Monday night, Donald Trump won the Iowa Caucus Straw Poll in massive numbers. In any other year, all candidates would now leave the race, (or would have left the race long ago) and would now get to the work of unifying the Republican Party against the Democrats, from the top of the ticket to the bottom.
People as diverse as Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Rand Paul, and Lindsey Graham would help unify party politics in localities that would over the long term strengthen their individual influence both in those respective places and in the future administration.
This is the kind of Presidential election year that Republicans have dreamt of for ages: one in which there is a top of ticket opposition candidate that can draw so much money that every single candidate down to dog catcher could get elected. There’s enough time for it and enough money for it right now.
Time and money mean so much in election cycles and this year there are suddenly both, for it is still 10 months to Election Day and America hates Joe Biden.
Seldom does that happen with a party out of power, seldom does any party have such a decisive leader of the party. With a year like this, through unification behind that candidate, for the next twenty years, at all levels, there can be a success like never before imagined. In fact, that could have started six months or maybe even twelve months ago. But it did not. And that is not likely to happen. There is a good reason for that.
Ron DeSantis was never running against Donald Trump. Ron DeSantis was always running against the American public.
What I mean by that is this: Ron DeSantis was an incredibly popular southern governor who just needed to wait, and many things would likely fall together in his favor over the next two or three election cycles. He was popular with the base and popular with the establishment. Instead of waiting, by some enticement, he chose a different path. He chose a path that burned all likelihood that he will ever be electable again anywhere in the United States for any office.
He chose to be the only remaining option for the Republicans after Donald Trump was indicted, thrown in prison, and suicided in prison. He chose to be the only remaining option for the Republicans after Donald Trump was declared ineligible to run, memory holed, and slipped in his bathroom. He chose to be the only remaining option for the Republicans after Donald Trump was impeached for the twelfth time, politically isolated, and died in an airplane that crashed over the Pacific.
Ron DeSantis is running a special kind of race, and as such, it is in his best interest to stay in the running as an available option all the way until Election Day, November 5, 2024. The honest talking point for his candidacy is something like this, “When the parasitic administrative state devours Trump, I will be your last hope as a candidate. I will be the one you get to cheer on as he loses to the fourth term of Obama.”
But that does not inspire support, so he will not say what he is actually doing. That, however, is what he is doing.
As totalitarian as our elected officials can be, America is a unique and special place, with a people that projects freedom across the world through their individual actions. That domestic individual freedom must always be expanded at all cost. It is America’s greatest contribution to the contemporary world and to world history.
I have views outside of the mainstream about many major events that have taken place nationally since about 1760. And this move by Ron DeSantis is one of the single scummiest things that has taken place in American politics. It had to do with how much potential for good DeSantis has and how truly awful his is being. Rather than fighting for the last vestiges of our freedom, this very well placed, knowledgeable, and richly resourced man is fighting openly, and publicly against those last vestiges.
DeSantis is part of the chorus of people that say this is okay though. When he criticizes the attacks on American freedom levied against his opponent, it is all talk and no action. That action could be significant coming from the governor of the third most populous state in the country. Even his talk about the attacks on Trump is very faint, indeed. It is the very bare minimum.
In contrast to no action on that topic, he has effectively abandoned his post as governor and spent the last ten months positioning himself as an activist ready to help out as a Plan B for the Republican grassroots when the worst “unexpectedly” occurs. Trump is the reason for our constitution to be further gutted. It’s okay as long as it’s to defeat the orange colored one we are assured by bipartisan talking heads. Trump is the reason for our stabilizing civil traditions to be further gutted. It’s okay as long as it is to destroy him, but then everything will totally go back to normal. Trump is the Emmanuel Goldstein character of George Orwell’s 1984.
In the name of defeating him, he is the evil figure for which all decency is thrown out the window. And once all decency is thrown out the window, it is not Emmanuel Goldstein who is treated like public enemy number one. It is the nearly insignificant Winston Smith who is treated like public enemy number one. When all decency is thrown out the window in present-day America, it is not Trump who will be given the Trump treatment. It is you.
I wish I could even claim that the following list only referred to how one man was being treated in America today:
Deprived of basic innocence until proven guilty, the victim of a weaponized legal system, deemed unfit to run for office, deplatformed, debanked, threatened with being chased from his home, subject to random and unpredictable raids by law enforcement, having family members given the same treatment, not able to use social media, not able to even use internet ads, not able to even be mentioned in internet ads, and a host of other approaches taken against him by private entities, quasi-governmental entities, and governmental entities — these are approaches tested on men like Donald Trump, Alex Jones, and Ammon Bundy. The J6 prisoners are another test cohort, or those who protest by singing Christian hymns and saying the Lord’s
Prayer at abortion clinics — they are another test cohort. These methods are tested on those who are easy for some to vilify, tested for use on you.
How important it is to stand strong for the liberties of those who you may not even like. It would be fun for some freedom lovers to hate Trump at a moment like this. But it was never about Trump.
In the autumn of 2016, one anti-Trump Democrat boldly called the election for Donald Trump three weeks before Election Day — Michael Moore, in his movie TrumpLand referred to Trump as the American people’s Molotov cocktail against the establishment.
And what a highly flawed Molotov cocktail he was. He had 3 very strong years, and by similar measure he oversaw what may have been the single worst year in the history of the United States — 2020.
It was never about Trump, though. It was always about them versus us. It was always about the political, economic, and cultural establishment versus the folks gathered around the American dinner table.
You and I acting like fully informed, fully capable, and fully engaged individuals at every moment of our lives — that is the real threat.
With that clarity, with that understanding, if Ron DeSantis is to follow through with his campaign plan, it does not matter how many votes he gets, it does not matter how many delegates he gets, it does not matter how much money he gets. All he has to do is be there as an anti-Trump voice between now and Election Day when the administrative state entirely prevents the election from taking place the way it is currently set to take place. That will be by someone neutralizing Donald Trump. That is what DeSantis is banking his entire political career on. He has no other chance for redemption in the eyes of the Republican voters.
I have no idea how that neutralizing will look. They have failed at every effort so far, efforts that would have long ago succeeded at neutralizing the less formidable among us. On January 15, 2024, the headlines could have read “Florida man with 91 criminal indictments wins Iowa Caucus,” but that is not what they read, because that is being too honest. And Ron DeSantis won’t say to you, “I am standing firm to be the patsy for the 2024 election, because some very powerful people have promised me that Donald Trump will be neutralized before November 2024.”
It was never about Donald Trump. It was always about you. That is the time we live in. Love him or hate him, stay focussed on what you know to be right with how America should work, and you won’t get caught up as a member of the lynch mob that attempts to destroy our land.
And that is NOT to say that you should sit this one out. I have a special dislike for those of you who do that.
Stay focussed on your values. Be smart about how you win on behalf of those values. And fight hard for those values like you’ve never fought before. Never has an individual American had more ability to influence others, and never has the establishment had more ability to silence all dissent.
You are living at a pivotal moment in world history. May you reap abundantly exactly what you sow in this era. And may generations of your descendants know exactly what that was. May you be remembered in abundance far greater than your deeds, as shamefully or honorably as you behaved, for we live in a time that will almost certainly magnify and echo the impacts of present day virtue and preset day treachery far beyond our lifetimes.
I wish that upon allies and adversaries alike, and, yes, if history is any judge, then that is likely to be exactly what comes from the moments we are living through.
So a few moments of sober reflection might be in order. Choose wisely, because your decisions will echo and will be remembered.
Where do you stand?
What do you value?
How are you making that a reality in the world around you?