Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Ron DeSantis: The New Champion of Trumpism (VIDEO)

From Batya, at UnHerd, "The Florida Governor has found a winning formula":

Democrats were expected to suffer a crushing red wave in Tuesday’s midterm elections, but it never materialised. Despite polls and pundits predicting massive Republican gains, the results have been tepid at best, with control of the Senate leaning Democratic and the House teetering toward a slim Republican majority.

Many are breathing a sigh of relief, casting Trump’s election night losses as a sign that his influence over the party is waning. Indeed, candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump fared especially poorly, with many routed by Democratic opponents in what were seen as winnable races.

But the real lesson of the 2022 midterm elections is slightly different: Trump might be over, but Trumpism had a great night. Trump the man is simply no longer the conduit of his own legacy.

The clearest sign of the health of Trumpism without Trump was the biggest blowout of the night: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s victory over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist. The Democrats and their allies in the media have done their best to cast DeSantis as a hate-mongering authoritarian, yet he won in a landslide against Crist, a notorious flip-flopper who infamously told a reporter that he did not want the votes of DeSantis supporters. DeSantis netted what may turn out to be a 15-point victory over Crist, and a 20-point lead over his own numbers from just four years ago. It was something DeSantis made a point of noting in his acceptance speech:

It’s clearly apparent that this election we will have garnered a significant number of votes from people who may not have voted for me four years ago, and I just want to let you know I am honoured to have earned your trust and your support over these four years. - RON DeSANTIS

How did he do it? Despite what the Democrats want us to believe, DeSantis is no Right-wing extremist; he cruised to victory thanks to a record of ruling over Florida for the past four years as a populist appealing to the middle and working class irrespective of their party affiliation. DeSantis has figured out something that’s lost on most politicians, that there are a lot of Americans who are culturally conservative and fiscally protectionist in both parties whom no one is speaking to. These voters are united on issues like Covid-19 lockdowns, sexualised messaging in early childhood education, and immigration, and on each of these issues, DeSantis took a big swing that signalled his willingness to represent this forgotten constituency and give them a voice.

In other words, he took Trump’s central insight, that the white working class has been abandoned by an elitist, Leftist cultural hegemony that looks down on working Americans, and he expanded it to include working-class Hispanics and working-class liberals...