Ron DeSantis drops from the race - GulfToday

Ron DeSantis drops from the race


Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the ultra-Republican conservative who was seen as the real challenger to Donald Trump on his comeback trail, had dropped from the Republican presidential nomination race days before the New Hampshire primary. He had raised more than $100 million which was a real show of strength to be in the race for the White House, and he proclaimed his conservative virtues in words and deeds, threatening to boot out Disney from the state when the corporation dared to cross swords with him.

He wanted to prove that he could outflank Trump on his political turf of conservatism. But Trump is no conservative. He is a populist, who can take extreme position in a nonchalant fashion. DeSantis wants to be taken seriously by fellow-Christian conservatives. Trump cuts across special interest lobbies, including businesses. And people, especially Republican voters, just seem to love him for his wild enthusiasms.

It would not be right to say that Trump’s road to Republican nomination becomes so much easier because DeSantis had quit the race. DeSantis was not much of a challenger in the first place. Though Nikki Haley is the lone contestant standing in the field, it is expected that she too might quit after the South Carolina primary, which is her home state, because Trump is leading there as well as in New Hampshire.

It is this triumphant march of Trump towards Republican presidential nomination that is troubling many of the seasoned observers of American politics. They are unable to fathom the reasons for the popularity of Trump and his outrageous positions. And it would seem as of now that even President Joe Biden looks as weak an opponent as DeSantis and Haley. The popularity of Trump should not hide the fact that Trump is undermining many of the time-honoured conventions of American democracy. And this is indeed the worrying factor, and there seems to be no way of stopping him. It shows that American society is in a precarious situation, and that Americans are not sure of themselves any more.

Trump is in some ways playing the old political game of American isolationism, and that America is not interested in shouldering the responsibilities of the big power in global politics. But much of America’s advantages as an economic power is to be traced back to its role as the arbitrator of peace and economic aid. And in turn people and governments of other countries look to America as a friend and patron. People want to migrate to America. Government leaders want to be friends with free America though they would not allow freedom in their own countries. Trump does not show any interest in global affairs, and he does not realise that America is important because it takes interest in the world. Trump does not accept the fact that without migrants, including the illegal ones, American economy would not survive. It is the migrants who provide the cheap labour.  

Trump is open to be friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he is the only one to have met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But he is only too willing to fight Iran, and he has no interest in the politics of the Middle East. The Republicans as well as the big businesses in America are quite apprehensive of Trump and his big brother attitude.

It is Trump’s willingness to tilt at the windmills as it were which makes ordinary white Americans, who are stuck in low-skilled jobs, admire him. But Trump will favour skilled and talented and educated migrants and those who laud him will be disappointed and feel betrayed. Despite his campaign success, Trump remains a troubling figure on the American political scene.


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