AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan
For the first time since he left office 18 months ago, former President Donald Trump traveled to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, delivering the keynote address at a summit hosted by the America First Policy Institute (AFPI). In his remarks, he railed against Democrats’ failures on crime, and promoted a detailed policy agenda to restore public safety.
“There is no higher priority than cleaning up our streets, controlling our border, stopping the drugs from pouring in, and quickly restoring law and order in America,” the former president said. “Under Democrat rule, in Democrat-run cities, Democrat-run states, and a Democrat-run federal government, the criminals have been given free reign more than ever before.”
“Our country is now a cesspool of crime,” he added. “We have blood, death, and suffering on a scale once unthinkable because of the Democrat Party’s effort to destroy and dismantle law enforcement all throughout America. It has to stop, and has to stop now.”
Trump offered eight concrete ways a Republican Congress and the next Republican president – which may very well be Trump himself – could “defeat violent crime in America.” Among them were calls to strengthen qualified immunity for law enforcement officials, rehire police officers who resigned as a result of hostile Democrat policies, and waging a “no-holds-barred campaign” to clamp down on gangs and thwart organized street crime.
“If radical politicians at the state and local level refuse to protect public safety and instead turn criminals on the loose to prey upon the innocent, then the federal government will have no choice but to step in,” Trump said. “Under these circumstances, the federal government has the right to do what they want to do…it’s a duty for us to use every tool, every authority, and constitutional power at our disposal to defend the citizens of our country.”
The former president also reprised his previously stated call to execute convicted drug traffickers. “If you look at countries throughout the world, the ones that don’t have a drug problem are ones that institute a very quick trial death penalty sentence for drug dealers,” he said. “You execute a drug dealer, and you’ll save 500 lives.”
Trump also took aim at what he called the left’s “perverted sexualization of minor children,” alluding to the Biden administration’s support for youth sex change surgery for children and Democrats’ broader effort to push radical gender theory in K-12 schools. Trump derided such developments as a “hallmark of cultural and social decay,” calling on Republicans to focus on cultural renewal along with a restoration of public safety.
On immigration, Trump called for major reforms to tackle the disaster created by the Biden administration. Border patrol officials have estimated that more than 500,000 “gotaways” have entered the U.S. in FY 2022 alone, referring to those illegal aliens who are spotted entering the country but never captured or encountered by border agents. Among this number are likely scores of drug dealers and known criminals who are now moving undetected into American communities. To address this threat, the former president called for mass deportation of illegal aliens and a return to his administration’s border security policies, most of which have been reversed by the Biden team.
Tuesday’s speech at AFPI follows a series of recent Trump addresses that have honed in specifically on public safety and law and order. At a July 8 event in Las Vegas, for instance, the 45th president slammed the Democratic Party for its weak-on-crime policies, urging the next Republican Congress to prioritize legislation that protects police officers and curbs violent crime. “A Republican Congress should help local communities hire tens of thousands of new police officers,” Trump said at the Vegas event, repeating the call to action during his Tuesday remarks in Washington.
Notably, prior to his recent diagnosis with COVID-19, Joe Biden was also scheduled to give a speech on the subject of public safety, in which he, curiously, was similarly expected to call for the training and hiring of 100,000 additional police officers. It seems that the effectiveness of Trump’s message is clear to everyone, even the current occupant of the White House. Unlike Biden and many Democrats today, however, Trump’s focus on law and order as a major campaign theme dates all the way back to his first presidential run in 2016—and particularly to his nomination acceptance speech in Cleveland, where he declared himself “the law and order candidate.”
Trump’s return to Washington—where he spoke just a mile from the White House and in the company of dozens of congressional allies and former administration officials—notably came as Joe Biden’s approval rating has continued to dip into the low 30s and as speculation continues to mount that Trump may soon launch a campaign to reclaim the presidency. “America’s story is far from over, and in fact, we are just getting ready for an incredible comeback,” he said, after teasing a 2024 run several times throughout his remarks. Just days before Trump’s AFPI remarks, he overwhelmingly won a 2024 GOP straw poll at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, Florida—an event at which he also spoke.
Whether or not Trump ultimately decides to seek the White House a third time, however, Americans of all political stripes are increasingly coming to miss the Trump years and coming to see the anti-police, soft-on-crime Democrat agenda for the disaster it truly is.