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The Echo of DeSantis
The era of compromise candidates is over
When you shout a lie in the mountains, the returning echo is still a lie.
Many on the right were hoping DeSantis would emerge as a compromise candidate. He was sold as a man with all of Trump’s MAGA without Trump’s baggage.
This was wishful and naive thinking from the start, and you can look back to the 1970s and 1980s to see why.
Ronald Reagan succeeded Barry Goldwater as the anti-establishment champion following Goldwater’s massive loss in the 1964 presidential election. Reagan, then a Democrat, endorsed Goldwater in one of the most succinct summaries of the battle between right and left, good and evil, ever spoken.
In 1972, Reagan toyed with the idea of running against Nixon. In 1976, he primaried President Ford and narrowly lost the nomination in a convention floor fight. Nineteen eighty, though, was Reagan’s year.
And, yet, by the time of the Republican convention in Detroit, the media and the Republican establishment had convinced many Republicans that Reagan had too much baggage to beat Jimmy Carter. They offered a parade of compromise candidates whom, we were assured, believed everything Reagan believed but would not generate the hatred and vitriol surrounding the Gipper. Reagan’s rhetoric was too harsh, they said. He doesn’t know diplomacy. “Too black and white,” a longtime St. Louis media personality told me at a Lincoln Days weekend. At the convention, the establishment tried to force Reagan to take Ford as his “co-president,” instead of having a vice-president.
Reagan rejected that idea.
The reality is, Carter would have won handily against any compromise candidate the GOP put forward. America was in no mood for comprises with the people, we then believed, were trying to destroy our country and our culture. The last thing voters wanted was, in Phyllis Schlafly’s brilliant phrase, “an echo.” We demanded, and got, a choice.
Jump ahead eight years to 1988. The safe establishment candidate to succeed Reagan was George H. W. Bush, the vice-president. The choice was New York congressman and former Buffalo Bills quarterback, Jack Kemp. This time, though, the party prevailed. Bush won the nomination and, running on the halo-effect of having been Reagan’s VP, the general election. Bush raised taxes, started a war, brought on a recession that wouldn’t end, and was kicked out of office in 1992.
In 1996, Republicans, again, reject the choice of Pat Buchanan and nominated Kansas Senator Bob Dole. One Republican strategist at the time admitted the choice of Dole came because, “it’s Bob’s turn.” Dole tried to win over Reaganites by naming Jack Kemp as his running mate, but voters wanted a choice, not an echo, and large elements of the Reagan faction stayed home. Clinton won re-election handily despite miserable poll numbers on election day.
In 2000, George W. Bush managed to win the Republican nomination and general election by running far to the right of his own father. This time, though, Democrats seemed less than enthusiastic about their candidate, Al Gore. The younger Bush won and immediately took us to war.
The 2008 Republican nominee was another echo, Deep State champion John McCain. He lost.
Similar to 1996, Democrat Barrack Obama went into his re-election year with historically low poll numbers. Once again, Republicans nominated the uber-echo, Mitt Romney, whose father led the anti-Goldwater, anti-Reagan faction of the party in the 1960s. Romney lost.
We all remember 2016, so no need to repeat it here. But, we should note that the 2020 election appears to have been stolen by a cadre of Democrats, Republicans, and Deep Staters who wanted their private government back from the unwashed masses.
Which brings us to 2024.
Remember that from Reagan’s speech in 1964 to now, cultural Marxists have taken over every private institution in America and beyond, even claiming ownership of the Vatican and the Republican Party. Establishment Republicans no longer long for Congressional majorities. They simply want to keep their own jobs. The GOP made no effort to win Congress in 2022, nor to help Republican gubernatorial candidates who were not solid establishmentarians. This means an important dynamic has changed in the Republican Party. It is no longer a national party competing against the Democrats, but a small, private club for select elitists who will do the bidding of their corporate sponsors.
While compromise candidates never worked, in 2024, there is no compromise candidate available. That’s why believing DeSantis was a good compromise was always wrong. DeSantis was an establishment stooge from the beginning. His job was not to win the White House but to block Trump and the people. No one in the GOP hierarchy has any intention of actually winning and governing: they just want to protect the private nature of US government. They are fed up with public government of, by, and for the people. They sought a guarantee—an insurance policy, if you will—that power would remain with the cabal regardless of the outcome of the 2024 election, as they have done since, at least, 1964.
We have seen the reality of DeSantis’s supposed Make Florida Great Again strategy change dramatically since he began running for president. We learned, for instance, that DeSantis allowed Disney to retain total corporate governance over its properties in Florida. Even I displayed naïveté when reporting on DeSantis’s slight-of-hand regarding Disney on March 30, 2023:
I attributed Disney’s retaining above-the-control of its properties to stupidity, but I should know by now that stupidity is a Republican’s favorite cover for corruption. DeSantis intentionally allowed Disney to retain total control while pretending to fight the mouse. DeSantis didn’t lose—he got Disney and the groomers off his back. It was all a ruse. (Notice that we’ve heard NOTHING about DeSantis’s supposed lawsuit against Disney? It all just went away, didn’t it?)
Twenty twenty-four is not a year for compromise, because we don’t compromise with evil. We don’t negotiate with evil. We fight evil.
American voters might not use those terms, but they don’t have to. The polls and X videos tell us all we need to know. Americans want a final battle for the soul of the country, and they want a presidential candidate who has proving uncompromising and tough, not a Republican Party lawyer dressed up in camo gear to pretend he’s one of them.
DeSantis was never more than an echo of the cabal, a reflected and modulated wave of sound without substance. Like all echos, he sounded best to the people who gave breath to the sound in the first place.
The DeSantis campaign is out of money and out of ideas. It will linger in hopes some rogue prosecutor will win a conviction or a gag order against Trump. But DeSantis has no chance of becoming President of the United States in this election cycle. Without Trump at the top of card, Republicans in solid red districts and states will struggle to survive what’s coming.
The battle for America’s soul is underway and will be decided soon. Compromise is defeat. We might will lose either way, but would you rather die in battle or live as a coward?
Be the choice, not the echo.