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Let the Cream Rise

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

I guess the news outlets had to make a big deal of DeSantis’s declaration, but I didn’t think it was.  We’ve all known, for a long time, that Ron DeSantis was almost certain to launch a presidential campaign.  So, my response was...yawn...

He almost surely will be Donald Trump’s biggest challenger, but we understood that, too.  We know that Trump will attack DeSantis viciously (he’s already done so) because that is the kind of man Donald Trump has shown himself to be.  We know Trump, and he isn’t going to change.  What we don’t know, and what only time will tell, is how effective his attacks will be, how DeSantis will handle them, and how the Florida governor will manage his campaign.  We’ll have to wait for the answers to those questions because his Twitter announcement didn’t—couldn’t—tell us.         

Polls right now mean nothing.  According to polls, Trump is way ahead, but polls don’t vote, and the first Republican primary is eight months away.  DeSantis has never run a national campaign.  Can he do it successfully?  Will he crack under the pressure?  Is it possible that Trump and DeSantis will so destroy each other and sicken voters that another candidate could slip in and steal the nomination?  Guess what?  Only time will give us the answers to those questions, too.

Some conservative Americans have soured on Donald Trump.  That isn’t news, either.  The complaint is not with his policies, but his demeanor—he’s too much the arrogant egotist, appearing overly in love with himself, too vicious, too paranoid.  What is he afraid of?  If he is the best man for the party, that will come out and he will win the nomination.  He doesn’t have to go on a search-and-destroy mission, telling us that everybody but him is woefully unqualified.  His superiority will emerge in the campaign—IF he, indeed, is the best person for the Oval Office.

The fear that many conservatives have is that Mr. Trump’s character flaws have already repelled too many Americans whom he needs to again win the presidency.  For America’s sake, we must win in 2024, and Trump, to many conservatives, looks like a loser.  Not his policies.  Him.  If he did genuinely lose the election of 2020, this is the reason why, and he hasn’t improved in this category in the last three years.

After (even as) DeSantis made his announcement on Twitter, Mr. Trump, to no one’s surprise, immediately went on the attack—actually, continued his attack—against RDS and, no doubt, will not stop.  This probably didn’t win Mr. Trump any extra votes.   Maybe the opposite.

If Trump truly loves America more than he loves himself, if Trump truly wants the best for the country and not just his own glory, he will welcome the challenge Mr. DeSantis provides.   An RDS primary run will give Trump the chance to prove, especially to Republicans, that he is indeed the better man, not just claim it.  A glorious opportunity has presented itself to Trump to be magnanimous and reach out to disgruntled conservatives.  It would decidedly dilute Republican criticism of him if he would praise the outstanding job DeSantis has done as governor of Florida.  What Trump should say is that DeSantis would make an exceptional president—“only I believe” (Mr. Trump could say), “I would be a better one.  But, I welcome Governor DeSantis into the race, and may the best candidate win, for the sake of our great nation.”  I would be a whole lot more impressed by Donald Trump if he would say that than continue his bashing of Mr. DeSantis.

But that isn’t Donald Trump.  And that is the reason why so many conservatives have turned against him.  You don’t vilify the man conservatives believe is the best governor in America without some negative repercussions.

Or, perhaps Mr. Trump is absolutely correct and DeSantis is totally unfit to be president, far inferior to Trump.  But time and actions will demonstrate that, not Trump’s mouth.  We’ll see how Mr. DeSantis handles Trump’s brutality.  It will be most enlightening to discover whether RDS proves himself the better man by rising above the petty, caustic assaults and concentrates on how he wants to get America out of the slime pit Joe Biden and the Democrats have sunk the country into, or whether he rolls in the mud with Mr. Trump.   Pointing out legitimate flaws and failures is not against the rules; but being vicious, arrogant, and disingenuous should be.  The former needs to be done; the latter only demonstrates moral and character weaknesses.  Mr. Trump has played the latter game very well and he won’t stop doing it.  Will Mr. DeSantis join him on the mat in this kind of fight?  I sincerely hope not.  

Joe Biden, the Democratic Party, and the Uniparty Leftist, Marxist movement are the enemy, not fellow conservatives.  If DeSantis is a RINO (as some Trump supporters claim), he won’t be able to hide that in the campaign, and his backers will dribble away.  Mr. DeSantis’s record in Florida is fair game.  Lying about him isn’t, and, if Trump does, it will only confirm what too many people already believe, i.e., that he is in this for himself, not for the welfare of the country.  That is not the kind of candidate the Republican Party—or America—needs.

Cream rises to the top simply because of its nature; it doesn’t viciously push everything else in the cup to the bottom.    Be cream, Mr. Trump, and you will be back in the White House.  Prove to us you love America first, more than you love yourself, that you are indeed the superior candidate, and you will secure our support.  Otherwise, pardon us if we don’t believe you and look for somebody else.

Now, I’m going to sit wait...listen...examine...

Check out my new Substack for articles and podcasts at  Free signup. Read my western novels, Whitewater , River Bend,  Return to River Bend, and Allie’s Dilemma all available on Amazon. Also search YouTube “mark kevin lewis” for my Bible commentary videos.  You can follow me on Twitter: @thailandmkl.  And rumble: lewandcou



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