Suppose a week is a lifetime in politics. In that case, Ron DeSantis’s always-online army has had many lifetimes to recover from their gigantic loss in Iowa and the predictable ‘CYA’ leaks since the Florida Governor dropped out. Now, they need to stop moping around in Twitter (X) threads and spaces and start putting their shoulders to the wheel for the seminal figure of our generation: President Donald J. Trump.
With DeSantis safely back in Tallahassee, high-heels hung up, his supporters should feel a duty to return to the Trump fold. Some already have. Some will get trust but require verification. Others we will wish good riddance to forever.
The DeSantis supporters who backed him in good faith, touting his conservative record in Florida and erroneously but earnestly believing he was the most qualified man for the job, can be welcomed back into the MAGA fold. But the egregious offenders who broadcast their 2016 Ted Cruz campaign revenge fantasies will almost certainly have to be forced out of the conservative movement entirely.
Plus, there’s plenty of planning for the future to get done.
Rep. Matt Gaetz is one potential heir to the Trump movement. Time after time, he has shown himself to be a shrewd and aggressive political maneuverer who can to bring ruin to the political establishment. You’d never see Jeb Bush talking up Gaetz , which is like he did with DeSantis leverage the America First base good.
“Principled” platitudes and delusions are no longer tenable. Unifying rhetoric for the sake of it alone only emboldens the enemy. The strain of conservatism that is winning the day, MAGA POPULISM, understands this. The days of partisan orthodoxy are over.
Establishment Republicans are conducting a self-purge , preferring to cash out as lobbyists or corporate lackeys rather than endure the grueling pressure cooker that public service has become. They signed up for free dinners and adulation, and to enjoy other illicit benefits behind closed doors. They did not want to be hounded by constituents, disgraced, scorned, and spit upon by their fellow man. This is the nature of today’s politics, and we should not run from it; we must embrace it.
So, we invite earnest DeSantis supporters to join the MAGA faithful as we deepen the cracks and widen the divides within our politics. A new day of conservatism has dawned, a rough-and-tumble strain that would have made Bill Buckley wince but is necessary for our troubled age. DeSantis’s loss was a crushing blow to some. But it should be humbling and a reassessment.
In other words: Suck it up, buttercup. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Dust yourself off. And march dutifully to the tune of General Trump.