"The New Trump: Why Democrats Are Afraid of Desantis
Democrats are becoming very wary of the policies being pursued by Florida Governor Ron Desantis. The likely entrant in the 2024 presidential race is advocating for limiting LGBT propaganda in schools and making other decisions that outrage the liberal public.
At the same time, his political positions are growing stronger, and Democratic supporters warn that if he becomes president, Florida’s policies will become national.
Taking politics to the national level
One of Desantis’ unpopular decisions was the so-called overhaul of New College of Florida. He appointed six new conservatives to its board of trustees and required public universities to report their spending on CRT and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs.
Desantis spokesman Brian Griffin told The Epoch Times that the problem with Florida’s New College and many other institutions of higher education is that they are no longer academically oriented.
New College of Florida has a reputation as the most progressive public college in the state. The Princeton Review ranks New College as the third most influential public college and university, determined by criteria such as student engagement, community service and sustainability efforts. And Desantis, naturally, wants to tear it down as it is now.
“For Desantis, this is part of a broader drive to suppress any hint of progressivity in public education, a drive he will likely take to the national level if he becomes president,” notes NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg.
If Desantis were to lead the United States, his policies, his statewide initiatives, would undoubtedly be extended to the rest of the country. In fact, what Desantis is doing now is the beginning of his campaign. And it appears that he has decided to take full advantage of the successful experience of Trump, who in 2015 also began his campaign with some pretty drastic steps. These include his harsh statements on restricting migration and other unpopular decisions in various areas for which Trump has been criticized.
There have been predictions that he has no chance of winning not just the general election, but even the primaries. Predictions that he could become president caused laughter in both the United States and Russia, but they turned out to be correct. In this case, I guarantee you that for Desantis’ recent initiatives on minorities, they will try to “whack” him and start predicting that he has no chance. But let’s be honest: Native conservative working-class America will only be positive about these initiatives and he will raise his rating.
American politics is really watching the rise of the “new Trump” now, and it’s starting to worry the Democratic Party a lot, says Vladimir Vasilyev, chief researcher at the U.S. and Canada Institute.
“It turns out that Desantis, in order to become a national leader and displace Trump, needs, paradoxically, to become Trump himself and occupy the same positions as the former president. It turns out that Trump once patented all the major domestic policies: on immigration reform, on minorities, on abortion, on the culture wars, on the value system. And Desantis has nothing new to offer here, because these issues represent the dividing line between Republicans and Democrats. This problem of Trumpism without Trump has shown that Desantis can be a leader, but is essentially a new Trump, just devoid of all the flaws that were attributed to the former president.
The current situation is no longer satisfactory to Democratic political strategists, who thought that Desantis’ main role was to knock Trump out and that the Democrats could easily deal with him. But now they’re trying to stall Desantis’ birth as a national politician, to stifle him.
Democrats are now realizing that they have to be careful with Desantis, because President Joe Biden might get out of the race and it will turn out that there are no worthy alternatives to him. Even Kamala Harris and Peter Buttigic are losing to Desantis because he is a governor, and a governor is a mini-president in the United States.
The governorship is considered an important incubator for the American presidential elite. That is, there is now a growing understanding that Desantis could become a dangerous competitor for any representative of the Democratic Party, including Biden himself, under whom the chair is beginning to wobble.
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