Emblematic or Unavoidable?

Charleston South Carolina – Last week a Ring video doorbell camera caught a member of the pro-DeSantis Never Back Down PAC launching obscenities and threats at the homeowner. Just when you think he could never make it any worse, the former staffer proceeds to admit to being under the influence of marijuana.

Talk about a PR nightmare! 

In a state where Governor DeSantis seems to be losing ground on Former President Trump, this will only make his job harder in the important Republican primary state. 

DeSantis has not been within double-digit points of Trump in the state, the closest being 10 points in a May 17th poll since mid-May Trump’s lead has ballooned to 20+ points in the last three attempts in the state according to Project 538.

While the behavior by the door-knocker is inexcusable, the reaction by some, particularly pro-Trump influencers on Twitter, have tried to exploit the video in a disingenuous attempt to smear all DeSantis supporters and even the candidate himself. 

Laura Loomer for example, whose complaint with DeSantis earlier in the week was that she was still paying taxes on her $300 special formula refrigerated dog food, tweeted out.  

Influencer and political strategist Alex Bruesewitz, who has taken it upon himself to run interference for Trump from anyone who offers criticism, also tried to use the video to score some quick political points. 

Since I have been involved in grassroots politics for a decade I know that unfortunately, having bad representatives of your campaign is an inevitability. 

I was door knocking in Montgomery County in October of 2020 on behalf of the Trump campaign I was appalled by the quality of the people I was working alongside. 

Similar to how the PAC Never Back Down paid for the DeSantis door knocker in question, In Field Strategies hired the team I was with. The Trump Victory campaign contracted out to this company since they had failed to establish a team of grassroots activists in this part of the swing state. 

Rather than being part of a team of highly competent and driven Patriotic Americans as I expected, I was the only one out of the group of around 12 who even planned on voting for Trump. The rest were unskilled laborers, high school dropouts, and even former drug dealers who were there only for the paycheck. These team members came from Las Vegas, Minnesota, and even California with no training on how they should represent the campaign. 

I would eventually find out from the partner assigned to me that his last partner had made him stop the car on the side of the interstate so they could have a boxing match to settle a dispute. 

Another member of the group claimed that his partner tried to stab him in the shower following a disagreement earlier that day while they were out knocking on doors. 

This is the reality of trying to knock on as many doors as possible across the country in a cycle. Unsavory characters fall through the cracks and get the chance to embarrass the campaign. It happened to DeSantis, it will happen to anyone who has an extensive grassroots effort in a Presidential race.

The unfortunate truth of politics is that it’s only a matter of time before this problem besets another campaign.