If you’ve been following this journey for a while, you know my worst nightmare is playing out in front of me with this showdown between our great former president and our great governor.

It’s like watching your two best friends fight. It’s hard to root for either one and you just hope that neither gets hurt too bad and that they can work it out and be friends after the dust settles.

That’s the way it used to be when I was growing up. Two friends had a disagreement and we’d duke it out to settle it, we’d wash the blood out of our mouths with a cold beer and go right back to being friends when the fight was over no matter who won.

Both Trump and DeSantis have made key mistakes during this early political battle and both are also doing some good things that I hope won’t change.

Trump reverting to name calling is a mistake. DeSantis hinting that he will challenge Trump on how badly “Dr.” Anthony Fauci screwed up the COVID pandemic and tying that to Trump is a mistake.

Trump was on to Fauci pretty early in the pandemic and essentially removed him from the public eye. It was Biden who brought Fauci back into an authoritative role.

DeSantis claiming he did everything right by opening the state, as well as the schools isn’t necessarily a genuine defense against Trump, who began calling for the same things along the same timetable.

Let’s be honest, all of us thought COVID was a big deal when it first hit, especially in the first few weeks. DeSantis closed the state, as well as the schools, but did the right thing weeks later.

I’d call the whole COVID situation a tie between the two with Trump perhaps having the edge by putting the country on a war footing with Operation Warp Speed, mass producing ventilators and getting makeshift hospitals in operation in record time.

Fauci and COVID are a losing battle for DeSantis and he needs a direction shift before he announces his official candidacy.

Rumors are circulating that perhaps DeSantis may still not announce, but his recent trips indicate that probably isn’t the plan.

DeSantis is getting hammered on some networks for his “soft” attacks on Trump, pointing out the direction he may take with the former president, but not actually mentioning his name.

It’s a sad day when this is viewed as a political mistake as all these so-called political experts say DeSantis has to attack Trump head on and with more venom.

It’s exactly what we don’t want to see and why I think Trump’s personal attacks on DeSantis is a major turn off, even to me who typically loves it when Trump is being Trump.

I don’t know why these races have to take a sour turn and it’s something I hate about the political process where winning by any means necessary is the name of the game.

Trump’s smart attacks, which mostly revolve around his primary PAC, is pointing out some unfortunate truths about DeSantis’s time as a congressman.

Ads about DeSantis voting to cut Social Security and Medicare aren’t exactly accurate, but DeSantis did vote to raise the retirement age, which irks me to no end.

The fact that the retirement age has gone from 55 to now 67 for full benefits is completely and 100 percent the fault of idiot politicians who keep raiding the SS fund to pay for other things.

There have been very few attempts to stop Congress from doing that and every attempt has failed. It’s infuriating and I hope there is a brave enough candidate or sitting elected official who would not only stop the bleeding, but present a bill to return the retirement age to 55.

It’s sickening and disgusting that they have done this to us. They essentially want you to die before they have to give you back YOUR money that you spent your life paying into.

Politicians don’t have to worry about it though, and that’s the problem. All you have to do is be elected once at the national level and your financial future is secured forever.

Truth be told, I wasn’t a fan of DeSantis as a congressman but he has since changed my mind through solid Conservative actions as governor. He has proven to me that he would make a good president and I know he regrets his vote to raise the retirement age.

But the really smart Trump ads simply point out his failings as a congressman and say, “He’s just not ready to be president.”

It’s a brilliant strategy. It’s simply saying Trump is a proven Conservative leader who has had too many successes to count while leaving the door open to support DeSantis in the future with the ad essentially saying, “but not right now.”

Another PAC ad with someone eating chocolate pudding with their fingers is just out there in stupid land. I can’t even remember what the ad was about. I just couldn’t get past the disgusting imagery of it.

I normally despise these PACs who can put dirty ads out there, often filled with misinformation, but Trump can take a lesson from this strategy to just keep hitting the message that DeSantis is perhaps just not ready.

Their words, not mine, but it’s a smart message and leaves the door open for Republican unity going forward.

As far as DeSantis needing to be more aggressive toward Trump, I hope he doesn’t take the bait. He needs to avoid the advice of political operatives and ignore the media’s call for him to attack Trump.

Remember that the sole goal of these media pundits calling for a more aggressive DeSantis is to create clicks and ratings. Nothing more.

It’s media manipulation even from the Conservative networks.

My Trump-supporting friends around the country are all in on seeing DeSantis fail because they don’t know our governor like we do. As much as I point out to them that their understanding of DeSantis is off base, I don’t get very far with them.

DeSantis going on the attack may not affect Floridians that much, but it won’t work out well for him for diehard Trump supporters outside of Florida.

DeSantis’s message that what voters get from him is Trump policies without the drama is the only successful road to the White House in 2024, which I just don’t believe will end in success.

Trump will be the 2024 nominee so that’s why I hope that there is some truth in the rumors that he will simply not announce and that he was only testing the waters for a 2028 run.

If that proves to be the strategy at this point, then it’s brilliant. If DeSantis gives it a go simply to expand name recognition for a 2028 run, then that’s OK but it needs to be handled carefully and he needs to stay firmly on the road that doesn’t lead to a personal confrontation with Trump, or more importantly, Trump voters.

As I’ve said many times over, I hate the Republican primary season. Even when the candidates are holding their own regarding sticking to the issues, it’s these God forsaken PACs that drag campaigns into the mud.

Candidates can sit back and say they didn’t approve those kinds of messages but it’s camouflage most of the time. Plausible deniability, if you will.

If I were crowned king for a day, I’d outlaw Republican PACs during the primary season. There are just some things they advertise that can’t be taken back down the road when viable candidates and knowledgeable voters are needed. 

By all means, tell the truth, but that’s not how most of these PACs operate. They play in the mud. They misinform and tell half truths because a lot of money was invested into any one particular candidate.

As I’ve said before, elections are rigged when it comes to the final candidates we see on the ballots during a general election. The king makers, political operatives, PACs and the rich and powerful decide who those candidates will be.

Money buys elections, don’t ever fool yourselves into thinking differently. The only vote that counts for us common folk, is the last one of an election cycle.

Make it count.

We are in the fight of our lives. Conservatives attacking Conservatives will doom us all. As this political cycle heats up, I hope these candidates will distance themselves from hired guns that pose as Conservative supporters but are in reality out for their own personal financial gain.

And yes, that remains true here in our own local elections as well. I hope to get more in depth about that subject soon and how Manatee County is infected with that kind of politics.

We recently held a panel discussion hosted by Kevin Wright from the Manatee County Republican Liberty Caucus on this very subject. The video is on their Facebook page and Kevin did an excellent job laying out the money trail involving PACs.

If you aren’t a member of the MCRLC, I’d strongly advise giving them a look and consider membership. They are growing stronger across Florida and are true Constitutional Conservatives.

Kevin, as well as its membership, do amazing work within this community. True watchdogs. Check them out. Check out the video. Get involved.

Stay vigilant my fellow Patriots, keep informed and keep sharing our truth.

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