Trump again demonstrates narcissism, endorses dangerous view
Updated 14:28, 28-Jul-2022
Anthony Moretti
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at an America First Policy Institute Agenda Summit at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 26, 2022. /CFP

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at an America First Policy Institute Agenda Summit at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 26, 2022. /CFP

Editor's note: Anthony Moretti is an associate professor at the Department of Communication and Organizational Leadership at Robert Morris University. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily those of CGTN.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump is never at a loss for words. Putting a microphone in front of him is the equivalent of putting gasoline in a car; although you cannot guarantee what he might say during one of his rants or whom he will offend during his diatribes, he has been energized and is ready to go.

On July 26, Trump spoke on the America First Policy Institute's America First Agenda Summit in Washington, D.C. To the surprise of no one, the former president of the United States devoted sufficient time to talk about himself while attacking anyone that he deems inferior to him.

In Washington for the first time since January of 2021, Trump made his opinion quite clear: He still ought to be the occupant of the White House. He said he ran successfully for president in 2016, and then won "a second time" and "did much better" but "very corrupt" forces denied him re-election in 2020. Trump then inched ever closer to announcing another presidential bid, saying, "We got millions and millions more votes (in 2020). And you know what? That's going to be a story for a long time, what a disgrace it was. But we may just have to do it again. We have to straighten out our country."

The crowd loudly chanted "four more years," referring to the length of a presidential term.

This "may just have to do it again" line is classic Trump, and the mainstream media always fall for it. Trump provides the headline-grabbing words, and that means any details reporters add about the work of the January 6 Committee are placed in a secondary position. That committee is looking into the insurrection that took place on that date in 2021, when violent protesters stormed the Capitol in hopes of preventing Congress from certifying that Joe Biden had won the 2020 election. A principal theme of the committee's work is that Trump did nothing to prevent the assault, showing an absence of leadership that the committee's members argue ought to lead to indictments on various charges.

As he did days before during a speech at the Turning Point USA conference in Tampa, Florida, Trump did not disappoint the attendees in the nation's capital, and the strong ovations he received in both locations affirmed the overwhelming support the right has for America's 45th president and provided another indication that people of all ages on the right also want him to become the 47th president. 

Inside and outside the Washington hotel where Trump spoke, protesters gathered, and they made it quite clear they want Trump behind bars and never again behind the Resolute Desk, where the president of the United States is often seen as he works in the Oval Office. Inside the hotel, one reporter posted a video on Twitter in which protesters could be heard chanting "No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA!" 

Arrivals ahead of a hearing of the Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 21, 2022. /CFP

Arrivals ahead of a hearing of the Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 21, 2022. /CFP

Those sentiments perhaps were in recognition of what unfolded during Trump's aforementioned speech in Florida. As he spoke inside, Nazi flags, swastikas and awful caricatures of Jews were evident outside. Turning Point USA officials said the anti-Jewish crowds were not affiliated with the organization or had its support. Even if we accept that as true, we must acknowledge that Trump continues to do nothing to tamp down the hate that has gripped the Republican Party since he became its standard bearer in 2016. No, Trump did not birth the hatred, but he most certainly has emboldened it. 

Which brings us to how Trump would like to "straighten out our country."

During his Washington speech, Trump insisted America needed to undertake "an all-out effort to defeat violent crime in America, and "be tough and be nasty and be mean if we have to." He made a specific reference to a crime organization with ties to El Salvador. There is the attack on Hispanics.

He also offered a curious idea about the homeless, who are viewed by many conservatives as troublemakers. Trump said the homeless should be rounded up and placed in "thousands and thousands of high-quality tents" at the "outer reaches of the cities." According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 49 percent of the homeless in America are Black. There is the attack on Blacks.

Trump also claimed plenty of people were unleashing a radical ideology that was anti-God and anti-American and included encouraging children to undergo sex changes. This theme grew out of Trump's contention that the right alone is aligned with God. In Florida, he said, "We are Americans and Americans kneel to God, and God alone." There is the attack on other religions.

These are the values Trump stands for: hatred, racism, virulent nationalism and a twisted definition of Christianity. And these are the values Trump continues to discuss. If Trump announces sometime later this year that he will again run for president, he will retain a corrosive ability to infect his supporters with an "understanding" that white is right and Christians alone are the people whom God wants to build a Christian-nationalist state in the U.S.

As Americans continue to analyze the work of the January 6 Committee, we would be wise to remember that Trump and millions of his supporters will not accept the Republican Party choosing any other person to be its presidential nominee in 2024. More worrisome, neither Trump nor his most ardent followers will stand by peacefully if he were to lose the 2024 election. 

Yes, these are dangerous times in America.

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