NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre gave a master class in choir-preaching at the annual CPAC conference in Maryland on Thursday. We've broken it down so that should you ever need to give a speech, you have better advice than that thing about visualizing people's underwear.
1. Thank the people that pay your salary.
When LaPierre took the stage, he started off exactly where the head of a membership-based organization should: by thanking the members. "There must be some NRA members out there," he said to applause. "I'd like to thank you for being here today with me and I'd like to thank you for your support and your vigilance in defending our freedom," LaPierre continued. "It's really made a difference." Which is true: the NRA's effectiveness at blocking incursions into the ability to own firearms is legendary.
LaPierre did not thank his other constituency, the gun manufacturers who, according to the Huffington Post, gave the NRA between $14.7 and $38.9 million between 2005 and 2012.
2. Prove you belong in the room.
In short order, LaPierre ticked off nearly the entire "Things Conservatives Are Mad About / Hate" checklist. Political elites and the media (who are "lying to us, you know they are"). Passing bills without reading them! Reckless health care policies! The IRS as a weapon! Attempts to "regulate our religion" and "collect our cell phones and email data"! Then, firing as rapidly as a modified AR-15: "They give us Solyndra, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Obamacare, massive unemployment, a debt that will choke our grandchildren and one executive order after another right on top of each other." Wham wham wham wham targets destroyed.