lies and compound them with your own.”
As we live in a world with an ever-changing news cycle, this story will likely be forgotten by the time this column is published. The sheer amount of digital ink spilled on this insanity, though, is where the true tragedy lies. Every time the Nazi accusation is falsely hurled around like it’s nothing is a time where the word itself loses more and more meaning. The same can be said about other accusations that are consistently and falsely tossed at conservatives. Accusations such as, “racist,” “sexist,” xenophobe,” and more have lost nearly all meaning. Anyone on the receiving end of these accusations should, in theory, simply shrug it off – if there were no real-world consequences.
But those real-world consequences do exist. Hyatt changed their tune about CPAC once “Boycott Hyatt” became a trending topic. After a year of record bankruptcies in corporate America, companies are even more risk-averse to negative publicity than they were before 2020. What hotel would do business with a conservative organization if leftwing lunatics will make up a story, which will be disseminated by celebrities and politicians, which will lead to a possible boycott of your hotel? Will any company be willing to take that risk?
Democrats who don’t believe in this nonsense have a choice to make. Will they stay silent until the mob comes after them for an innocuous incident? Or will they speak out against those on their side of the aisle and say in a clear voice, “Republicans are not Nazis.” That should be a simple thing to say, and there is no chance of American unity without it. Joe Biden, as leader of the Democrats, expressed a desire for said unity. Let’s see if he is willing to tell his own side to stop taking all the meaning out of the most egregious of accusations.
Moshe Hill is a political columnist and Senior Fellow at Chovevei Zion. You can find Moshe on his blog at www.aHillwithaView.com, facebook.com/aHillwithaView, or twitter.com/TheMoHill.