Former President Donald Trump spoke for nearly two hours in his closing address at the CPAC summit in Dallas.
In Trump's view, America has been destroyed in the 18 months since he left office, with out-of-control crime, inflation, and oddly enough unemployment, which Trump estimates to be three times the official number.
Trump took the stage to the song "God Bless the USA" and began by thanking the "proud patriots" in attendance.
Trump said he was proud to be joined by Rep. Ronnie Jackson (R-TX), who was his White House surgeon.
"He was an admiral, a doctor, and now he's a congressman," Trump noted, saying he asked him which was the best.
"And he sort of indicated doctor, because he loved to look at my body. It was so strong and powerful," Trump said.
Trump then introduced Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
"This is no time for complacency," Trump warned. "We have to seize this opportunity to deal with the radical left socialist lunatic fascists. We have to hit them very, very hard. It has to be a crippling defeat."
He went on to complain about Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for supporting the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed a procedural vote after Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote while Trump was speaking, resulting in harsh words for GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
"But McConnell is the most unpopular politician in the country, even more so than crazy Nancy Pelosi, and something has to be done," Trump urged.
Trump said Biden "surrendered our strength and our everything [in Afghanistan], they surrendered our dignity."
Michael Hardy, senior editor at the Texas Monthly, was one of the local journalists covering the speech. He said that line had "echoes of the Nazi 'stab in the back theory' of losing WW1."
Trump then described crime in "Democrat-run (sic) cities" in very dark terms.
"The streets of our Democrat-run cities are drenched in the blood of innocent victims," Trump claimed. "Bullets are killing little beautiful little children who never had a chance. Car jackers lay in wait like predators."
Hardy described that as "some literal blood-and-soil rhetoric."
And Trump went on saying "we need the courage to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done," which Hardy said "is a rallying cry for street violence and worse."
Trump went on to call for a military takeover of San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Portland.
"Trump's rhetoric is significantly more extreme than even a few years ago," Hardy said. "This might be most frightening speech I've ever heard. Full-on, unapologetic fascism. Trump has either been reading Mein Kampf or having someone read it to him."
Trump repeated his lies about election fraud and teased a 2024 presidential comeback.
Former RNC official Tim Miller said, "I know everyone in the DC GOP is just hoping Trump will die but it’s impossible to watch this CPAC speech and not come to the conclusion that he’s going to run and be very hard to beat in a primary. Sorry to be the bearer of bad weekend news."
After his speech, Trump danced on stage to the song "Hold On I'm Coming" by Sam and Dave.
"Don't you ever feel sad; lean on me when times are bad," Sam and Dave sang. "Then the day comes and you're down; in a river of trouble and about to drown. Just hold on, I'm coming. Hold on, I'm coming."