Editor’s note: The following is a transcript of the keynote speech delivered last week by Jeff Giesea, organizer of the MAGA3X DeploraBall party at the National Press Club—an event celebrating the inauguration of President Donald Trump and the good people Hillary Clinton included in her “basket of deplorables” who helped to make that happen.
Like many of you, I’m a political outsider. To me, the Republican party of Paul Ryan has always felt weak and out of touch, and my libertarian leanings have seemed less and less relevant in a changing world. It seemed pointless to get involved in elections.
Then Trump came along. A courageous leader who isn’t afraid to take on the establishment. An opportunity for fresh approaches to the challenges of our day. An opening to disrupt the GOP and introduce a new type of Republican.
This is what we are here to celebrate tonight—a new type of Republican and a new movement of Trumpism.
This is a movement. We all know it. We all feel it. And it’s not just limited to America.
Many of you worked hard to help elect Trump. If you’re like me, it’s been an incredible, dramatic, and sometimes traumatic experience. We’ve been screamed at, unfriended on Facebook, disinvited from dinner parties, and called illiterate.
Many times, I’ve had to ask myself: Has our world gone completely mad? Consider the people who called us racist simply for wanting to enforce our borders. Or the media that tried to convince us that Michelle Fields was actually assaulted. Or the special needs kid who was tortured on Facebook live and made to drink toilet water because he was a white Trump supporter. Or the protesters outside who planned an acid attack on this party and threw batteries and smoke bombs at you all tonight as you entered. Who are the fascists again?
We, the deplorables, are here to say enough. Enough of this liberalism gone wild. Enough of this assault on common sense.
You and everyone in this room is part of something new not just for America but for the world. Since the end of the Cold War, there’s been only one option for Western countries: liberal universalism—or what I call “Davos liberalism.”
In recent years we’ve seen the contradictions of this liberalism. Liberalism, it might be said, is eating itself.
Nowhere is this more obvious than with the migrant crisis in Europe—where open borders policies are hampering gay rights, women’s rights, and the very identities of these nations.
We feel this in America, too. Taken too far, the excesses of political correctness and globalism are leading to social fragmentation, growing inequality, and an almost Maoist sense of social justice sanctimony.
We—and the rest of the West—need an alternative to navigate the challenges of the 21st century. We need an alternative that is practical, moral, and common sensical.
Trumpism, in my humble view, is that alternative. Trumpism is the way to preserve our civilization while embracing the future. Trumpism, as I see it, is based on three core principles:
- Sovereignty—by this I mean secure borders, self-determination, and a stronger sense of national identity and shared values.
- Economic nationalism—in particular a focus on making life better for the middle and working Americans, not just the top 1 percent.
- America first—particularly in our foreign policy.
If there’s a fourth principle it would be resistance to the excesses of political correctness—or what many of us refer to as cultural Marxism.
Let’s be clear that we do not want Trump to become George W. Bush 2.0. We may agree or disagree on issues like gay marriage and Social Security reform, but those issues aren’t what define us.
A question I often think about is: How can we preserve our civilization in a way that’s practical, moral, and forward-looking?
I think of my grandmother, who came the United States from Mexico as a small child in the 1920s. Her family wanted the opportunity for a better life. They wanted to be Americans.
While my grandmother was crossing the border, my great-grandfather on the other side of my family was presiding over the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. He was president of the Bohemian Grove, a place of privilege and power. He was a fierce advocate of Western Civilization and ideals.
The challenge of 21st-century America is to reconcile these two sides of ourselves—our Anglo, Western heritage and our immigrant, multi-racial one.
It’s kind of awkward and messy, but I believe we can reconcile these forces. And that we can do so in a way that works for all Americans. I don’t have all the answers, but I am here to talk.
America, this is our “make it work moment.”
We in this room want to be constructive. Our hearts are full. We are not going away. We are determined to make America great again for all Americans.
We are the deplorables. Thank you.