The Fake Trump-DeSantis War and the 2022 Non-Election
Friday, November 18, 2022
Tuesday was quite the night! I was on hand in Palm Beach to hear my former boss announce he’s running again for his old job. The response was electric. The ballroom at Mar-a-Lago was packed to the rafters with former White House officials, MAGA supporters, and a host of media. And the speech was remarkable: forward-looking, positive, and a celebration of all that Americans celebrate and fear has been endangered in the last two years. Please, if you didn’t see it, you should.
But will it be enough? After the midterms, can Donald Trump run and win to become the 47th president of the United States?
What Red Wave?
What really happened a week ago? What happened to the “red wave”? Just for the record, the Democrats were as convinced of a Republican sweep as the “experts” were. Just watch the soon-to-be former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) squirm in her chair and disown the New York Times’ predictions of defeat to Andrea Mitchell. And while we’re at it, can we just jettison the assumption that there are any actual “experts” left? Even the best in the business, Robert Cahaly, chief pollster for the Trafalgar Group, got it wrong on my national radio show, AMERICA First, just days before the election.
Something is happening in our elections that pollsters and analysts simply cannot track, let alone predict. And it must be understood if we wish to see a MAGA 2.0 in two years’ time.
The first is what Cahaly has labeled “submerged voters.” A sizable portion of the electorate simply cannot be engaged in representative samplings that reflect the larger populations proclivities, and therefore predicting polling is always a bust. There are multiple reasons for this, including the early voting patterns established in states which mail out millions of ballots unrequested since COVID, as well as Trump supporters who refuse to answer any pollster truthfully in an age of rampant cancel culture.
Ballots Not Votes
The second is far more important, and one that the conservative establishment seems wholly unable or unwilling to address. American elections have been radically restructured since 2020, yet the Republican Party thinks it can use its old playbook for a game whose rules have been completely changed. Today, elections are about ballots, not votes. If the GOP doesn’t understand this one fact, it is condemned to more and more losses until it internalizes the difference and reacts accordingly.
Republicans are a leery lot. We’re leery of government and we are leery of early voting. We believe that the safest way for us to practice our sacred right to vote is if we go to the polling station, identify ourselves, fill in the ballot by hand, and then place it into the ballot box or scanner with our own hands. We believe that has to be the most secure way to express your choice. Otherwise there is no security to the chain of custody of our ballot. If I have to mail it in, if I give it to a harvester, for example, what guarantee is there that my vote will arrive where it needs to arrive and be actually counted? None. If you want something done, do it yourself.
And thanks to this sensible attitude, we are being handed our backsides in states where the Democrats—and quiescent Republicans—have turned election day into election month.
Or worse. In Pennsylvania, the powers that be decreed there would be 50 days of voting. And more than half of Pennsylvania voted for the medically compromised Democrat before John Fetterman had even debated Dr. Mehmet Oz, and opened his remarks with “Good night, everyone!” They voted early based solely on tribal affiliation.
The point here is not whether Oz was a better candidate than Fetterman. (Would you trust the Democrat senator-elect even to walk your dog?) The point is the other party changed the rules of the game, organized to exploit those changes, and got busy while we stuck to our old habits.
This pattern was repeated all over the country, where the Democrats could get away with it. Just look at Arizona. A woman who hid from the public and the press, who was a disaster whenever a journalist managed to corner her, won against one of the most charismatic, attractive, and sharp-witted candidates America has seen in easily a decade. But it does matter if Kari Lake can walk on water politically when the Arizona GOP was so utterly incompetent that they didn’t even have enough printer cartridges on election day to print voters their ballots. If the Democrats had been running the printers, there would have been spare cartridges and then some. And you know it, too.
Blame the Guilty
So who do we blame for the midterms? It’s trendy right now to blame President Trump. Really? Was it his job—from Mar-a-Lago—to stop the Democrats in Pennsylvania from making Election Day “Election month-and-a-half?” And how is it the former president’s responsibility to ensure that the GOP in Arizona has a Staples account and uses it? Seriously? The two most serious post-mortems in the last week, which apportion blame based on evidence and not tribal affiliation, come from Mark Levin, and Senator-elect J.D. Vance of Ohio.
Given all the noise and disinformation out there, I strongly advise you to watch Levin unpack it all as only he can and read Vance’s assessment of campaign financing and the massive advantage Democratic incumbents have everywhere. Oh, and just for the record, J.D. Vance was Trump-endorsed, 100 percent MAGA, and won handily, for those needing ammunition to counter the “Trump candidates lost the election” narrative.
It is quite amusing that some think a former president is responsible for running the mechanics of a midterm election for House and Senate seats. He can donate funds from his PAC to favored candidates should he wish. And he can hold rallies for those he deems worthy of such support. But midterms are meant to be run by the Republican National Committee, the Senate Republican leader, and the House Republican leader. In other words: Ronna Romney McDaniel, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy can point to the fact that he helped get Nancy Pelosi fired. Congratulations to the future speaker. But what about McDaniel and McConnell? What did McDaniel do to stop 50 days of voting that clearly favors the Democrats? Why isn’t McConnell responsible for the dismal result in the Senate? Why aren’t the alleged “conservatives” currently baying for Trump’s blood blaming the Senate minority leader for anything? Why would someone who actually wanted to beat the Democrats pull and reallocate more than $10 million from the campaigns of America First candidates, including Adam Laxalt in Nevada and Don Bolduc in New Hampshire, and redirect that money to an incumbent RINO Senator like Lisa Murkowski in Alaska? Could it have anything to do with Murkowski being a loyal McConnell acolyte and Laxalt and Bolduc representing MAGA populism?
