As most people know, Ron DeSantis has been the Governor of the state of Florida since early 2019. Before serving as governor, he represented Florida's 6th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013 to 2018. For the last few years, Mr. DeSantis has been in the news signing much controversial legislation in the Sunshine State. Over the previous six months, it's been rumored that he wants to run for President on the Republican ticket. Even though he hasn't formally announced his candidacy, a super PAC urging him to run in 2021 said it has raised $30 million since its launch less than a few months ago. This article aims to outline and explain why he's not fit to be Governor of Florida, let alone Presidential material.
COMPLAINING ABOUT BIG GOVERNMENT
Conservative Republicans, including Ron DeSantis, are known for making ideological arguments about the heavy hands of big government. Many are after power and control over morals, ethics, and democratic principles. It's OK if it's done on the right; they only complain about big government involvement when it doesn't suit their cause and political goals.
FALSE – POLITIFACT TRUTH-O-METER
At an event at the Heritage Foundation on January 11, 2018, DeSantis stated, "In one year, the United Nations made 24 resolutions, and 20 of them were against Israel." He's smart enough to cozy up to Israel, considering that many of his evangelical base would demand such a thing; regardless, his claim is invalid.
FLORIDA WILL NOT ASSIST WITH AN EXTRADITION REQUEST
According to Politico, after the grand jury in New York City found cause to indict President Trump, Governor DeSantis said Florida would not cooperate with any potential extradition requests.
He said, "The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American," DeSantis wrote on Twitter. Without knowing the details of the investigation, Ron stood tough against the Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda. I'm sure his political supporters and the MAGA base appreciated that red meat being tossed at them.
DURING A DISASTER, HE'D BE THE FIRST TO EXPECT HELP FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Ron constantly rails about the big federal government and the waste in Washington, D.C., but when there's a hurricane or other disaster, he's the first one in line expecting a bailout. Does he see or care about such hypocrisy?
In 2018, voters in Florida approved an amendment to their state constitution that lets people who have completed their sentences vote again (excluding those convicted of murder or felony sex offenses). For perspective, before this amendment, Florida used to have the worst system in the country regarding felony disenfranchisement. Afterward, the amendment passed, and DeSantis signed legislation to force former felons to pay any financial obligations before their rights were restored. This resulted in thousands of former felons in Florida who were able to vote as a result of the amendment but would not qualify if they couldn't afford the fees.
Essentially, he went against the people's will with this approved amendment by requiring a financial stipulation to make it harder for former felons to vote.
HOW DID HE DO IN CONGRESS?
Even though he's raised a lot of money over the last six months to run for President, as I mentioned earlier, he did serve Florida in Congress for several years. A House GOP committee chairman stated that DeSantis was not a very influential member of Congress. Another said, "He was a bit of a loner; he wasn't a friendly guy." That same lawmaker would see DeSantis in the gym or dining area and would hardly acknowledge his colleague's presence. Perhaps he didn't like being there and perhaps realized during that time he was more interested in the executive branch.
A BAN ON ABORTIONS AFTER SIX WEEKS OF PREGNANCY
This past Thursday night, Governor DeSantis signed a bill banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. He had previously said if the legislature approves the bill, he would sign it (He certainly knew what the legislature would do, so his comment might be construed as disingenuous). Many women do not necessarily know they are pregnant at that time, so for many, one could argue that this is essentially an abortion ban. If women decide to carry the baby full term, will he show empathy to pass legislation to assist the low-income with child support and education?
Who will determine how far along a woman is to help decide whether an abortion is legal in Florida? How will this be enforced? Did he consult with women in Florida before signing this bill? With this stringent law, will he next prohibit women from traveling out of state to get an abortion? With his record, you couldn't put it past him.
According to the article in the Economist on April 15, 2023: Even to qualify for the limited exceptions to the ban, in cases of rape or incest or when a woman’s life is in danger, women will need to provide documentary proof. Abortions prescribed via telemedicine will become completely illegal, making Florida’s new law even stricter than Georgia’s, currently the only other state with a six-week ban.
Not surprisingly, with its aged population, Florida ranks 26th among those over 65 who have received a booster shot. When Trump spoke at a conservative conference, he mentioned receiving a Covid booster shot to a loud chorus of boos from the audience. At that conference, DeSantis refused to tell reporters if he had received the booster.
DeSantis proudly touts his Covid-19 response during the pandemic, although his state is 18th in the country for deaths per capita and just outside the top 10 per capita cases. According to the British medical journal, The Lancet, if Florida had achieved the vaccination rates of some states in the Northeast, more than 22,000 lives could have been saved.
FALSE – POLITIFACT TRUTH-O-METER
During the gubernatorial debate on October 24, 2022, he stated, "It's not true that the United States was built on stolen land." He didn't want to shock and enlighten his base of supporters by telling the truth during this debate. What's worse, lying or ignoring some of the challenges of America's past? Individuals are certainly not perfect, and neither are nations.
OPEN CARRY OF FIREARMS WILL NOT REQUIRE A LICENSE IN FLORIDA
Let's forget for a moment that Florida in 2020 had the third most homicides of all 50 states. Still, DeSantis has signed a bill allowing Florida residents to carry firearms without a permit.
Let's also forget for a moment that he has purported to make Florida safer even though homicide deaths increased from '21 to '22. Let's also forget that Florida has 4.6 million over the age of 65, which is 21.3% of the population – most of whom are not committing felonies. And he's allowing open carry, thinking more guns are the answer. Is he pandering to his base, or does he think that's what most Floridians want?