NATIONAL HARBOR: Donald Trump dramatically raised the stakes of the 2024 election on Saturday as he warned he was the only candidate who could save America from “warmonger” Democrats and the “zealots and fools” of the mainstream Republican party.

Darkly invoking a nation on its knees, Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that Americans were “in an epic struggle to rescue our country from the people who hate it and want to absolutely destroy it.” “We had a Republican Party that was ruled by freaks, neocons, globalists, open border zealots and fools,” he said, singling out multiple luminaries of the traditional party by name.

American voters, Trump said, were tired of “entrenched political dynasties in both parties, rotten special interests, China-loving politicians” and supporters of “endless foreign wars.” “We’re going to have Word War III if something doesn’t happen fast,” he cautioned in a section voicing disapproval for US aid to Ukraine.

“I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III.” Trump spoke for around 100 minutes to close out the four-day CPAC, a short hop down the Potomac River from the nation’s capital Washington.

CPAC was until recently the premier gathering of conservative thought leaders in America — but it has been swallowed whole by Trump’s far-right “Make America Great Again” movement, with pundits referring to the event lately as “MAGApalooza.”

Former US president promises to prevent World War III

“We are going to finish what we started,” Trump said as he took to the stage, prompting a chant of “Four more years, four more years!” The 2023 edition featured speeches from some of the country’s most committed Trumpists — and even Brazil’s defeated former president Jair Bolsonaro — although many potential 2024 candidates and Republican leadership skipped the convention.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2023

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