Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray


DeSantis vs. Newsom would be a ‘24 battle of ideas — not a Biden-Trump clownshow

And they’re off!  

Finally — finally — the real race for the Presidency has begun.

Ron DeSantis’ announcement on Wednesday, added to Tim Scott’s earlier in the week, means that the race is finally interesting.

Of course, the Florida governor’s critics have spent the last day focusing on a brief technical glitch at the beginning of his Twitter Spaces launch.  

But they’ve ignored the strength of his launch.

What was that strength?

It was the fact that here was a candidate who did not just talk in broad strokes about the country but actually got down to details. 

DeSantis’ time in Congress gave him a great insight into what is wrong at the highest levels in this country. 

Not least with the administrative state. 

His time as Governor of Florida has shown him how things can be turned around.

And on issue after issue he got specific.

Not something that not all the contenders for the office of President are keen to do.

But up until now DeSantis has been at a disadvantage. 

Biden is leading Donald Trump in many 2024 presidential polls.
MediaPunch / BACKGRID

Since it became clear that he was one of the main Republican contenders for president the leftist blob has been out to get him. 

They have done hit-job after hit-job on him.

Look at all the list of crock stories they have come up with. When Florida made efforts to protect children from inappropriate teaching materials the left claimed that Florida had a “Don´t say gay” bill. 

And how about the “travel advisory” issued earlier this week by the NAACP, which claimed that Florida “is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.” 

For months these groups and their media outriders have been taking these insane potshots at DeSantis.  

But they have a problem now. 

DeSantis can point to actions as well as words.

Because DeSantis does not simply say his critics are mean or nasty.  He does not just denounce all this as “fake news.”  

Like Glenn Youngkin and other successful Republican Governors, he has real-world results to point to.

My favorite part of the launch Q+A was when the NAACP “travel advisory” came up.  

An amused DeSantis noted that the Chairman of the NAACP – Leon Russell – happens to live in Florida.  

So he clearly doesn’t believe his own “travel advisory.”  

DeSantis also made the point that if you compare Florida with any number of Democrat-run cities, like Baltimore or Chicago, it’s obscene to even pretend that there is a threat to black Americans in his state.

But DeSantis could also able to point to the positives.

The fact that Florida has more black-owned businesses than any other state in the nation. 

The fact that more African-Americans lead state agencies in DeSantis’ Florida than at any earlier time in the state’s history.  And they got there by merit.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been floated as a possible Democratic candidate in 2024.

Then crucially on education. 

The fact that the state ranks third in the whole country in 4th-grade reading and second in 4th-grade math among black students. Such facts don’t just run counter to the left’s stories. They blow them apart.

And here it seems to me that there are two options for this country.

It is possible that the 2024 race is going to be a re-run of 2020. 

Trump is still leading the polls among Republican voters, and Joe Biden looks set to head into his ninth decade as the Democrat candidate.

Personally, even thinking about that race makes me want to lie down in a dark room. 

Biden will spend the whole time pointing at Trump and saying “But look at what’s his name.” 

Trump, meantime, will keep banging on about the last election being rigged while not having any apparent plan of how intends to un-rig it next time. 

Does he just plan to lose to Biden again?

Tim Scott
Tim Scott has also announced that he is running for president.

It would be so much better for this country if both these candidates got out of the way and America finally had the debate it needs to have. 

As I have said here before, the Republicans have a good bench full of talent. 

The Democrats do not. 

Assuming the Democrats would never be so foolish as to allow Kamala to run for the top job they will have to go a generation down and run someone like Gavin Newsom. 

And there is a race. 

There is the debate this country needs.

The choice could hardly be clearer. 

Both Newsom and DeSantis have had an opportunity to run a state. 

Both can run on their record.  

We know the success of the Florida model, during COVID, for business in general, and much more. 

 And Newsom? Well a major city-commissioned survey in San Francisco released this week found that just half of the sidewalks in the city’s commercial areas have feces on them. 

So there’s that. 

In Gavin Newsom’s America, you’ve got a roughly 50-50 chance of being in the s—.

Somewhere in the difference in how these two states have turned out is the debate that’s worth having. 

A debate about the future of America. 

When it comes to Florida vs California it is also a debate that the Republicans can win.

Later, alligator

My hero of the week is Florida bar-goer Jordan Rivera.  

As the Post reported yesterday he’s the 23-year-old who was attacked by an alligator while going for a cheeky bathroom break outside in the early hours.

Waking up in hospital stoic Jordan said: “I didn’t lose my life — I lost an arm.  

“It’s not the end of the world.”

I love it. 

In a world of perpetual moaning, that’s the spirit.

Questions about Gates

This week’s revelations about Bill Gates and his alleged affair with Russian bridge player Mila Antonova make no sense.  

Bill Gates
Bill Gates had an alleged extramarital affair with a Russian bridge player.

When the story broke this week a spokesperson for Gates said that Jeffrey Epstein tried to blackmail Gates in 2017 over this past affair.

In an email, Epstein asked to be reimbursed by Gates for Epstein’s payment of the girl’s tuition at a software coding school. 

Just one question from which is why did Gates need his then 20-something girlfriend’s tuition fees paid by a much less well-off friend?  

It’s not like Gates didn’t have the money himself.  

Could one of the world’s richest men really not afford to pay for a software coding course himself?

It´s almost as if we’re not getting the full story.