Saturday, July 18, 2020

Are Ron DeSantis and Brian Kemp Making a Play For Donald Trump's Base?

The governors of Florida and Georgia, respectively Ron DeSantis and Brian Kemp, have mystifying been trying to overlook the science of the novel coronavirus and not ordering protective measures like mandatory wearing of face masks and increased restrictions on retail and commercial activity.  DeSantis has allegedly obscured state-level information about COVID-19 hospitalizations ( ). Kemp has filed suit to prevent the mayor of Atlanta from imposing a face mask requirement (  Their seeming recklessness could lead to greater numbers of infections and deaths in their home states--and in other states as interstate travel and commerce spread the disease.  One thing that is clear from watching the virus defeat President Trump is that defying medical science is a failed strategy.  Are DeSantis and Kemp crazy?  Or is there a purpose to this madness?

Even a cursory glance at the polls tells us that President Trump probably won't be re-elected this fall.  While the outcome of the election won't be known to a certainty until all the voting and counting is done, the gap between Trump and Joe Biden is large, and only widened after Trump's recent failed orgy of racism and hate-mongering in places like Tulsa, Mt. Rushmore and Phoenix.  Trump is flailing around for a way to save his campaign.  But he is too small a man, too hateful, anti-science, and immature to provide the kind of thoughtful, uplifting, unifying and magnanimous leadership Americans now seek.  His chances of a second term are meager and shrinking with each new COVID-19 case and each COVID-19 death.

That means Trump's base is in play.  Their leader probably won't be in politics much longer.  Both DeSantis and Kemp are of an age and have backgrounds that would let them scheme about the possibility of snagging the GOP Presidential nomination in 2024.  Grabbing the interest of Trump's base would give them a huge edge in the contest for that nomination.  And how would they get that edge? By engaging in crazy, wacked out, ignorant buffoonery like Donald Trump.  Maybe their horrifying policies actually make sense from a scheming, manipulative, deceptive, and terribly selfish point of view.   After all, they'd only be imitating Trump, and what better way to grab his base?