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POINT/COUNTERPOINT: I did Nazi this coming.

POINT/COUNTERPOINT: I did Nazi this coming. | Race for the Republican Presidential nomination, 2024; Kanye West ^; <- Donald Trump; <- Ron DeSantis | image tagged in political compass with swastika,donald trump,ron desantis,2024,republican party,republicans | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
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3 ups, 2y
Ron DeSantis Freedom | image tagged in ron desantis freedom | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
2. Ron DeSantis

A favorite of both MAGA crowd and the GOP "establishment," Ron Desantis currently occupies a sweet spot in Republican politics. He's carefully constructed a brand as an uncompromising Republican culture warrior and a governor who "gets things done," without having clashed directly with Trump. Yet.

DeSantis leads a Florida Republican Party that has now for several years consistently stomped all over Democrats in what was once a swing state: an enticing record for national Republicans looking to re-establish dominance in other swing states.

However, a DeSantis candidacy carries risks that aren't fully appreciated by Republicans.

The first obstacle: Trump himself. In '16, Trump deployed withering insults to handily dispatch with a parade of "establishment" Republicans. Trump has already trial-ballooned similar attacks on DeSantis. Appreciating the risks of such a clash, DeSantis has stayed quiet this year throughout Trump scandal after scandal. But if DeSantis wants to dethrone the king, he'll have to strike at some point. The question is: How? Will DeSantis even try in '24, or will he play it safe and just "wait his turn"? If DeSantis ultimately runs and defeats Trump for the '24 nomination, will the latter simply sit there and take it? Or would Trump instead launch an independent presidential bid in '24 just for revenge?

The second: The unknown. DeSantis hasn't yet come under the same sustained media scrutiny that Trump has weathered for years. Are there scandals lurking in DeSantis's past? Will there be in the future? If DeSantis is running, basically, as "a scandal-free Trump," then he'd better hope it stays that way.

Third: Personality. Even if DeSantis wins the GOP Primaries, he isn't the most thrilling public speaker. His presence carries strong "step away from the vehicle" vibes. It's hard to see him establishing the same easy rapport with the GOP base that Trump fans love.

Fourth: Politics. The DeSantis political brand, while it plays well in Florida, is untested on a national stage, and may carry the same liabilities as the Trump/MAGA brand itself in a general election. Note that while DeSantis crushed his Democratic challenger by 20 points, he only ran ahead of Marco Rubio (FL Senate GOP candidate) by 2 points: suggesting Florida has become less a swing state than simply a solid red state, making DeSantis's reputation as a Democratic Party-killer somewhat exaggerated.
2 ups, 2y
Kanye West Hold My Beer | image tagged in kanye west hold my beer | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
3. Kanye West

As insane as he is, Kanye West expresses an ongoing interest in politics, has already run for president before (receiving approximately 70,000 votes in 2020), and he's self-involved enough to do it again. As we've seen recently, notorious anti-Semite Nick Fuentes wants to boost him. Kanye has a Trump-like talent for commanding headlines and press attention, even without Twitter (where he's now banned, seemingly for good, despite Elon Musk's "free speech" commitments). Add it all up, and Kanye has carved out a political lane for himself to the Right of Trump.

But is Kanye even a Republican? Does he even belong on this chart?

Kanye is (or was) a personal friend of Trump, and he's been spotted many times wearing a MAGA hat. That said, if Kanye plans to be in direct competition with Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, then we can expect that the latter will drop him like a hot potato. Apparently, at the infamous Nick Fuentes dinner, Trump screamed when it was suggested that Trump run as *Kanye's* VP.

Kanye has no prior political experience, and no institutional support in the Republican Party as it's currently constituted. Then again, neither did Trump before he ran for President in '16.

Of note: Like Donald Trump, Kanye West is independently wealthy. His net worth is (or was) well over $1 billion, at least before his corporate sponsors started dropping him left and right recently over the anti-Semitic comments. I'm not aware of his current net worth, but even if it's now under $1 billion, it's a lot. Thus, Kanye could self-fund a GOP or independent presidential run even without outside support.

If he's serious about it, a Kanye run in 2024 would "shake things up," with unpredictable results.

Verdict: Highly unlikely to win a Republican nomination, but could potentially siphon some of the most hard-right delusional MAGA-types away from Trump, either in the GOP primaries or as an independent candidate.
2 ups, 2y
Traitor Trump | image tagged in traitor trump | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
1. Donald Trump

2022 has been a Very Bad Year for Trump on many fronts. The Jan. 6 Committee dived deep into the motivations of hardcore MAGA factions that attacked the Capitol that day, set forth Trump's own personal involvement in the failed election theft scheme and the subsequent Jan. 6 riot/insurrection, and had good public viewership. The FBI "raided" Mar-a-Lago in August to recover highly sensitive classified documents. Most recently, there was the self-inflicted wound of the infamous Kanye/Fuentes dinner. Trump has been suffering court defeats in case after case, recently in a tax fraud case against the Trump Organization. The DOJ appointed a special counsel, Jack Smith, who is widely expected to deliver indictments against Trump in the near future. There's an outside chance that Trump is simply declared ineligible to run for President due to the 14th Amendment, Section 3 - "Insurrection Clause."

