Ron DeSantis aspires to be Trump 2.0. To the extent that he’s another belligerent, overfed blowhard in an ill-fitting suit, he’s definitely got a shot.
All he lacks now is widespread MAGA support: He’s still polling 30 points behind the former president among GOP voters. That’s because those voters, being stupid, have not yet discerned that Trump’s star is fading faster than a Wal-Mart T-shirt. According to this Emerson College poll, a large majority of those who still favor Trump are folks who didn’t, or just barely did, get through high school. Big surprise.
But that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker for Wreck-It Ron. One thing about stupid voters is that they are easily influenced. Unlike Trump, DeSantis won his election, and thus is in a position to prosecute the GOP’s culture wars to the delight of the mouth-breathing base.
Between now and primary season, DeSantis can further burnish his credentials as a cruel nemesis of immigrants, gay people and reality-based education. Hell, he practically controls Disney now. No more black princesses ever! MAGA world savors that shit. Meanwhile, all Trump can manage are incoherent rants at half-empty venues.
DeSantis does owe Trump a debt of gratitude. The old man made it cool to self-deal, demonize and divide – and to shrug off real problems while flogging the fake ones. That’s Ron DeSantis’ brand: ignoring Florida’s insurance mess, say, and generally granting cronies free rein with what’s left of the state. If it’s broke, Ron believes, don’t fix it. If it’s woke, stomp it right the hell to death.