The Return of the MAGA King
“America’s comeback starts right now,” former President Donald Trump told supporters at Mar-a-Lago, announcing his bid for the presidency come 2024.
“2024. Are you getting ready? I am too. I am too,” former President Donald Trump told a crowd at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on Tuesday night moments before he made the big announcement.
“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” the former president told the room full of supporters after two years of playing coy with the media and the public if the “MAGA King” would try to make a triumphant return. Just prior to taking the stage at Mar-a-Lago, Trump filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission for his third presidential run.
The speech lasted more than an hour, and Trump was much more United Nations 2017 speech Trump than rally Trump. The former president, true to his style, even commented on the energy he was bringing to the speech, which some observers on social media said was “low.” “This is an elegant night and an elegant place. I will not use the term fake news media. We are going to keep it very elegant.”
Though the speech was long, it appeared Trump stayed mostly on script. Trump focused on the issues that helped separate him from the pack of Republican candidates in the 2016 Republican primaries and defeat Hillary Clinton in the general. “I will keep America out of foolish and unnecessary foreign wars, just as I did for four straight years,” Trump promised. “To every worker and family struggling to survive in the Biden economy with inflation destroying their family lives, this campaign will be for you. Help is on the way. Joe Biden has abolished America’s borders. We are going to restore and secure America’s borders, just like we had them before,” Trump added at another point in the speech.
Immigration, trade, an anti-military-industrial-complex foreign policy—these were Trump’s bread and butter in 2016, and gave Trump the opportunity to bash the political elites that created this mess. But whether or not the president will be able to stay on these issues until election day in 2024 remains to be seen, given Trump got away from these issues in the 2020 campaign.
And though he made jabs about the 2020 election here and there, his 2024 announcement speech was not dominated by the stolen election narrative or other grievances the former president has with the election process, though the former president promised to “bring back honesty, confidence, and trust in our elections,” and that the issue was “a personal job for me.” As part of the former president’s election integrity agenda, Trump said he wants legislation that requires voter ID, same-day voting, and the use of paper ballots. He also said “we want all votes counted by election night.”
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One advantage Trump has always had over the political establishment since descending that Trump Tower escalator in 2015 is he seems to understand just how fragile the current American regime is. “I will ensure that Joe Biden does not receive four more years in 2020. Our country could not take that. I say that not in laughter, I say that in tears,” Trump said. “Our country could not take four more years. It’s all very fragile to start off with. It can only take so much,” Trump continued.
And Trump also intuits, in his own way, that this fragility has been the result of conscious policy decisions made over the course of decades, and has only accelerated under the Biden regime. “Our southern border has been erased and our country is being invaded by millions and millions of unknown people, many of whom are entering for very bad and sinister reasons. You know what the reason is? We will be paying the price for years to come. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of deadly drugs, including very lethal fentanyl, are flooding across the now open and totally poor southern border,” Trump claimed. “The blood-soaked streets of our cities are cesspools of violent crimes, which are being watched all over the world as leadership of other countries explain that this is what America and democracy is really all about. How sad. The United States has been embarrassed.”
Despite the carnage, Trump encouraged his supporters to take heart, because “America’s comeback starts right now.” But there’s a long way to go until Tuesday, November 5, 2024. Trump will likely have to face strong Republican challengers in the primary, and who knows if Biden will be the Democratic nominee come 2024. One thing is for certain: the world will be watching. And that’s just how Donald Trump likes it.