OPINION: Trump's unfounded attacks on DeSantis are a display of ego and disregard for unity

Trump's efforts to smear DeSantis ultimately hinder the prospects of unity within the conservative movement.

OPINION: Trump's unfounded attacks on DeSantis are a display of ego and disregard for unity
AP Photo/Ron Johnson
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In a recent video, former President Donald Trump attacked Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, while simultaneously praising failed Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist — ramping up his now-routine attacks on DeSantis.

Such unfounded criticism of DeSantis, who carries the torch for fighters in the culture war against wokeness, demonstrates Trump's misplaced priorities and ego-driven behavior. His efforts ultimately hinder the prospects of unity within the conservative movement.

In the video on Monday, Trump claims that Florida was thriving long before DeSantis took office, attributing the state's success to low taxes and low crime rates. Trump went on to commend former Governor Rick Scott and even Democrat Charlie Crist for their performance.

However, the former president failed to acknowledge DeSantis' overwhelming victory in last year's elections, where he defeated Crist by a staggering 19.4 points – the most dominant win in Florida gubernatorial history. Crist was completely outmatched — a point Trump refuses to note as he rails against “Ron DeSanctus” and “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

When asked by reporters if he regretted endorsing DeSantis in 2018, Trump said he did, insisting that DeSantis was “dead as a dog,” adding, "I like people that are loyal. This guy was dead."

This assertion has sparked backlash from various conservative commentators and figures, who argue that Trump's relentless criticism of DeSantis, who has yet to respond to the attacks, showcases a power struggle within the conservative camp.

It’s clear as day to see where the battle lines are on social media, as some Trump die-hards transformed from being “America First” to putting Trump’s ego above all else — even to the point of adopting liberal talking points, sharing their content, and joining in accusations of labeling DeSantis a “fascist” for taking the fight to woke schools and institutions in the state of Florida.

Political commentator Mike Cernovich tweeted, "Trump's non-stop snipping at DeSantis, who isn't responding, shows the power hierarchy and shows who is threatened. Contenders call out champions, not the other way around."

This sentiment was echoed by other conservative personalities who called out Trump’s destructive ego. Many noted DeSantis’ refusal to play by Trump’s rules, focusing instead on issues that matter.

The fact that DeSantis has not yet announced any political ambitions further highlights Trump's insecurity and inability to deal with potential conservative challengers. DeSantis' successful tenure as Florida's governor has garnered him significant support from the conservative base, making him a potential frontrunner for the 2024 presidential race.

Trump's unprovoked and unfounded attacks on DeSantis not only reflects his fragile ego but also undermines the unity and strength of the conservative movement. By choosing to focus on personal grudges and perceived slights rather than recognizing the accomplishments and potential of fellow conservatives like DeSantis, Trump is doing a disservice to the very movement he once led.

It is crucial for conservatives to rally behind leaders who prioritize policy and unity over personal animosity, and it's high time for Trump to reassess his approach if he truly cares about the future success of the conservative cause.

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