Ron DeSantis, Tampa Convention Center
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) speaking at the 2021 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Most Republicans live in a fact-free alternate reality. And there, Ron DeSantis just committed the greatest sin.

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After seeing his chances of wresting the Republican presidential nomination away from Donald Trump all but vanish, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) decided to take the gloves off in the most careful way possible on Friday. Still, he drew an immediate and angry response from Trump supporters, who continue to live in an alternate reality. Unfortunately for DeSantis, it is that reality — which he helped create — where the GOP nomination will be won (by Trump) and lost (by everybody else). 

So what did the Florida governor do to upset the Trumpverse? He stated a very simple truth, which is a big no-no for today’s Republicans. 

All DeSantis said was that the many theories Trump rolled out to explain why the 2020 election was supposedly stolen from him “did not prove to be true.”

Seeing how none of these various theories survived judicial review, and that Trump and his crackpot attorneys never delivered solid evidence for any of them, that’s simply what normal people call “a true statement.” 

But, as noted above, truth isn’t a currency today’s Republicans are dealing in. 

Therefore, DeSantis drew a swift rebuke from some of the most prominent denizens of MAGAland. 

Rogan O’Handley, a right-wing Twitter personality with 1 million followers, commented on the news by saying it disqualifies DeSantis from winning the nomination. 

“If you think Joe Biden got the most votes in US history, you’re an actual clown,” he wrote. 

And Kari Lake, who knows something about losing elections and legal challenges, retweeted a post to her 1.4 million followers that may sound cryptic to people in this reality:

“We all saw the 3 A.M ballot dumps, the ‘pipe bursts’, the stuffing of ballot boxes the burying of the hunter Biden laptop story by the FBI and Big Tech alone changed the outcome of the election Ron Desantis doesn’t think that constitutes a ‘stolen’ election He’s not our guy.”

If you don’t speak MAGA, these are all various debunked conspiracy theories that totally happened in the right-wing’s alternate reality. 

One can’t blame DeSantis for trying something other than trying to overtake Trump in his own lane. By now, he probably realized that that’s an exercise in futility similar to overtaking a bobsled in one of those Olympic ice canals. 

However, because Trump’s most ardent supporters live detached from reality in a world in which the things they hear from the former president and on Fox News are true, this isn’t a winning strategy either. 

In fact, it might speed up ending the governor’s presidential ambitions so that he can go back to harassing Florida’s minorities, migrants, LGBTQ community, students, and “woke” businesses. 

The prominent right-wing publication Gateway Pundit said as much. 

“Ron DeSantis Effectively Ends His Race for President — Says ‘Theories’ by Donald Trump about 2020 Election Being Stolen Were ‘Unsubstantiated,’” the publication tweeted.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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