The conventional wisdom about the Republican presidential aspirants who aren't Donald Trump is that they may profess allegiance to many of his bizarre, extreme, and delusional beliefs, and they may act in extreme ways in the offices they currently hold, but in the White House they wouldn't do anything really crazy. Unlike Trump, you see, they're normal politicians who'd do normal things in the Oval Office. They wouldn't impulsively drop a nuclear bomb somewhere, as some insiders thought Trump might, or suddenly break off relations with important allies of long-standing.
I've been assuming that there's some truth to this with regard to the highest-polling non-Trump, Ron DeSantis. But then I read this at Fox News:
Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., questioned Tuesday if the United States should rethink its diplomatic relationship with Australia given its strict, military-enforced COVID-19 lockdowns...
"You know, you guys, look what’s going on in Australia right now. You know, they’re enforcing, after a year and a half, they’re still enforcing lockdowns by the military."
"That’s not a free country. It’s not a free country at all. In fact, I mean, I wonder why we would still have the same diplomatic relations when they’re doing that. Is Australia freer than China, communist China, right now? I don’t know. The fact that that’s even a question tells you something has gone dramatically off the rails with some of this stuff."
Do you feel confident that a President DeSantis would maintain diplomatic relations with all of our allies if he thought breaking off relations with some of them would get him a few nice news hits on Fox? Most of the mainstream media probably thinks he'd be above all that, but I don't.
There's a level of bomb-throwing in the GOP that's been normalized -- we see this now in the Senate, where Republicans are willing to throw America off an economic cliff because debt terrorism has built brand loyalty for them in the past, without causing that much damage to the country. Trump is more deranged than Mitch McConnell, but he didn't blow up the planet when he was president, and no living politician has built greater voter loyalty. So he's the model his would-be successors want to emulate. Therefore, I wouldn't assume that America under President DeSantis (or President Abbott or President Noem) would be any more stable than it was under President Trump.
Republished with permission from No More Mister Nice Blog.