Glenn Youngkin’s Not Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis. But is he the future of the GOP?

There are many ways to skin a cat and there are many ways to own the cats. In recent years, we’ve been greeted by a healthy dose of the smashmouth approach, with politicians like Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis excelling in frontal attacks.

However, the wiser way to win is to order your enemies to hell – in a way that makes them look forward to the ride. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin – who won as a Republican in the green-leaning state while emphasizing issues like critical race theory in schools – excels on this technique . When it comes to waging culture wars, he uses a kinder, gentler machine gunner.

There is also reason to believe that Youngkin – who by law cannot run for re-election – may just be the smart post-Trump leader for the Republican party. (Indeed, like Politico reports, the governor of Virginia is “preparing to enter national politics by launching a new pair of political groups.”)

Youngkin outperformed Trump in every area of ​​Virginia in the gubernatorial run of 2021, from dark green to deep red counties. And one hundred days after serving as his governor, Youngkin continues to present what Articles washington described as “a combination of sunny determination and partisan support.” Youngkin has avoided causing major DeSantis-style national controversies, even as he honored campaign pledges by banning CRT instruction in Virginia public schools and establishing a suggestion line to support Parents complain about teachers and administrators.

“I see Glenn Youngkin implementing the same policies as DeSantis, but not such a light pole,” says Matthew Continetti, author of The right, told me recently. “And when I study the history of the American right, it’s this possibility that isn’t the lightning rod that really attracts independents and suburban voters… and this is what the right has been neglected. forgotten since the Reagan era.”

Youngkin’s sunny charm offensive doesn’t end on Election Day either. Shortly after winning, Youngkin met his Democratic predecessor then Gov. Ralph Northam. It was a civil and friendly discussion about the transition between administrations.

“Today is the beginning of a friendship and I appreciate it,” Youngkin said. Northam was equally courteous. Contrary to Trump’s refusal to even show up at Joe Biden’s inauguration, Youngkin’s meeting with Northam was like a throwback to a bygone era of politeness.

Youngkin then donated his first-quarter salary to a law enforcement aid fund. And just last week, he celebrated Earth Day by planting trees with kindergarten students.

If Trump doesn’t stay on the field, chances are Youngkin and DeSantis could represent two possible directions for the GOP.

The contrast is perhaps best summed up by Atlantic David Frum, who told me: “Give Glenn Youngkin a baby and he’ll kiss it; Give Ron DeSantis a baby, and he’ll punch it. ”

Perhaps a large tent with enough room in both directions? Just as neoconservative Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan both fit into Ronald Reagan’s “big tent,” Youngkin and DeSantis both live in Trump’s house. And this is the only place on the right. For better or for worse, the post-Trump Republican Party isn’t going back to the Romney-Ryan ethos anytime soon.

Both Youngkin and DeSantis also benefited from growing their national brands long after Trump joined. That timing means they don’t carry the shameful baggage of Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz (whom the political generation likely won’t be allowed to take us into the promised land).

Both Youngkin and DeSantis are governors, which gives them executive experience and demonstrates leadership through merit, as well as being a much-needed buffer from national politics.

In my view, either governor would be an upgrade from Trump; However, Youngkin’s hybrid model is clearly the better choice. Youngkin has (so far) proven his ability to appeal to working-class rural voters interested in culturally conservative issues, while also outperforming Trump among the voters. suburban university degree.

However, there is still the elephant that is always present in the room: Donald Trump.

Timing is everything in politics, and if Trump is re-elected and won in 2024, it doesn’t look like Ron DeSantis will be able to maintain his current popularity and relevance until next year. 2028. Likewise, Youngkin will leave the governor’s mansion after 2025. What will he do in the next three years? In politics, you must attack while the iron is hot.

Trump’s entry into the mainstream of the GOP in 2016 interrupted a battle between two anecdotes between the more optimistic Marco Rubio and the more populist (but still a constitutional conservative) Ted Cruz. Eight years later, Republicans may miss out on the outcome of a similar head-to-head battle — because Trump has sucked up all the oxygen.

The Republican Party has two famous, young governors, each of whom are under the MAGA framework but with very different temperaments. Youngkin, in my estimation, is the better of the two. Regardless, Republicans should look to the future.

Even if Trump runs and wins in 2024, he can only serve one term. Youngkin or DeSantis could represent the future of GOP. But the question is: won’t GOP voters throw away their shot? Glenn Youngkin’s Not Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis. But is he the future of the GOP?


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Back to top button