Why DeSantis Should Not Run in 2024 

Last week at American Greatness, Brandon Weichert explained why, in his estimation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis should run for president in 2024. His main argument is that DeSantis is excellent in every way—and I agree. 

But I reach the opposite conclusion from Weichert. Here is why DeSantis should not run in 2024. 

Among many DeSantis boosters, there is an undercurrent of nervous dissatisfaction with Donald Trump. Weichert avoids a direct comparison, but his view is nonetheless clear when he says, for example, that DeSantis is the pinnacle of professionalism and “will not rage tweet his rivals.” At the very bottom of that is an error many still cling to: If we could find someone who does what Trump does but is nicer and more professional about it, then maybe that someone would have an easier time in Washington. 

Not going to happen. 

I hate to break it to my friends on this side of the aisle, but the total, mind-exploding, apocalyptic hatred of Trump never had and still has nothing whatever to do with Trump’s “rage tweets.” It has everything to do with his actions in office: He fights the established, corrupt-uniparty way of doing things. He makes it clear that a peaceful and prosperous nation is good for everyone except professional politicians.  

If you replace Trump with someone who takes his same anti-establishment tack, that someone will get the same Orange Man Bad treatment, just in a different flavor. Maybe they won’t go after DeSantis for tweets, but it will be something else. One way or another, they’ll make him out to be the second coming of Adolf Hitler. And then, four years from now, the media will have you saying “OK, we need a new DeSantis—someone who has the same policy views but is just a little less controversial.” 

For heavens’ sake, stop! Stop playing their game. Stop trying to find a candidate America and Washington both like, because it’s not just undesirable—it’s impossible. 

If you think that by switching to DeSantis you’ll get the best features of Trump without the drawbacks, you’re just playing into the Left’s hands. You may think this is clever tactical maneuvering. In reality, you’re reading the part of “Fourth Plebeian” in Shakespeare’s Roman forum scene: “Caesar’s better parts shall be crown’d in Brutus!” In case you haven’t read the play, this genius logical fallacy doesn’t work too well for the plebeians—or for Brutus. 

This is not the only time for DeSantis to run. We’ll need him in 2028 and beyond. And in the meantime, Florida needs him now. In the battle for American liberty, states are the only real counterbalance against federal power. If you remove DeSantis, the only genuinely pro-freedom governor, from that office now, you’ll have killed two birds with one stone—for the Left. 

Only the political class is afraid of Trump and his mean tweets. Voters will back him in the next cycle as never before, even beyond 2020 election levels. We understand this is a showdown, and it has nothing to do with Republicans and Democrats: This is people versus government. This is America versus politics. Don’t lose sight of that. And don’t try to out-clever the professional political manipulators. You already know who they fear the most: Trump terrifies them. The thought of Trump being president again scares them silly. That alone should tell you who our best candidate is. 

The only chance the uniparty has is to divide the voter base, to siphon off Trump support to serious people like DeSantis or unserious ones like Kanye West. Don’t fall for it. Trump is America’s man for 2024.

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About Dan Gelernter

Dan Gelernter is a columnist for American Greatness living in Florida.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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