At CPAC, Trump Savages The Establishment – OpEd
By Graham J Noble*
The US’s biggest annual gathering of conservative activists, the CPAC conference, has been dominated in recent years by former President Donald Trump, his supporters, and political allies. This year perhaps even more so now that the country – driven almost to the breaking point by an incompetent or perhaps intentionally destructive Biden administration – contemplates another Trump presidential run.
Just before Trump addressed the gathering on Feb. 4, the results of the much-anticipated straw poll were announced. Just over 2000 attendees got to choose their preferred candidates for the 2024 presidential and vice-presidential Republican Party nominations. There was little doubt that Trump would win the poll, but some observers had posited that it would have been embarrassing for the former president if his margin of victory was not in the double digits.
Trump Scores Big CPAC Endorsement
That notion was put to rest when 62% of the vote went to Trump. His closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who didn’t attend the conference, came in a distant second with 20%.
In the vote for VP, former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake led the field with 20% and DeSantis again took second place with 14%.
Trump’s address to CPAC covered all the ground one would expect from any presidential contender. Of course, this candidate had the advantage of being able to review his own record of achievement as president before describing what a second Trump term would look like. His main agenda items included substantial tax cuts, securing the southern border, slashing government regulation of the private sector, and law enforcement.
There was no shortage of fiery language from the 45th president. He vowed to “demolish the Deep State,” and “expel the warmongers.” He described the GOP as a party ruled by “freaks, neocons, globalists, open-border zealots, and fools” before he got elected in 2016. He told his audience, “But we are never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove, and Jeb Bush.”
The Final Battle
Trump also pulled no punches when talking about the Democrats and the broader political left, describing them, among other things, as “lunatics and maniacs.” Setting up the 2024 fight, he said, “This is the final battle. They know it. I know it. You know it. Everybody knows that this is it. Either they win or we win. And if they win, we no longer have a country.”
While Mr. Trump painted a hopeful picture of the future if he is once again elected president, he also gave the CPAC faithful a glimpse of a darker side of a second Trump presidency – though it was an image that most of his supporters would no doubt welcome. He hinted at revenge against, presumably, all those who have persecuted him and his followers since the beginning of 2017 – and perhaps even more zealously since 2021:
“In 2016, I declared, ‘I am your voice.’ Today I add, I am your warrior. I am your justice – and for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”
This speech should have left no one in any doubt that the Trump so many Americans came to know and love – or hate – hasn’t gone anywhere. This isn’t going to be a campaign by Trump 2.0 – it’s Trump 1.0; the original. Perhaps that is to be expected. If Trump had attempted to remake himself for this, his third and final bid for the White House, he might never had been able to catch lightening in a bottle as he did before. Then again, he really isn’t the kind of man who is capable of reinventing himself – nor does he appear to have any interest in trying. For most of the crowd at CPAC, it seems, that’s just the way they want it.
*About the author: Chief Political Correspondent & Satirist at LibertyNation.com. Raised and inspired by his father, a World War II veteran, Graham learned early in life how to laugh and be a gentleman. After attending college, he decided to join the British Army, where he served for several years and saw combat on four continents. In addition to being a news and politics junkie, Graham loves laughter, drinking and the outdoors. Combining all three gives him the most pleasure. Individual liberty is one of the few things he takes seriously.
Source: This article was published by Liberty Nation