The Brilliance of Trump’s 2015 Announcement Speech, Seven Years Later

Immigration. Trade. War. The GOP already has the formula it needs for sweeping victory in this fall’s midterm elections. Republicans just need to follow it. 

Donald Trump showed the way. His presidential announcement speech in 2015 was a masterpiece of political rhetoric. It was also a blueprint for a message that could cut through the nightmare web of corruption, decay, and incompetence that characterizes our modern political system. 

Trump’s focus on issues of national sovereignty—the big three issues of immigration, trade, and war—was the reason this former reality TV star rocketed to the highest office in the land. It is also why the American political establishment pulled out all the stops to remove him from that office. 

Trump, rightly, is angry about the 2020 election and social media censorship. The vast bulk of his posts on Truth Social and Telegram are about election integrity and encouragements to his supporters to follow other banned voices. But those issues, on their own, will not be enough to propel Republicans to the kind of critical mass of votes necessary to enact sweeping change. 

Trump should not lose focus of the big three. Neither should those riding on his coattails. If Ron DeSantis, Blake Masters, J. D. Vance, and company want to be the future of the GOP, they need to keep holding high the torch that Trump carried so effectively in 2015-2016.


In his announcement speech, Trump’s take on immigration was simple and extremely memorable: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best . . . They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

This line caused liberals to kvetch for months. (They still do.) It was also brilliant. Trump stated what is obvious to anyone who has ever spent time (or grown up) in a community enriched by Third World mass migration. My father remembers when my hometown in California didn’t have Mexican drug gangs spraying graffiti on every block and committing murders every other month. 

Today, whole swaths of my hometown feature store signs that are only in Spanish. Most of the old stock residents have fled to the suburbs or simply left the state. A massive homeless encampment surrounds the rail line that runs through downtown. 

The libertarian and globalist lies about the benefits of illegal immigration to GDP are fundamentally insane. Mass immigration from central America drives down wage growth for blue-collar work, spikes housing prices, increases crime, enacts dramatic social change, and empowers the Democratic Party. Trump made it possible to talk honestly about immigration. His Republican hangers-on should follow suit. 

Trump’s solution in the 2015 speech was simple: Build the Wall. Make Mexico pay for it. This strategy should still be at the forefront of Republican policy with the addendum that legal immigration should also be curtailed. America First Republicans should call for, at minimum, a 50 percent cut in annual migration to the United States. And countries with lots of visa overstays should be banned from sending additional visitors to America until they get their populations under control. Play by the rules or lose access to America. Simple. 


Trump caused a greater change in public opinion on trade than on any other issue in the 2016 cycle. Before Trump, I was an unthinking free trader. I accepted the basic libertarian take: let markets decide winners and losers. If American workers cannot compete with Chinese laborers in making widgets, then the Chinese deserve to make them. They’re more efficient. American should do something else. That’s the invisible hand at work. QED.  

Trump forced me to come to a reckoning. This simple, Econ 101 logic doesn’t work so well in the real world. If China owns all of the world’s steel production, what happens if America needs that product and the Chinese don’t want to sell it to us for political reasons? What if we go to war?

Moreover, human beings aren’t robots. A man who has spent his whole life building engines on an assembly line can’t just switch to computer programming if his job is sent overseas. And countries, like China, where workers are treated like serfs and environmental destruction is considered totally normal, enjoy a competitive advantage over American workers who are more independent and spirited. 

Economics is subordinate to politics. The liberal elite class hates the well-paid blue-collar worker, landowner, and small-business entrepreneur. These people are economically independent. They are also far more right-wing than their white collar, big-city peers. Social media managers, Silicon Valley programmers, and bankers are reliable liberal voters.  

The more disconnected a job is from physical reality the more left-wing it becomes. Generally speaking, the kind of person who spends his life manipulating spreadsheets, wandering around social media cyberspace, and spinning up reams of words is the kind of person who thinks chopping off one’s genitals is an entirely reasonable and good thing to do. 