But Trump's liabilities in a general election become strengths in the bullpen of a GOP primary. Every new scandal only binds his base more tightly to him. He's (still) independently wealthy. He's a fundraising dynamo. He was recently unbanned from Twitter, and regardless, has found a new way to get his word out to his base through a purpose-built Twitter alternative, Truth Social. He enjoys universal name recognition. Trump satisfies the policy and cultural priorities of the modern-day GOP perfectly, because he built it.

Trump's "Big Lie" of election fraud of 2020 has allowed him to defy political gravity, evading the party recriminations that normally follow a presidential election defeat with a simple retort: "Actually, I won."

Finally, if denied the nomination in '24, Trump has a "trump card" that the GOP knows he's prepared to play: to run as an independent, and tank the GOP nominee's chances, much the same way Teddy Roosevelt did in 1912.

Trump is, in spite of it all, the clear front-runner for the GOP's '24 nomination.

But then we're back to the general election environment. The GOP's performance in the '22 midterms was far from the "red wave" that Republicans had hoped for, but remained decent overall. However, Trump's own handpicked candidates for Senate and Governor lost across the board in the 5 swing states that the GOP needs to win in '24.

Trump has major liabilities. But to deny Trump the nomination, the Republican Party will have to find a reserve of courage that it simply hasn't for the past 7 years. Count me skeptical.
1 up, 2y,
1 reply
As a conservative and Republican supporter, I think Trump was good but some of his policies could be improved upon. His meeting with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes is especially disillusioning, since Fuentes is an open fascist who hates democracy and conservatism, and wants Catholicism as a state religion, openly endorsing the Inquisition and calling himself a “12th century man”. I would definitely support DeSantis over Trump, though I wouldn’t mind if Trump won anyway. (Best case scenario for me is Rand Paul but I doubt he would get many votes)
If Kanye somehow wins the presidency the whole country’s screwed lol

On the bright side, if he actually runs in the primaries, not only would he realistically lose massively, but it could siphon away some of the more insane QAnon-type wackos away from Trump/DeSantis, allowing the winning candidate to operate more freely without having to worry about alienating the crazy folks. It would also help with keeping bipartisan support for Ukraine since most of the people who support Putin would be alienated from the rest of the GOP.

> be Putin, in my opinion a center-authoritarian with right-wing social policies, mixed economic policies, ultranationalist and revanchist foreign policy, and massively corrupt kleptocratic government
> ex-KGB agent to boot
> denies Holodomor and Katyn Massacre
> “The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century”
> massively promote the fact that you support right-wing social policies
> use old Soviet propaganda tricks like whataboutism but right-wing this time in America and Europe
> all while continuing to use left-wing propaganda in third-world countries
> far-right people think you’re some sort of right-wing nationalist savior who epically pwns the gays
> meanwhile China, Iran, and Venezuela love you because le death to AmeriKKKa squad
> some even repeat your denial of the Holodomor as a Nazi fabrication and blaming Katyn on the Nazis unaware they’re repeating literal communist propaganda
> invade Ukraine
> can’t take Kiev so war drags on
> your shills try to stop aid to Ukraine
> can’t because they’re such a small minority
> NATO is more united than ever before
> liberals and conservatives finally agree on something for once
> howdidthishappen.jpg
1 up, 2y,
1 reply
Putin as a centrist-authoritarian… hasn’t considered that before. Makes a ton of sense.

We in the West to think of Putin as “right-wing” because of things like his opposition to gay marriage, his partnership with the Russian Orthodox Church and his alliances with right-wing parties across Europe (and factions of the Republican Party here in the U.S.), but on the other hand he also has those alliances with China and other Communist countries.

Disheartening how many Righties in the West have been duped by things like his crackdowns on LGBTQ rights, his performative opposition to “wokeness,” and his shirtless photos flexing in the Russian wilderness. Apart from these propaganda tricks, he’s a ruthless killer, the architect of a crushing censorship state, and a total simp for Communists when it suits him.

I doubt Putin really gives a crap about gay marriage. For him the issue is just a means of dividing and conquering. All Putin is truly attached to is power and that makes him the perfect Centrist Authoritarian.

Putin’s diplomacy around the world and consolidation of personal power within Russia really have been impressive over the past two decades. Great for him, that is, not for Russia as a whole.

It was all going to plan, really, right up until the Ukraine invasion. The Russian army’s stunning incompetence is something nobody either inside or outside Russia counted on. Western unity in the face of it also has also proven pretty impressive… so far.

Will Western unity outlast the Russian people’s patience with Putin? That seems to be the question now.
1 up, 2y
Precisely. Sometimes he acts like a right-wing traditionalist when it suits him, sometimes he acts left-wing when it suits him, he can paint himself as whatever he wants with his propaganda machine, and he will always act in his own self-interest. The only thing I think he actually cares about is Russian ultranationalism, and even then a "Greater Russia" could be just a means to further increase his power, or a sort of legacy for him to leave on the world.
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    Race for the Republican Presidential nomination, 2024; Kanye West ^; <- Donald Trump; <- Ron DeSantis