Former President Donald Trump’s strength with his base is the perception that he is a fighter.
His strongest followers believe the Republican establishment promised to deliver conservative results for years.
Instead, they believe the establishment pocketed their votes for years and delivered nothing in return.
For this reason, Trump’s barbs against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who has shown a pugnacious style of governance, going after what he calls woke indoctrination in schools and the Walt Disney Corporation, has staying power.
DeSantis has maintained a cordial relationship with establishment Republicans like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Karl Rove because he believes that general elections cannot be won with Republicans alone.
Donald Trump Jr. has exploited this to paint DeSantis as a “Trojan Horse for the RINO establishment.”
Trump, however, only sees friends and enemies. Anyone who is not 100 percent with him is an enemy.
“Our enemies are desperate to stop us because they know that we are the only ones who can stop them. They know that. You know, there’s never been a movement like this in the history of our country, probably in the history of almost every country. MAGA – Make America Great Again,” Trump said at his rally in Waco back in March.
Trump’s shortcomings as president including passively enabling details such as Anthony Fauci, who DeSantis told Piers Morgan that he would have fired, to be glossed over.
How Donald Trump Dominates
The former president has dominated the Republican Party since the 2016 primaries. He made his opponents look smaller than him and cowed by him.
“It almost didn’t matter what Trump said or did on stage, because the way he acted and looked projected strength — there’s a reason the old pros, like the late Roger Ailes and Trump himself, watch TV with the sound off to get a true sense of the impression being made,” National Review Editor-in-Chief Rich Lowry wrote. “If Trump wins the nomination next year, it will be partly because Republicans are once again drawn to what they consider his distinctive and unmatched sense of personal power.”
Trump frames the prosecutions against him as an “us versus them” dynamic.
“For seven years, you and I have been taking on the corrupt, rotten, and sinister forces trying to destroy America, and they’ve been trying to destroy it,” Trump said back in March. “They’re not going to do it.
“But they do get closer and closer with rigged elections – they get closer and closer. We’ve been the ones in this fight, standing up to the globalists and standing up to the Marxists and communists. That’s what they are.”
Interestingly, Trump’s effort to frame the legal assault on him as political interference with the 2024 election has gained validation from an unexpected source: former Trump adversary and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“You have a cynical public, they don’t believe anyone and when you start to see these prosecutors bring political cases, it just affirms everybody’s cynicism,” Cuomo told John Catsimatidis on Friday on WABC 770’S The Cats Roundtable back in March.
“It’s a coincidence that Bragg goes after Trump and Tish James goes after Trump and Georgia goes after Trump. That’s all a coincidence,” Cuomo scoffed, referring to James’ investigation of the Trump Organization and the District Attorney of Fulton County’s probe into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“It feeds the cynicism and that’s the cancer in our body politic right now.”
Trump’s opponents might point out the former president and 2024 presidential candidate’s lack of self-discipline as Lowry does; however, for Trump’s supporters that’s part of his charm. They like the fact he will say what no one else will even if it gets him into trouble.
The primaries are a year away, and Donald Trump has a commanding lead in the polls. However, if DeSantis holds his own during the next debate, anything can happen.
John Rossomando’s work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.