And what about the strange Trump-DeSantis pseudo-war some have so loudly declared? It’s all bogus.
I find it mildly amusing, as a legal immigrant, that I have to remind my fellow natural-born Americans: We don’t choose or declare a presidential nominee the week after a midterm election, two years before we can even vote for him. We have a quaint and rather fun thing called primaries. It’s a great idea. Remember 2015? We had 17 men and women debate each other, and then Republicans decided who should be their candidate. It’s a great system. And then Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. Ah, the memories! If Ron DeSantis wants to run, great! He’ll be running against a man who received 74 million votes—more votes than any incumbent in American history.
And as for those who say, “DeSantis is so much better than Trump!” How do you know? Yes, he is great if you’re a Floridan. But that’s one state out of 50. Do they have any idea how he’d run America’s national defense? Or our foreign policy? Would he close the border? Shipping 50 illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard was a cool stunt. But it doesn’t actually stop the cartels or prevent 110,000 fentanyl deaths in a year. He could be a great president—maybe. On the other hand, there is no question President Trump can do the job. Because he did it for 4 years. He crushed ISIS, revitalized the military, brought inflation down to 1.8 percent and gas to under $2 a gallon, revitalized NATO, made America energy independent, pushed unemployment to the lowest levels in generations, and oversaw a stock market boom that helped everyone’s 401k. Need I go on?
It really does blow my mind that small-minded people are actually gripping about President Trump making fun of the governor of Virginia’s name or giving Ron DeSantis a new nickname. We have war in Europe, 2 million illegal immigrants in 12 months, more dead in a year from drugs than twice the dead of Vietnam, and record gas prices—but ribbing Youngkin and DeSantis is beyond the pale. Keep clutching at your pearls, while the rest of us try to save America from a joint RINO-Democrat elite that is dismantling at warp speed the nation we love.
There is no war between the governor of Florida and my old boss. But the people who have sold you and your family down the river definitely want you to believe there is, and they would love to weaponize DeSantis as their tool to rip MAGA world apart. On the massive left-wing money interests looking to cozy up behind DeSantis, see my latest interview with Steve Bannon.
So here’s a crazy idea: Let’s have a primary. Let anyone run who wants to, and let’s see if they can beat one of the most successful presidents of the modern age. A man who can fill a stadium with 50,000 screaming supporters anywhere in the nation in under 48 hours. Should be fun to watch the contest.
Doesn’t Matter Who Our Candidate Is, If . . .
But it doesn’t matter whether our candidate is DeSantis, Trump, or Joe Rogan if the good guys don’t take control of the Republican establishment and fix two things.
First, make the privatization of elections via “Zuckerbucks” illegal. Someone as smart as Bannon needs to be our reverse Marc Elias, the architect of the 2020 steal. Instead of being an architect of election fraud across the nation, like Elias, we need to organize a new massive grassroots enterprise leveraging the incredible work and courage of the likes of Catherine Engebrecht at True the Vote and Ginni Thomas of Groundswell to build a wall of probity and transparency around every electoral municipality in America. In fact, it could be a great job for Kari Lake.
And second, in those states where ballots will be mailed out and the Democrats can keep the election a weeks-long process favoring early voting, sadly, we have to play their game if we want to win. We must convince our supporters it’s OK to vote early or give their ballot to a trusted and verified harvester. That should be the RNC and GOP’s job. But Romney McDaniel’s and McConnell’s RNC and GOP won’t do it. They won’t fix anything because if they wanted to, it would already have been done. Of course, they don’t want to fix anything as long as the money keeps flowing in for them and their anti-MAGA buddies.
We all need to understand this was not an anti-election. It wasn’t about Americans choosing a candidate they knew anything about on Election Day. In too many states, it was about one thing: ballots. It was about who could collect the most ballots, for weeks and weeks, get them filled, collected, and deposited. Where we can’t stop mail-in ballots and early voting, we have to learn how the Democrats did it and beat them at it.
And lastly, what about you?
My wife hates politics. But she decided she’d had enough of corrupt elections and other shenanigans in our state. So four years ago, she volunteered as a poll worker. Then two years ago, she became an election official. Then last Tuesday, she left the house at 3:30 a.m., only to return at 9:45 p.m. after spending the whole day as the chief election officer for her district. And I guarantee they did not steal the election on Katie’s watch.
If she can do her part, you can too. It’s only the future of your country we’re talking about. Get busy.
Sebastian Gorka, PhD., served as Deputy Assistant for Strategy to the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and is currently a presidential appointee to the National Security Education Board at the Department of Defense. He is the host of AMERICA First, a nationally-syndicated radio show on the Salem Radio Network, and The Gorka Reality Check, the newest show on the cable news network Newsmax TV. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling book “Defeating Jihad,” and “Why We Fight.” His latest book is “The War for America’s Soul.” You can follow him on Twitter @SebGorka, on Facebook, and on Instagram @sebastian_gorka. AMERICA First is available on the iTunes podcast app, streams live at www.sebgorka.com, and is on the video-sharing platform Rumble. You can contact him here.