I think part of the reason for his success is the lack of femininity in his character. As Richard has written about before, literally everything we have (from Star Wars to bud light) is being feminized because of the power of women tears in the market place of ideas. He openly rejects this and flaunts it. When questioned on his "grab em by the pussy" comments, a question that would have brought any politicians to their knees, he calmly responded that "this is locker room talk" and the accusation trickled off of him like water off a rain coat. Everything these days is being sanitized to avoid pissing of college educated women and effeminate men. Yet trump disregards all these social norms and conventions enforced by the neurotic types and it drives them crazy because he refuses to play by their rules. DeSantis, still plays by the rules. Trump does not, hence why people men and republicans in particular like him.

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May 3, 2023Liked by Richard Hanania

Very good article. I think another way of putting it is that affect and body language provide honest signals of confidence and dominance that can’t be faked.

Desantis’ only chance is if he actually is a tough asshole to the core and can provide that type of appeal, combined with Trump being done in by legal problems.

I do think Trump would’ve been in a much better position, though, if he had never done the election denialism.

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What's missing from this analysis is just how Trump himself single-handedly changed the Republican Party. Never-Trumper David French was literally a National Review writer who toed the party line for decades, yet he's now called a RINO even though his policies are basically the standard Republican policies before Trumpian populism. Nowadays the Republican Party is more American Affairs and less National Review. Right-wing populists make fun of National Review and "Con Inc." Tucker Carlson used to love corporations, now he rails against them. Trump changed the party on an ideological level and the Romney-Ryan big-business types are losing power fast.

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I'm afraid that you're on-point here. The campaign may only be approaching the end of the first quarter, but Trump is already up by 30 points. Not an insurmountable lead, but it will take an epic collapse for the gap to be closed.

I don't completely agree with your strong man theory of the GOP (Gingrich was much more of an alpha male than Mitt Romney in 2012, and though he was a war hero, nothing about McCain in 2008 screamed alpha either), but I do think DeSantis is being exposed as a someone who can only be successful in a carefully crafted political space, whereas Trump can thrive in nearly any environment, and to a certain degree, needs that confrontational environment to support his message to the base.

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I wish this were not so perceptive and correct, as I do not want him to be our president again.

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Maybe. I think there's a great danger in trying to read too much into polling movement at this stage in the cycle. The race was basically stable until Trump got indicted, which probably drove a few potential DeSantis supporters to switch back to Trump out of not wanting to have their candidate chosen by the Manhattan DA's office. It probably will prove meaningless in the broader sweep of the campaign.

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Sad but probably true.

Right now Trump is the biggest thing holding conservatives back. If he had either been convicted by the Senate after January 6 or died at some point in 2021, the GOP would be in a much better position.

I'm fully expecting a Biden win again. Trump is a grifter, a fraud, and not a true conservative, with him being unacceptably liberal on certain social issues.

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Everything in the article makes sense and may very well be true. I’m just trying to square this with the fact every person I’ve talked to who voted for Trump has said basically the same thing: “I don’t like the guy but he’s the only one who will say what needs to be said and stand up to the liberals etc etc”. They don’t seem particularly attached to him as a person.

Obviously I have a small sample and this is anecdote. Maybe in the heart of Trump country things are different. Maybe they are attached to him deeply and don’t recognize it or somehow unconsciously disavow it. I don’t know...

I’m curious about others’ experiences with this. Great article as always. Really made me think.

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Unless Trump vs Biden polls change drastically, GOP should change the primary rules and screw over MAGA. Invent something like "superdelegates" or something.

GOP needs better control of the nomination process so they can eliminate bad candidates like the Dems did with Bernie. And I know Trump would and will attempt to screw over the eventual nominee if it isn't him. But RFKJr might provide a counter weight.

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I like the general thrust of the article, but I strongly disagree with your generalization that Republicans, “... don’t believe in ideas...” all the Republicans I know are all about ideas. They are not non-specifically angry at the “elites” as much as they are frustrated that their political opponents tend to refuse to discuss ideas, as opposed to pushing various narratives.

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May 3, 2023·edited May 3, 2023


Let me make this very clear to pepole that still don't seem to get it.

Trump is effective because he isn't a neo-con/neo-lib. PERIOD. Just like Bernie Sanders (sort of) rose to popularity with the left, because he wasn't the establishment, warmongering sell-out. Ed: yes, he had to kiss the ring from time to time, but you gotta drain the swamp slowly, at first. Remember he was fighting both parties at the same time, often.

As soon as DeSantis was caught being fluffed by the Pub establishment, when it became common news (amongst those who cared to know), that's when he cratered.

Trumpism, imo, started with the TEA Party, anti-forever war of the mid-late 2000s. It is a modified Libertarianism, that promotes American workers over the free marketers in that party. Trumpism people are small FEDERAL government, anti-interventionalists with teeth (see Iran bomb and NKorea detante).

Trump is not a globalist, this is what the intelligencia seemingly cannot even begin to grasp. The foundation for the country is the small to large: Individual, family, community, state, nation - the priority is in that order. this is the polar opposite of the mainstream, swamp creatures, the CIA talking heads in the msm, and the overly-educated who believe they know what is best for everyone.

That's it.

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Wow, so another six years of Democrats I guess. Trump is the ONLY candidate Biden can beat. Its not about fairness, it's about actually winning. The Dems are desperate for Trump.

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Another banger of an article, though if you had wanted to enrage and polarize people more you could have pumped up the focus on the skill Trump has at doing this, and simultaneously also the gullibility of the people who vote for him. Both those elements are there, but they're not as emphatic as in some of your more provocative work.

I absolutely love Trump -- he is the greatest entertainer alive, and arguably the GOAT. I don't support him politically. Politics are a joke nowadays, though, and he's a hell of a jokester.

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At the risk of inflating your head more, damn, why do you have to be correct?

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All of the GOP candidate seem terrified of attacking Trump. I wish the third or fourth tier GOP candidate were brave enough to just go nuts on him. It's not like you have that much to lose and it's a good way to stand out from the pack and it conveys authenticity.

And not just schoolyard insults a la Rubio, but attacks that really get at Trump's authenticity. I mean, the lines write themselves:

"De Santis is too much of a coward to stand up to Trump, and Trump was too weak, maybe just too old, to stand up for his supporters on January 6. Or maybe he's just full of shit.

My name is <Candidate> and I will not bullshit you."

I'm sure that'll piss people off. But sometimes the only way to win respect is to just keep punching. Basically the political equivalent of Rocky and Drago.

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This is a pretty good essay, unfortunately.

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