Many criticize CPAC as being an exclusionary conference, representing only a sliver of the conservative movement. This is unsurprising when you consider the very public bans on groups like GOProud and politicians like Governor Chris Christie. However, the obsession over these snubs has the unfortunate consequence of overshadowing how mixed the conservative movement truly is, even at CPAC. You disagree? Take a quick look in the exhibition room.
You'll find an omnibus of causes, peoples, and strategies, many of whom do not fall under the stereotype of an American conservative. You have organizations representing Hispanic newspapers, Jewish Coalitions, and Muslims. There are women's groups, anti-death penalty coalitions, civil liberty organizations, and your state-based campaigns. Yes, CPAC sponsors your typical social conservative advocates, but they're stationed adjacent to Students for Liberty and the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.
You may disagree with many of the angles these organizations take in support of their constituency, but they represent an inherent (and hopefully growing) diversity in conservatism that often gets disregarded. I suggest that anyone interested in understanding the conservative movement purse through participating groups to learn more.