By Dr. Derek Ellerman
It didn’t take long for World War ’24 to go nuclear.
Former President Donald Trump has taken the gloves off, previewing the bare-knuckle brawl Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will need to be ready to face if he throws his hat in the ring for 2024.
Two Giants Face Off
Now, it’s fairly obvious that this Clash of the Titans sets up the two most successful and well-liked Republicans in the country.
Most of the coverage you see in the news media falls along two lines:
- Wow, look at how desperate Trump is! No one will believe this anti-DeSantis stuff!
- Whoa hold on, DeSantis is even WORSE than Trump! Super Uber Mecha Double Hitler!!!!
Obviously, they haven’t decided on a common angle yet since it’s too early. Suffice to say, if DeSantis comes out on top (a tall order, but possible) he will of course step into his new role as “The Next Hitler,” just as Dubya, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump did.
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(Interestingly, the rise of Trump saw a concerted media effort to rehabilitate these former “Hitlers,” is it really implausible that the media will one day regale us with tales about how reasonable Trump was as President and what a great guy he is compared to New Hitler DeSantis?)
But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. My point here was to talk about Trump’s comments about DeSantis.
DeSantis,voted in 2013, 2014, and 2015 on three non-binding resolutions that called for raising the retirement age to 70 and reducing benefits for millions of earners. pic.twitter.com/jlTgTmcbIH
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) February 1, 2023
The ‘Real’ Ron?
How you look at this depends largely on your perspective. First, let me note that The Political Insider doesn’t take sides.
There is a smaller, but dedicated cadre on the right, which includes myself, that supported and appreciates Trump for the exact same reason he has been so vilified and faced such unprecedented opposition in the media and government.
That reason is foreign policy.
Yep. It’s no mystery. Even long before he went to South Carolina and bravely told the normally neoconservative audience that the Iraq War was a lie that cost thousands of American lives, untold Iraqi lives, and trillions of dollars, Trump was firmly in the Old Right vein.
(Quick pause here for regularly scheduled counterprogramming: there is no such thing as “isolationism.” Opposing nonsense wars thousands of miles away against third-world mudpits isn’t “isolation.” And you don’t have to believe me. Just ask America’s greatest son, Thomas Jefferson.)
That’s what America First is all about: putting America first. That means not spending trillions on nonsense wars, not selling out the country and having foreign enemies produce necessary goods, etc.
Trump calls Ron Desantis a globalist and goes off on “Club For No Growth” that he used to work with. pic.twitter.com/o2vOk82zyp
— CCG BRYSON (@RealBrysonGray) January 30, 2023
So What Is Ron’s Record?
Just a quick perusal shows no real effort to vote against ever-increasing spending. Make of that what you wish.
He does have some good anti-globalist votes, like voting against reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. (Though a word of caution here from someone who’s seen it on the inside: a lot of time, these votes – I do not know and make no claims about this particular one – are approved by leadership. In other words, a Member will tell leadership, “Well I can’t really vote for this, I’ve been campaigning against it, but I know it needs to pass.” And given that the bill was guaranteed to pass, they get the OK to vote no.)
Voters looking to track DeSantis’ real record will need to bone up on how Congress actually works, as opposed to how it’s portrayed.
For example, DeSantis voted in favor of the Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act in 2015. Why is that a big deal?
Well, because Congress is crooked, that boring-sounding bill is how the House was able to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Readers may remember this was a huge deal back in 2016.
On the bright side, DeSantis was vocal about opposing the illegal U.S. invasion of Syria. (Which is still ongoing, by the way, for all those people tsk-tsking about Russia “breaking international norms” and “the rules-based order.”)
For what it’s worth, the neoconservatives at National Review want DeSantis to break away from Trump’s America First foreign policy.
Responsible Statecraft notes that he isn’t keen on diplomacy. (What’s the opposite of diplomacy?) Obviously, that’s a big no-no with America First.
He appears to be all-in on regime change in Iran. Again, haven’t we learned our lesson yet from the deserts half a world away?
Perhaps most telling, DeSantis praised Trump for hiring arch-neocon and perpetually wrong John Bolton.
So where am I going with all this? After all, Trump actually hired arch-neocon and perpetually wrong John Bolton, and the same can be said of a number of other mistakes.
The point is, America First comes down to foreign policy. Trump showed a willingness to put his own country ahead of empire and defense contractors more than anyone since Nixon. What would Ron do?
Time will tell, but the sooner he is asked for concrete answers, the sooner Republican voters will be able to make up their minds.
DeSantis is a great governor. Best in America, and it ain’t even close. But the Executive Branch deals with issues far larger and more important than a governor. And those are the issues that will animate America First and the globalist RINOs who put America Last.
But one last bit of wisdom before I go.
They say you can tell a man by his enemies.
Who are Donald Trump’s enemies?
Who are Ron DeSantis’ enemies? Ask the same question about who is supporting who.
Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
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