After 18 months, Donald Trump returned to Washington D.C. as the headline speaker at the America First Policy Institute 2-day summit. The conference is a must-attend event among right-wing politicians, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), former Congressman Newt Gingrich (R-MS), and former Senior Counsel Kellyanne Conway all in attendance.
The ex-President was in rare form in his appearance– predictable and unhinged at the same time.
Trump began his speech by suggesting that the U.S. take a page out of China’s authoritarian playbook and execute drug dealers, telling the audience “If you look at countries throughout the world, the ones that don’t have a drug problem are those that institute a very quick trial – death penalty sentence for drug dealers.”
The shameless former President added, “If you execute a drug dealer, you save 500 lives.”
Trump’s proposed tactic was a favorite method employed by the authoritarian former president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who was condemned by human rights organizations for the policy.
In his 'America First' speech in DC, Trump goes on a long tangent about how the US needs to copy China and other authoritarian countries by executing all drug dealers after a "very quick trial," claiming those countries have "no drug problem whatsoever." pic.twitter.com/MqjzrQJOdX
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 26, 2022
In 2018, Axios reported that the wannabe American dictator raised this idea with his inner circle on multiple occasions.
Despite the fact that hundreds of outnumbered Capitol Police and Metro PD officers battled an angry and violent mob of his supporters for over three hours while he did nothing – Trump says that “the radical left’s anti-police narrative is a total lie.”
“Let’s call it the big lie,” he said.
Trump: "The radical left's anti-police narrative is a total lie. Let's call it the Big Lie. Have you ever heard that expression before?"
He then claims police officers are his "heroes" despite allowing Capitol police to be attacked for 187 minutes on 1/6 without intervening. pic.twitter.com/Uqwp6Gcbcs
— The Recount (@therecount) July 26, 2022
He continued his hollow praise saying, “our great police know what to do, but the country has to allow them to do it.” Calling for the return of the “stop-and-frisk,” policy, Trump believes the country should “give our police back their authority, resources, power, and prestige.”
After calling the U.S. a “failing nation,” Trump fear-mongered the America First crowd with an exaggerated description of a supposed crime-riddled nation:
“The dangerously deranged roam our streets with impunity. we are living in such a different country for one primary reason: There is no longer respect for the law and there is certainly no order. Our country is now a cesspool of crime.”
Trump suggested that the “next” President have the authority to deploy the National Guard to high-crime cities to restore order, without the governor’s approval.
Trump at the America First summit just called for federal power to "send the National Guard to restore order and secure the peace without having to wait for the approval of some governor that thinks it's politically incorrect to call them in." Crowd applauds.
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) July 26, 2022
Perhaps one of the most insane – if not shocking – policy proposals by the former President involved the homeless population. With a straight face, Trump suggested the solution to homelessness is simply to move them into unpopulated areas where they could be concentrated away from the rest of the population, i.e., concentration camps.
“The only way you’re going to remove the hundreds of thousands of people, and maybe throughout our nation…and help make our cities clean, safe and beautiful again – is to open large parcels of inexpensive land in the outer reaches of the city.”
He then boasted of planning to supply thousands of high-quality tents, building permanent bathrooms, and medical professionals.
China’s President Xi Jinping should be proud of Trump’s cadging the intellectual property of his strategy to control Xinjiang — that is if he doesn’t sue him for stealing it.
Trump plan for the homeless: Open up large parcels of inexpensive land in the outer reaches of the city… create thousands and thousands of high quality tents pic.twitter.com/Jj3VNSIdBq
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 26, 2022
The low-energy speech was rounded out with 2020 election lies, attacks on the transgender community, and insulting members of the House Select Committee investigating his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as he referred to Rep. Adam Schiff (R-NY) as an “unattractive man.”
When asked why Trump was chosen to speak at the conference, America First’s chief communications officer, Marc Lotter, said the institute picked Trump because “He is the biggest name.”
If the American people thought that Trump can’t get worse – think again. He has shown us who he is, and what we didn’t know has been revealed by the House Select Committee investigating January 6th.
After the televised hearings, we now know just how far Donald Trump would go to remain in power. And, after Tuesday’s speech, we know exactly what he would do with presidential power if ever given the chance again.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick
News journalist for Occupy Democrats.