Jackie Calmes: Ron DeSantis proves that cruetly is a Republican trait
(MCT) – At the end of July, I posted a list of five reasons the Republican Party may not be a serious national party. My point was that the party’s inability to grow is an inevitable consequence of its inability to adapt, particularly to its base and its new constituencies.
I was wrong about that — by a good margin.
In this election cycle, we’ve seen a new generation of Republican politicians — and the first generation of millennial-aged white males — come of age as the party of the president. These new leaders will be forced to work together toward the same goals in order to compete in the era of identity politics. As a result, the party may never find its footing again.
But one thing the GOP really did manage to do right this year was to evolve. That’s a major accomplishment in the face of the most important election of our lifetimes.
And, more important, it’s a testament to the effectiveness of the Ron DeSantis movement.
DeSantis’ speech to the Rotary Club of Naples, Florida, was one of the best moments of the 2018 campaign. What I saw in this speech was a young man who had taken over his father’s restaurant business and transformed himself into a successful restaurateur. He talked with passion about the important things, and also about the things that matter in life. He was one of the most effective, substantive, and effective politicians of his generation, and he was a natural, charismatic speaker who made the case for our party in an exciting way.
He’s done an excellent job building his campaign organization and taking it national. The question now is whether he can replicate the results.
With all due respect to our president, his legacy will go down in history as one of the most dismal, divisive presidencies of all time. But it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever see a president in the modern era who delivered the kind of leadership he promised in his first year in office.
The GOP will have to find a way to take its case to the American people without relying entirely on identity politics. The party will have to