The Nation Needs Newsom vs. DeSantis


For all the tumult of today, we as a nation are merely dithering around the edges of the most critical question of our times – do we stop or go?

Does America go down the path of cultural least resistance and allow our betters to do our thinking for us or do we stop the process while we still can, while at least the option of freedom is still on the table?

And this choice must be clear cut – the babbling biting of the last few years accomplishes little save to infuriate one side and employ the other.  It doesn’t answer the question definitively.

That is why the 2024 presidential election must be an up or down choice, a column A or column B decision, chicken or fish, an in or out verdict, a clear conclusion to the feigned fear frenzy of the present.

That is why the race cannot be between Donald Trump and Joe Biden – it must be between the Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom, the poster boys of the divide.

The clarity of the choice – one way or another – is the best option to move beyond the morass.

But why not Trump and Biden?  Surely they stand as apex exemplars of the progressive/conservative, the woke/libertarian, the public/personal, the comfortable cocoon of contrived consensus versus the perils of personal prerogatives?

Actually, they don’t.

As for Biden, he was never a hard left politician and, if he understood his current surroundings, he would not be today.  Biden orbited around the standard DC left – more stuff for the poor, more stuff for campaign donors, more stuff for regulators to do, that sort of thing.  Outside of his ambition to become president – he did run three times – there was never any inkling he could be bothered to care about “big think” issues, let alone contemplate radical change.  Joe has always been in it for Joe, he has done what he’s told, he’s status quo – no matter what that may be - first, and has been driven by a personal financial bitterness that has enabled his family to wallow in the leavings of his career.

In other words, like in 2020, there are a lot of non-policy related things to like (one supposes) or dislike about the guy.  While he in no way actually meant it, let alone did it, he ran on returning to “normal” after four high-octane years of Trump and, for some reason, many people still see him as his former self – a schlubby non-entity uncle who, even if screws up now and again, does so with a good heart.

None of this – his politics, his image, his history – makes him a “poster boy” for woke worldview; he could win or lose without ideology deciding the issue because – deep down – he has no ideology.

Read the rest of this piece at The Point.

Thomas Buckley is the former Mayor of Lake Elsinore and a former newspaper reporter. He is currently the operator of a small communications and planning consultancy and can be reached directly at You can read more of his work at

Image: courtesy The Point.