Has the DeSantis Doctrine Arrived?

Has the DeSantis Doctrine Arrived?

The potential presidential frontrunner gave a glimpse of his worldview.

DeSantis gets that instinctively.

I think the difference between then and now is, government is bigger and more powerful. But these agencies, particularly in law enforcement and national security, have been weaponized, so that they really represent the enforcement arm of one particular faction of society against the rest of us. And you do not have equal zeal with which they wield their power. People talk about the deep state like it’s some conspiracy. It’s not a conspiracy. What we have right now is the logical result of having an absence of constitutional accountability in the administrative state. And basically what human nature will do, of course, power is going to accumulate there. The founding fathers would have told us this if we had told them what was going on. So that’s the logical outgrowth of Congress abdicating its responsibility to hold the bureaucracy accountable for decades. It’s a logical result of Congress empowering the bureaucracy and letting them do a lot of the heavy legislating.

This is a return to President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning, and DeSantis mentioned the former president by name. “I look back at Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address. Most people remember it for his warnings about the dangers of the military-industrial complex, and I think those were very smart observations. But if you read that inaugural address, he talked about this new phenomenon of the federal government funding so much scientific research. And he said, when those two things are intermingled like that, there’s a danger: public policy itself could be held captive by what he called the “scientific-technological elite.”

The scope of the challenge facing DeSantis if he decides to run for the presidency will be enormous and daunting, and he will possibly face entrenched interests thwarting him, as well as pressure to build bridges, even after he wins. Compromise and relative gains are natural in politics. However, it is refreshing to see a conservative politician who is not just competent and instinctive and also understands that the challenges he faces, from an interventionist foreign policy abroad to CRT in higher education and bureaucracy and a war on history at home, are not separate but are simultaneous logical extensions of the same toxic worldview.

Sumantra Maitra is a national security fellow at the Center for the National Interest and an elected, early career historian member at the Royal Historical Society. He can be reached on Twitter at @MrMaitra.

Image: Reuters.