Wednesday, October 05, 2022
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Ron DeSantis Is “Dangerous;” has “already absorbed all the lessons of Trump,” says leftist professor



If you listen to the Left they’ll tell you everything you need to know about them. You just have to crack the encryption. And even that isn’t very difficult.

They’re terrified of Donald Trump because Trump understands politics as Democrats understand it. To Trump, politics is war. It isn’t compromise and it isn’t a grand endeavor to deliver social goods to the masses. It’s a street fight in which you serve the needs of your supporters at the expense of your enemies as much as you can for as long as you can.

That’s how Democrat politics works. It isn’t how Stupid Party Republican politics works. And the Left likes Stupid Party Republicans, though that doesn’t stop them from insulting and slandering the Stupid Party as often as they please.

Many of us on the Revivalist side of Republican politics have stressed the need to bank the things Trump brought to the GOP even if Trump’s time bearing the standard for the party is over. Revivalism doesn’t oppose the idea that Trump would be the GOP nominee in 2024, though we do suggest that he do some upgrades when it comes to things like hiring and the level of aggression he’s willing to apply to the federal government Swamp he’s promised to drain.

But the point of the Revivalist project is that what it’s going to take to truly bring back our American constitutional order, set right our culture and economy and recharge the spirit of our people is a movement that can’t just depend on Trump. This is a generational project and it’s going to require multiple high-level leaders. A string of presidents, not just one. Each of the three political eras in American history came courtesy of one party winning five or six presidential elections in a row and thoroughly resetting public policy and civic culture.

And that means you have to have multiple successors to Trump. You have to have a bench.

Virtually everybody in the Republican Party at this point sees Ron DeSantis, Florida’s outrageously successful governor, as the prime successor to Trump. And not just in the GOP. The Hard Left sees it, too.

Which is how you get this…

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could be the GOP’s natural successor to former President Donald Trump as a 2024 presidential candidate, and he doesn’t come with Trump’s drama, an expert on authoritarianism told Insider.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historian at New York University, and the author of the book, “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present.” She has studied the backsliding of democracy, from the US to Russia, and elsewhere.

In a wide-ranging interview, she told Insider that in light of the January 6 hearings, Trump might have to be prosecuted in order to save American democracy ahead of the 2024 election. In that context, she said that DeSantis could take his place as a populist nominee.

What we do find in history is prosecution, in the longer term, is one of the only things that deflates these guys’ personality cults, because those cults are founded on the idea that they are invincible, they are infallible,” Ben-Ghiat said. “Now, if that does happen to Trump — DeSantis has already absorbed all the lessons of Trump.”

Ben-Ghiat has written several essays making her argument.

“He’s clearly readying himself for a national run, whether it’s in 2024 or later. And he’s a very dangerous individual,” Ben Ghiat said. “He’s dangerous because he is equally repressive, but doesn’t have the baggage of Trump. It’s hard to have the baggage of Trump.”

That this woman is an unhinged loon is clear beyond argument, but her statements are fascinating for several reasons.

Chief among them may be the fact she perfectly signals the projection the Left is so famous for. Here’s someone billed as an expert on “authoritarianism” who wrote a book about “strongmen” and claims that Trump is such a figure, and her remedy for his intransigence over the 2020 election is to put him in jail.

She doesn’t stop for a moment to consider the precedent that would set or the likely reaction half (or probably more than half) of the American people would be, and the threat to “American democracy” that would come from it.

It’s also interesting to note the insistence that MAGA/revivalist Republican politics is a “personality cult” around Trump. Ben-Ghiat apparently is unpersuaded that conservative populism has been around a lot longer than Trump the politician has; it was the prime mover of the Reagan revolution, it fueled New Gingrich’s Contract for America and the 1994 takeover of the House majority, and it manifested itself in the Tea Party before Trump ever descended that escalator in 2015 – all the while being repeatedly suppressed, using means (IRS audits, false flag spectacles and even wanton prosecutions) which can only be described as “authoritarian.” So instead of the most persistent political movement in recent American history it’s a personality cult without a personality?

All that said, Ben-Ghiat is correct when she says that DeSantis offers “Trump without the baggage.” That is true. Ron DeSantis came up in politics and government and has a pedigree and professional background in the industry, while Trump was a latecomer who spent decades as a gadfly who didn’t expect to be taken seriously. But DeSantis sees all the same deficiencies as Trump does in the politics and leadership of the elite ruling class that Ben-Ghiat slavishly adheres to, and has the same attitude that Trump has in how to handle the ruling class.

Which is utter and total disregard for its pieties and sacraments. Which is a willingness to throw the moneychangers from the temple.

And this iconoclasm is terrifying to the unhinged Left. They know they cannot defeat, at least by normal means, a MAGA/revivalist Republican challenge to their cultural and political hegemony. They’re built to defeat Mitt Romneys and George W. Bushes, not Trumps and DeSantises.

So they slander the revivalists as “authoritarians” who are “dangerous” to “American democracy.”

The things which frighten Ruth Ben-Ghiat should give the rest of us hope. They signal that those who value and seek a return to our constitutional order, complete with a colorblind (rather than “antiracist,” in the dishonest parlance of an Ibram X. Kendi) society with one standard of conduct at law and a full raft of individual freedoms as outlined in our constitution, as well as a return to the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our culture and society (and a rejection of the woke religion), have champions strong enough to achieve those ends.