For the past several years, Trump has emerged as one of the most prominent conspiracy theorists questioning the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate. He has done so mostly to draw attention to himself. CPAC flouts conservatism’s rich intellectual tradition by inviting such a transparent crackpot.

And if the invitation criteria are principles and litmus tests, it should be noted that Trump isn’t exactly a conservative. He once described himself as “totally pro-choice” to Fox News. He told CNN that “I’ve been around for a long time. And it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” Trump wrote in his 2000 book “The America We Deserve” that “The Canadian [health care] plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans. … We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan.” In the same book, Trump proposed a wealth tax to boost the economy. And his position on free trade was to tell China: “Listen you m—-rf—-s, we’re going to tax you 25 percent.”