Florida governor Ron DeSantis announced he was dropping out of the presidential race on Sunday, and he endorsed his rival, Donald Trump, as he did so.
This might have come as a shock to some people. The two men who are two sides of the same racist coin obviously have no love for each other, but as Ron DeSantis conceded in his farewell speech, the GOP voters want Donald Trump back in office.
In a video posted on his personal Instagram account, Ron DeSantis said, “It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance.”
Ron DeSantis acknowledged that he and Donald Trump have had their differences (which was putting it lightly), but he also made it clear that he believes Donald Trump should be the choice over former South Carolina governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
“I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee, and I will honor that pledge. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear – a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.”
Ron DeSantis made a key point in his concession speech that we all need to be paying attention to: He was never going to be president because GOP voters want more of Donald Trump.
Make no mistake, the Republican Party would have loved to have put Ron DeSantis forth as its chosen candidate. He checks a lot of Republican boxes, and he is certainly more polished than Donald Trump. He comes with a level of political experience that Donald Trump lacks. He doesn’t come with all the unnecessary baggage that Trump is dragging with him. He’s smarter and he’s savvier than Trump. He’s a Yale graduate with a Harvard law degree. He could have been a contender, and at the beginning of his campaign, many considered him to be the biggest threat to a second Donald Trump presidency.
The problem is, Republican voters want Donald Trump, and the GOP voters – not the GOP itself – are the loudest voices on that front.
While the GOP could be said to consist mainly of rich and powerful white men, the GOP voter base is a mixed bag of rich and powerful white men, racist white people, uneducated white people and indoctrinated white people who believe their demise is nigh unless they ensure white supremacy is allowed to continue to exist unfettered. At the center of the Venn diagram where all of these groups come together is Donald Trump.
While Ron DeSantis made it OK to be openly racist in the state of Florida, Donald Trump made it OK to be openly racist and xenophobic in America, and the people want more of that. It’s the “you made it a hot line; I made it a hot song” conundrum.
GOP voters wanting more Donald Trump is a big part of why Ron DeSantis is out of the race, but it’s not the only thing that caused his demise.
Ron DeSantis is simply an unlikeable person, and that is his own doing. He is prone to emotional outbursts when responding to any type of opposition, and while that might work for Donald Trump, at least the criminally indicted candidate has the standing of being a former reality TV star who people still believe is a millionaire. Ron DeSantis is just the boring governor from Florida in comparison.
Donald Trump has a certain amount of “charm” about him – the type of “charm” that people who are a fan of Donald Trump buy into. He’s not charming any of us, but he is charming the hell out of the type of white people who need someone to openly affirm and say all the things they wish they could say out loud without being canceled. Donald Trump gives them that.
In comparison, Ron DeSantis comes off as arrogant and off-putting, and he lacks the affable type of personality that could help him pull that arrogance off and still allow him to be a winner.
It also didn’t help that Ron DeSantis got on national television and let California governor Gavin Newsom beat him senseless in a debate that, in my opinion, did more harm than good for the DeSantis campaign.
A recent Washington Post opinion column referred to Ron DeSantis as “Jeb 2.0,” and I cannot think of a more apt description because his candidacy was every bit reminiscent of the Jeb Bush campaign from eight years ago.
No one was ever going to elect a president named Jeb, and GOP voters are not going to elect Donald Trump-lite when they can have the actual Donald Trump back in office.
You have to wonder how it feels to be that highly educated and have a squeaky-clean criminal record and still lose to an actual loser currently facing 91 felony charges. To his credit, Donald Trump has used those 91 felony charges to put himself forth as a martyr and a victim, and his GOP voter fanbase is eating it up and licking the plate afterward.
Ron DeSantis could never and will never.
Whether Ron DeSantis will try to throw his hat in the presidential election campaign again remains to be seen, but at least in this instance, he’s completely done.
Ron DeSantis was never going to be president, and it’s not because the Republican party doesn’t want him to be.
It’s because the Republican voters want their president to be the poster child for racism, xenophobia, open bigotry and ignorance.
Stick a quarter in your ass, Ron. You played yourself.
Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator, and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at moniquejudge.com.
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