Let's start right here: "That's not the guy I want sitting across from President Xi or sitting across from Putin and trying to resolve what's happening in Ukraine. If you can't see around a corner Bob Iger created for you." These were the words of 2020 and 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey. This wasn't too long ago, and he was specifically speaking of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, candidate for the Republican nomination for President.
At the time, Chris Christie was referring to the continued fruitless battle with Disney over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, now the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. I truly thought that conservatives believed in less government, free-market systems, and capitalism. The invisible hand of free markets moves its way through the economy. However, self-proclaimed conservative, Ron DeSantis went after a private company because they had the nerve to have a political opinion. As defined by Citizens United and other court precedent, private companies and corporations are people. Are they not allowed to have a voice, to show and vocalize their support for a particular cause or not, and whether they put their dollars, their profits, behind those particular causes or not?
Republicans, who believe in free-market systems, who believe in less government that will be so small, so small you could drown it in a bathtub, why would these individuals want to vote for Ron DeSantis candidacy? The DeSantis campaign is so far to the right of Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie. Can the electorate trust a guy like this to be negotiating, to be having a conversation with Putin, with President Xi? Would you trust a president who would go after Philip Morris, go after Nike, go after whoever, whatever company because they don't side with him, because their political opinion is different from his, because they feel that a particular policy or policies are just wrong or poorly written or not in the best interest of America as a whole?
I do not understand the governor and his political allies insistence on pushing through woke legislation that targets and attacks a particular group of individuals, or a minority group, in the spirit of protecting freedom. I thought we are adults. That we are parents and guardians. I thought, as families, we can make out own decisions for our households. DeSantis and his allies are advocating for more government encroachment into our everyday lives. How are some of these policies really affecting my day-to-day life, my kitchen table issues? How are these woke policies and legislation going to lower the cost of eggs, lower the cost of gas, make it safer to drive my car from point A to point B? Will my water be cleaner? Will my skies be clean? Will I be able to leave the balcony door to my apartment open and enjoy fresh air?
Our children have access to the internet almost every minute of the day. How are book bans and banning drag queens protective? How is that protecting my children? How is that protecting me? How is that addressing my kitchen table issues? Reducing everyone's property taxes? These are real issues facing real people. How is that going to protect me from another hurricane? That's an issue. How is it going to help people make their rent? How is it going to help me know that when I go into a restaurant, the food is safe to eat? When I go to vote, that I'm not waiting in an hours-long line? That when I do fill out my vote by mail ballot, it's going to be safe, that it will be counted?
A lot of this woke legislation does not effectively address our most pressing issues. Again, there are good ideas and in this past Florida legislative session and of course, there's some bad legislation. The new Florida legislative session is starting to look to double down on more woke and cultural war policy. See HB 395
Especially when you have FL Representative Randy Fine talking about eradicating a group of people, that scares me as a black man. Yeah, we've been down that road before. Women have been down that road before. That's scary talk, and that should not be coming from a legislative leader of the third-largest state in the country. But you hear it more and more. Where is the Republican Party that my conservative friends talk about? And the Democrats got a lot to do. Their voices are pretty much null and void. You know when you don't go after your votes, when you don't put in the systems to win elections, when you do not have financial systems, when you do not create that network, when you do not work with your allies, you suffer like the Democrats are suffering here in Florida. You're non-existent. You don't matter. You've got a lot of to do to get your ship straight. So shame on the Democrats. You know something? I'm going to flip the script.
There's a lot that's happening that people are upset with Governor DeSantis and the Republican-led legislature. I'm going to put that right there on the table for the Democrats, right there at their feet. You guys are to blame. Yes, as a liberal. As a Democrat, Florida Democrats are to blame because you took for granted that your voters were going to show up at the poll and that you didn't have to do the work across all 67 counties. The presumption was that people will just turn on their radios, turn on their TVs, and assume that there was a risk to their liberties, to their freedoms, and then act. No, you have to work for every vote, not during an election, but every sun-soaked day. From my vantage point, conservatives and Republicans are doing are working every day to reduce the number of Democrats eligible to vote. They have a plan, they have a strategy, they go about that plan, they go about their strategy, and that's why you have a powerful governor like Ron DeSantis and a powerful legislature dominated by the Republicans' supermajority in Tallahassee.
Democrats helped create this, and more power to them. Elections matter. And Governor Ron DeSantis, I don't understand how moving so far to the extreme right, picking fights with beloved Disney and then expect to be a legitimate presidential nominee for ALL of America. Who's managing your campaign? Who are you consulting with? Because you may be popular among the base; the committed and passionate part of your party, however, this strategy is not popular with larger electorate of America. This campaign will never be able to pivot from the extreme to a more centrist position in the future. Never. Florida's one thing. You have your fiefdom in Florida. America is a whole different story, and you're not ready for prime time. Good luck, serve your four years out as governor of Florida. Take the advice of the people who attended CPAC in 2023.
I truly believe that former President Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for the 2024 election. Trump is running a campaign similar to his 2016 campaign. A campaign that positioned Trump as an outsider. A champion for the common man. Trump's campaign is capitalizing on the 97 indictments and possible jail time to position himself as the victim protecting his followers from the people who would want to do the same thing to them as they are doing to him. Iowa caucuses are locked up. New Hampshire primary too. Nevada is secured. California GOP has changed its rules in favor of Trump. Super Tuesday 2024 in March will be the beginning of the coronation of Trumps official Republican POTUS nomination. Trump has national friends and relationships that make this inevitable. It's going to be Donald Trump and President Biden round two.
DeSantis, do your thing in Florida. Maybe when you're 70 or 72, you can run for POTUS again. Maybe.
headstone graphic credit: Kellen Clark, J&W Associate