In the current political climate, the two-party system is dominated by two elderly politicians. One is an octogenarian, the incumbent President of the United States, and the other is a septuagenarian, and former President of the United States. The age range of the two frontrunners is an issue in their respective party, but it is more of an issue in the Democratic Party than in the Republican Party. The Republican Party is more concerned with Trump's legal issues than his age.
Regardless of the degree of the issue, one thing is certain: Americans want a new class of politicians; a younger class of politicians. This younger class of politicians couldn’t be better illustrated by the growing rivalry between the two governors of the two most prominent states: California and Florida.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and Gov. Ron DeSantis both have reached national prominence in their respective political households. Conservatives praise Ron DeSantis for the way he handled the covid crisis in Florida, the battle for preserving family values, and his tax-friendly policies that attract a massive interstate migration from California to Florida.
Liberals and progressives praise Newsom for his redistributive economic policies that prioritize elevated taxes on the rich and corporations, and for passing laws that advance other progressive social causes. However, these two governors have a challenge to overcome in their respective political households. They have to overcome the frontrunners of their respective parties.
The political rivalry between DeSantis and Newsom has already planted its seeds. In an article published on AP News, Gov. Newsom said there’s no chance “on God’s green earth” he is running for president in 2024, but he wanted to make it clear that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running, is “weak” and “undisciplined” and “will be crushed by Donald Trump.”
DeSantis, on the other hand, likes to mock Newsom’s apparent “fixation” on Florida while insisting that the Democratic governor’s “leftist government” is destroying California. The Golden State has become one of DeSantis’ favorite punching bags as he tries to avoid direct confrontation with his chief Republican rival, former President Trump.
One certain thing is that this political rivalry is the new rivalry of the next four years. The chances that Ron DeSantis beats Donald Trump in this 2024 election cycle are very slim to none. But DeSantis daring to run this year against Trump is a strategy that will cement his legitimacy in the GOP as their new frontrunner in 2028. Newsom, on the other hand, is clearly prepping himself for 2028 as well. While he claimed that he will not run in 2024, it is important to keep an eye on that phrase as politicians tend to easily change their minds according to the moments they are in.
If DeSantis and Newsom end up facing each other in 2028, this debate will be perhaps one of the greatest debates in American political history. And the reason why is because it will be a fundamental clash of ideas since both politicians are ideologically diametrically opposed. DeSantis will defend and promote conservative values while Newsom will promote progressive values. These two set of values are what determine the essence of American political culture and its landscape. This rivalry will surely be for the soul of America.