Things are coming full circle. Throughout the course of the last year when I’d argue at various time that former President Trump is less dangerous than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis or that DeSantis is actually more in-tune with the Murdoch media empire and right-wing media in general, people would scoff. However, recently, I’ve been getting almost a daily text message, Twitter DM or WhatsApp from skeptical folks saying, I was indeed correct. DeSantis is off-the-charts dangerous even when compared to Trump.
In my opinion, DeSantis is the most dangerous American in high-office since either George Wallace or Joe McCarthy and DeSantis is basically a combination of the two of them ideologically. Although, in fairness as one prominent expert on autocracy and politics has cautioned to me privately, DeSantis is “something new and more dangerous” in terms of the USA and any comparison in American History, including to Trump or Wallace is probably too soft. The only true comparisons to DeSantis, this person tells me come from abroad.
David Frum seems to have nailed what I was thinking and put it more concisely than I do. DeSantis knows EXACTLY what the FOX audience wants and won’t step out-of-line, whereas Trump’s indiscipline led him to meander in all sorts of weird directions, including on Criminal Justice Reform, which was more a desire of CNN/MSNBC viewers than those who watch FOX.
I would also note that Trump never dove into LGBTQ+ issues at any meaningful level, quite like DeSantis has, and that is another ode by Florida’s Governor to FOX viewers as well as Wall Street Journal Editorial Page and New York Post readers.
Here is Frum’s thread:
Trump’s willingness to go off-script because he felt he was bigger than anyone and generally lacks message discipline meant eventually right-wing media was reacting to him. In the case of DeSantis, they set the agenda and he amplifies it via tangible action, making reality what Trump would only put in words and even that, not terribly consistently.