The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Trump begins the ‘retribution’ tour

By Elaine Godfrey

26 Mar 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

“I am your warrior. I am your justice." The Atlantic reports from a Trump campaign stop, and finds the ex-president's message to be darker, more vengeful, and "even more self-absorbed" than before.

You’d think that, by now, Donald Trump’s fans would be tired of all this. The long lines and the self-indulgent speeches and the relentless blasting of Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” as they stand outside exposed to the elements. But they aren’t. Not at all.

After six years, the former president’s rallies still have summer-camp vibes—at least at first. At last night’s event in Waco, Texas—the first rally of his 2024 presidential campaign—Trump’s thousands of supporters seemed delighted simply to be together at the Waco airport hangar, wearing their ULTRA MAGA T-shirts and drinking lemonade in the hot sun. Sure, the vendors ran out of water at one point, and there was no shade to speak of, but nobody really complained. They were too busy singing along to the Village People and bonding with new friends over their shared interests (justice, freedom, theories about a ruling Deep State cabal).

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