Editor’s note: Big Tent Ideas always aims to provide balancing perspectives on the hottest issues of the day. Below is a column from political commentator Rasheed Walters arguing that former President Donald Trump will top Ron DeSantis in the 2024 GOP primary. You can find a counterpoint here, where former State Department official Christian Whiton argues that DeSantis is the best choice for a new generation of American leadership.
If Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis were a true believer in President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) movement, he would have waited until 2028 to ensure the Republicans maintained control of the White House for a full 8 years. DeSantis will lose the 2024 presidential primary.
His presidential run in 2024 will only prove one thing: DeSantis is disingenuous. The performances of former President Trump in the Republican presidential primaries are nothing short of extraordinary and unprecedented. Trump received 14 million votes in 2016 and 18 million votes in 2020. Trump received more popular votes than any candidate in a Republican primary, which demonstrates Trump’s control over the party and the receptiveness of his populist America First agenda with a large number of Americans who either don’t vote or haven’t voted in years. The Republican Party transformed from being dominated by neocons, globalists, and elites to becoming a party of the common man and woman, led by nationalist ideals.
In 2016, Americans elected Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States because they believed in his America First agenda. Trump’s presidency proved America First is the answer to the issues facing our nation, and it is feasible to put into practice. These accomplishments alone make it near impossible for any Republican to beat Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. (RELATED: DOUG SCHOEN: Power Is No Mystery: Here Is My Insider’s Guide)
Trump’s historic 2016 win and the subsequent shift within the Republican Party’s ethos paved the way for others to achieve prominence. One of the brightest stars to emerge from this phenomenon was Republican U.S. Congressman Ron DeSantis, who at the time was running for governor of Florida against Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum in 2018. Ron DeSantis was on the verge of defeat before receiving a crucial endorsement and assistance from then President Trump. In a campaign ad with his family, DeSantis boasted Trump’s endorsement and playfully had his daughter build a wall with toy blocks, and read “The Art of the Deal” to his son.
Trump’s sway in Florida, and his support for DeSantis, was decisive in the election’s outcome. Even though DeSantis defeated Democratic U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist in the 2022 Florida gubernatorial race, Trump received over a million more votes in Florida during the 2020 Presidential election than DeSantis did in either of his gubernatorial elections.
For a long time, DeSantis was seen as Trump’s natural successor. DeSantis has adopted several of Trump’s demeanors, such as radiating strength and not being politically correct. From his crusade against “wokeness,” to firm stances on illegal immigration and harsh criticism of the Biden administration’s failures, everything about DeSantis, from his personality to his approach to governance, is reminiscent of Trump.
Many in the Republican Party’s establishment and the swamp are furious with what Trump has done to the party, and for the country. Many of these people saw the MAGA movement as only a passing fad that Americans would eventually outgrow. Nothing could be further from the truth: MAGA is a movement that is here to stay. Establishment Republicans long for a return to “business as usual” under the globalist, neocon, and America last status quo. The only thing standing in their way is Donald Trump.
The Establishment desperately needs a viable candidate to run against Trump. Ron DeSantis is ideal for them because he lacks that which allowed Trump to avoid being corrupted by the establishment, which is money for self-funding. To win over the Republican base and become the party’s nominee for president in 2024, authenticity is highly valued. When compared to Trump, DeSantis seems almost identical. His defeat in 2024 will be the result of his campaigning against the same person and ideal he claims to support.
Rasheed Walters is an entrepreneur, political commentator and historian who resides in Boston. Follow him on Twitter @rasheednwalters.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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