On the one hand, Trump’s ability to instigate his followers and generally corrosive impact on the country is unmatched. He’s like Beyonce, he tells MAGA jump and they say how high — and he’s made clear that a second term would be no-holds-barred. Still, the amount of baggage that he’s carrying makes him untenable for indepdendents and even some Republicans who think he’s a political liability; note the number of rats who jumped the ship given the GOP’s underperformance in the fall (same rats stayed with him through his presidency and 1/6). In that way, it feels like Trump standing would be preferable, since this is a flagging Trump, not Trump of 2016. Plus he’s obese and not particularly healthy.
On the other, DeSantis does not have the same natural charisma that Trump does, but seems more stealthy in getting things done. He’s a giant jerk but smart enough to know to not be completely corrupt out in the open like Trump — also not cognitively declining like Trump. In some ways, I would rather anyone than Trump, but I also don’t think DeSantis is any more appealing to independents and will never have fans backing him with the same fervor. I certainly would not want either in office but feel like DeSantis is only slightly less worse.
It’s a decision between whether they want to win or to be ideologically pure. I saw a poll the other day that ~40% of Republicans want someone who stands with their values vs. someone who will actually win…and that suggests to me that Trump is still alive and kicking with his supporters, even if they think he might lose (again).
The second question is easier to answer for me. DeSantis over Trump for me. I can’t stand him, but I think Trump is even worse. DeSantis will run the ideological playbook, and the phony culture war will grate enormously. But Trump is altogether more corrupt and dangerous. I think if Trump gets in as President again, he will have learned from his first go, and will have learned how to do significantly more damage next time round, hard as it is to imagine.
As for the first question, who would I rather stand? That’s tough, because in a choice between Trump and DeSantis for President, reluctantly I would choose the latter. However, if I were to consider who is more likely to lose to Biden, I think Trump is more likely to lose.
He has already been beat, comprehensively, by Biden. And even though most Republicans still burn a candle for Trump, there is still a decent sized group that doesn’t like him (most do not speak up) and have concluded that Trump is bad for their prospects of winning.
If more of the legal jeopardy Trump currently faces gains traction in the coming months, it will hopefully be even more damaging to his prospects of beating Biden, should he gain the nomination.
It’s laughable that Trump is trying to head off any indictments by claiming that the Democrats want to take him out of the game , when in fact there is no-one they actually fear less up against Biden than him.