Midterm Lesson: Less Trump More DeSantis

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on November 9, 2022

In the wake of a murky midterm election result for both parties, there are a few takeaways that we can glean from Tuesday’s results.

First, Donald Trump is not a kingmaker. Whatever the secret sauce is that makes people like Donald Trump, it does not transfer to others. Trump’s endorsement of Dr. Memet Oz in Pennsylvania is a perfect example. Trump won him the primary with his endorsement, but could not help him beat a man who literally could not string two sentences together in a general election. 

Pennsylvania Senator-Elect John Fetterman.

Contrast this with Ron DeSantis who won a very close race in a traditional swing state four years ago and then blew out his democratic challenge by almost 20 points dragging every Republican candidate along with him.

In my opinion, there is a major Catch-22 when it comes to the Trump endorsement for Republican candidates that I call the “Trump Paradox”. There is obviously something about Trump that appeals to a large segment of the conservative voter base. I would say it is his mentality as a fighter, willing to stand up to a hostile legacy media that will never be kind to the conservative base. The logic here is that if someone can not stand up for themselves, how could they stand up for me?

Herein lies the problem. The Trump endorsement is often given to the person who best strokes his ego, meaning that the image of the candidate often starts off as an obsequious sycophant, and not an elite commando who is about to end the Deep State with a single blow.

Ron DeSantis’s success seems to be a data point that supports this thesis. DeSantis provided all the good things about Trump, without all the bad. He fearlessly fought off many media smear campaigns and never wavered from his positions. He has shown good governance on the meat and potatoes issues like the economy and lockdowns but has not shied away from the culture war with the issue of parental rights vs the radical elements of the LGBTQ activist core. Also, it needs mentioning, no tweets at 3 am picking fights with people he should not be fighting.

President Donald Trump with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The DeSantis model should be the gold standard for all Right-wing politicians going forward. Govern on conservative principles, stand by them when attacked, and don’t be crazy. Unfortunately, the Left can produce candidates straight out of asylum since the entire media establishment will downplay their flaws. The Right does not have that advantage.

The election also showed that the majority of the electorate is over the 2020 election on both sides. People don’t care for the Democrate’s rhetoric that democracy dies when you vote for Republicans. Conversely, people don’t want candidates dedicated to litigating the 2020 election. The ghost of Donald Trump may still haunt Capitol Hill, but the rest of us seem unconcerned.

In conclusion, Trump should be brought back on Twitter, not the ballot. Ron DeSantis is the man who could actually produce the “Red Wave”.

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

One response to “Midterm Lesson: Less Trump More DeSantis”

  1. Joel Schulz says:

    Being in my eighth decade, I have seen enough to emphatically state that democracy most certainly does not die when the vote is for Republicans. True Republicans, the traditional conservatives, are champions of democratic process with the right balance between collective and individual rights.

    Donald Trump is not a conservative in the classical sense; he is a right-wing populist and there is a difference. Populism, be it left or right wing, earns its popularity from conflating fear with fact. Fear can lead to support for knee-jerk extreme measures that can actually result in the erosion of democracy.

    Real Republicans have to take the party back and excise the populist cancerous rhetoric and replace it with conservative values that protect the rights of both individual and all Americans in general. I see a vote for the current power in the GOP to have a potential for decline of democracy.

    DeSantis would be the better choice and he can defeat Joe Biden. I have to ask if the Republican Party is in decline. I hope not because that can lead to domination of the political scene by Democrats. If the populist Republicans would drop their election lie, widespread approval of the GOP would be the result.