by John Ellis
For most of the year, I’ve been stating that I believe Ron DeSantis will be the next president. While he hasn’t officially declared himself as a candidate, we all know, barring some unforeseen derailing event, he will. He didn’t go unnecessarily toe-to-toe with Florida’s biggest economic engine just to spend the next four years stuck in Tallahassee. Now that he’s locked up the governorship of Florida once again, he can go back to fighting made-up culture wars to help grow his national name recognition instead of doing his actual job as Florida’s governor. I doubt he’ll publicly announce anytime soon. No doubt, though, his team is privately wooing big-pocket GOP donors. In fact, I’m pretty sure many big-pocket GOP donors are actually wooing DeSantis. I mean, FOX News has pivoted off Trump and to DeSantis so fast that even Rosaline from Romeo and Juliet is impressed. His presidential campaign war chest will be set before he even announces. And this courting, if not an already consummated marriage, between Ron DeSantis and big-pocket GOP donors is an important point for my thesis: I now believe that Donald Trump, out of spite, will blow up the Republican Party if he doesn’t receive the GOP nomination in 2024.
As I said, I’ve believed that Ron DeSantis will be the next president. Now, though, I’m not so sure. In fact, I’m beginning to doubt that any Republican can win back the White House. The sabotaging key, as my thesis reveals, will be Donald Trump. I only recently began to lean this way after reading a tweet by a friend.
In response to another tweet about DeSantis having basically locked up the Republican presidential nomination – the position I’ve held up to this point – this friend made the comment along the lines that if Trump loses the nomination, he’ll run as a third-party candidate.
My initial response was, no way. If Trump loves anything more than power, it’s his money. If he runs as a third-party candidate, he’ll have to finance much of his own campaign in what would likely be a losing effort. Without the apparatus of the RNC’s donor machine, Trump would be beholden to a donor base of a MAGA/Trump world that will have shrunk considerably, many having been peeled off by DeSantis (or whomever the Republicans nominate not named Donald Trump). Presidential campaigns are quite pricey these days, and his out-of-pocket expenses would be astronomical as a third-party candidate. He would lose millions upon millions of dollars that he likely can’t afford to lose. There’s no way he’d risk that, I thought.
Trump’s superpowers of childishness, spite, and vengeance may combine to override his love of money. Donald Trump can’t stand losing. If he loses, he cheats. Ask the bankruptcy courts. And if his cheating fails, he pouts and stomps, breaks things, and tries to end the long-standing tradition in this country of a peaceful transfer of power (see Jan. 6). This time, though, the thing he’ll want to break and destroy will be the GOP’s chance to reclaim the White House. Think, “If I can’t have the toy, neither can you!” mentality.
Before DeSantis has even announced, Trump’s childish pettiness has emerged. Crowning his once-ally-now-rival with the moniker Ron DeSanctimonious, Donald Trump is already taking shots at the newly minted crown prince of the Republican Party. For no reason other than people are saying that DeSantis is going to end up with what Trump wants – again, I repeat, think, “If I can’t have the toy, neither can you!” mentality. As FOX News and other high profile Republican operatives continue to abandon Donald Trump for Ron DeSantis, Trump’s ire is only going to grow to the point where no one will be able to talk him out of a third-party run.
To be clear, I’m not sure that Trump’s massive ego won’t convince him that he can win as a third-party candidate. But it doesn’t matter. Whether he does it purely out of spite or he’s convinced himself he can actually win, the effect will be the same. MAGA world will retain enough Trump loyalists to syphon votes from DeSantis in a high enough number as to almost guarantee the Democrats win the Presidential election in 24.
Of course, there’s another possibility: Trump essentially blackmails the GOP with the above third-party sabotage scenario, forcing the RNC to nominate him for President. Considering that the RNC has a Saul Alinsky shaped moral center, thwarting the will of the primary voters and nominating Trump is not out of the question. If that happens, I can’t see Trump winning in the general election. At this point, he’s too toxic and too far down the My Pillow-rabbit hole of nonsensical conspiracy theories. Trump would alienate too many independents and undecided voters. Even some longstanding Republican voters will find it too unpalatable to once again hold their nose and vote for a man they know is noxious and undeserving of being President of the United States (even if they have yet to publicly admit it).
So, yeah, my Democrat friends, this Republican civil war that is heating up is to y’all’s benefit. Watch and giggle with glee, because the worse it gets, the greater the likelihood that Biden (or whomever y’all nominate) will be standing on the Capitol steps on January 20, 2025, taking the oath of office.
And to my Republican friends, well, I warned y’all repeatedly in 2016 to not get in bed with someone as unfaithful, self-serving, and overall horrible as Donald Trump. Y’all have nobody to blame but yourselves.
 To be clear, I don’t know the campaign finance laws and regulations very well. I’m not saying that he’s currently accepting donations (maybe he is, I don’t know). If not, and it may be illegal to solicit donations for a campaign that has not yet been announced, I have zero doubt that promises of donations have been made. My point: DeSantis does not need to worry about how his presidential campaign is going to be financed.