Not so for the kind of men who do hard but well-paid labor in the real world. American trade policy is designed to crush the latter and benefit the former. Free trade, as we know it, is a wealth transfer scheme from America’s industrial heartland to its spiritually decaying coastal centers. 

American workers shouldn’t be forced to compete on an equal basis with Chinese serfs and Indonesian child laborers. If this means lower returns for Goldman Sachs’ bankers and hedge fund managers, that is a price I am more than willing to let them pay. 

Trump was right: we just don’t win anymore. The GOP can change that.


On war, Trump was dead on in 2015: “We spent $2 trillion in Iraq. $2 trillion. We lost thousands of lives, thousands in Iraq. We have wounded soldiers, who I love, I love—they’re great—all over the place, thousands and thousands of wounded soldiers. And we have nothing. We can’t even go there. We have nothing.”

The disastrous retreat from Afghanistan made clear that nothing has changed on this front. America’s stupid wars abroad cost enormous sums of money but produced no benefit for the American people. The same can be said of our current expenditure of money in the Ukraine. 

America’s “defense” industry is just one more way for liberals to grift the American taxpayer. America just doesn’t win wars anymore. And we’re not meant to win them, just spend money on them—forever.

There was no way to shoot our way to democracy in the Middle East. We shouldn’t even have tried. After 9/11 it was reasonable to want to kill al-Qaeda leaders or bring them to justice. But that project should have cost a fraction of the final total. 

The U.S. network of bases worldwide is another instance of pointless grifting. Countries like Turkey, Germany, Italy, Korea, and Japan can afford to defend themselves. A nuclear Taiwan is a free Taiwan. A few thousand American troops in South Korea and Okinawa didn’t prevent China from memeing American leaders into locking down our entire economy in 2020. Statecraft is far more important in the current geopolitical environment than having random bases in the Pacific. 

America should adopt a defensive strategy militarily. We should not attempt to right every “wrong” in the world. For one, the judgment of our leaders is moronic. The same people who invaded Iraq on false or overblown pretenses now denounce Putin for trying to take over the Russian-speaking portions of the Ukraine. Spare me. 

Trump is right to be concerned with election security and social media censorship. Those are important issues. But they are secondary to the core elements that got Trump into office in the first place. The liberal establishment is perfectly happy for Republicans to talk about abortion, gay marriage, and Dominion voting machines. Even the pressure against COVID wrongthink is relaxing somewhat. 

But it is critical to remember, had there been no Trump, there would have been no lockdowns or vaccine mandates. It would have been treated like swine flu or ebola—a day or two of headlines and then a few weeks of backpage stories in the New York Times and then nothing. Trump changed things. He caused our political class to lose their minds. The Russian collusion hoax, January 6 witch hunt, and the hyperventilating over fascism—all of this is a byproduct of Trump’s commitment to opposing the liberal consensus on immigration, trade, and war. Trump threatened to kill the liberal golden goose—to stop the shakedown of the white middle class. 

That’s why they hate him. It is why they have pulled out all the stops trying to get rid of him. It is why they hunt down his supporters and slander his backers. 

But the liberals weren’t able to kill him. They haven’t even been able to indict him. This means they are weak. Trump can still come back. He can still hold high the banner under which he marched to victory in 2016. This causes the liberal soul to cower in terror.

Trump should make another run. The day after the 2022 midterm votes are cast, he should return in all his 2015 glory. Trump was right, “Our country needs a truly great leader, and we need a truly great leader now.”

Trump is still that leader. He has already shown us the way. Hammer home the issues of immigration, trade, and war and even all the ballot fraud in the world won’t be able to save the Democratic Party in 2024.

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About Josiah Lippincott

Josiah Lippincott is a Ph.D. student and a former U.S. Marine Corps officer. You can find him on Telegram at https://t.me/josiah_lippincott or subscribe to his Substack here.

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