As former President Donald Trump faces potential criminal inquiries for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, some have speculated that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be Trump's heir apparent in Republican primaries.
However, Washington Post columnist Max Boot warns that DeSantis could also be dangerous to the health of the American republic, and he said the Florida governor reminded him of former President Richard Nixon.
“Smart and disciplined but reclusive and unpleasant: Who does that remind you of? That’s right: Richard M. Nixon," wrote Boot.
Boot recalled that Nixon once claimed his opponent Adlai Stevenson was a coward and a Communist. He had an "enemies list" and he used government resources to go after them. He recruited the white bigots opposing desegregation in the infamous Southern strategy "and exacerbated social divisions in an attempt to mobilize the Silent Majority against liberal elites."
DeSantis is on a similar path "with even less respect for democratic norms than Nixon displayed. Indeed, he wages culture war with a ruthlessness that recalls Nixon during the bombing of Cambodia.”
Boot then pointed to some of DeSantis's attacks on the freedom of teachers with the so-called "Don't Say Gay" law and his decision to revoke special regulatory privileges given to Disney World after the company criticized the law.
Essentially, Boot explained, "DeSantis is engaged in one of the most alarming assaults on free speech and academic freedom since the dark days of McCarthyism in the 1950s, when Nixon rose to power. His actions may not be as blatant as inciting a mob to attack Congress, but his record reveals a troubling pattern of authoritarianism and vindictiveness that would be extremely dangerous in the Oval Office."
He might be smarter than Trump, but Boot warned he's just as dangerous if not more so.