I don’t consider myself a big fan of Ronald Reagan, but I’m willing to give credit where credit is due.
President Reagan was a policy man. (That I disagree with the wisdom and effectiveness of many of his policies is beside the point.) He had big ideas about fighting communism and developing the economy. He was a traditional conservative: Shrink government and keep it out of Americans’ lives. He understood that politics is the art of compromise. He worked to pass bipartisan legislation on taxes, immigration, and Social Security.
And while it’s often left out of Reagan lore, he did raise taxes in subsequent years even after the massive 1981 tax cut, which led to an increase in the deficit—an example of Reagan being pragmatic even though it was his taxes. -contradicts the biting image. As a former actor (and perhaps as a former Democrat), Reagan had to work hard to show voters that he was a serious public policy thinker, not just a theatrical performer.
Time has changed. Enter Ron DeSantis: the Florida governor and presidential contender who has reduced governance to performance art.
He’s the newest star of the Republican silver screen, and his recent, fictional portrayal of a real politician deserves critique at a time when our politics have blurred the line between appearance and substance. DeSantis has mastered the art of the Trump. He represents the latest model of the reality TV politician—full of political stunts but devoid of serious policy.
DeSantis has risen to national prominence as governor of what he calls the “Free State of Florida”. But that freedom is a mirage, and it hides failures lurking beneath the surface while Floridians’ rights are taken away.
For starters, DeSantis’ national profile grew tremendously during the COVID pandemic, but he really cast himself in two different roles in that production: He initially shut down businesses and schools, and he entered Florida. Highway and airport checkpoints were set up to monitor travelers. Later, he went to the opposite extreme: lifting those same restrictions and interfering with municipalities as they addressed the pandemic.
,DeSantis rose to national prominence as governor of the ‘free state of Florida’. But that freedom is a mirage…,
Changing one’s approach to COVID based on emerging data is certainly defensible, but DeSantis’ policy was mostly political gamesmanship and inflammatory rhetoric, calling for a statewide grand jury to “investigate” vaccines, the surgeon general’s Medical theories about vaccines ranged from hiring a controversial doctor as Dr. DeSantis too called for Dr. Anthony Fauci to be thrown into the Potomac,
As part of his work, DeSantis boasts about Florida’s economic success and the state’s budget surplus but ignores the inconvenient truth that federal stimulus dollars—which he criticizes—helped fund it.
His supporters portray him as a fighter – a man who does not back down from a tough challenge. But really, DeSantis is desperately afraid questionsShe rarely gives interviews to most media outlets other than far-right journalists who advocate for softball, and she often refuses to answer reporters during press conferences.
DeSantis’ favorite theatrical routine is fanning the flames of the culture war: passing a six-week abortion ban, anti-“woke” laws (whatever that means), and so-called “Don’t Say Gay” laws; attacking Disney, the Special Olympics and social media companies; suspending a twice elected prosecutor; and moving Texas immigrants to Massachusetts while claiming with a straight face that this was somehow done to protect Floridians.
Several controversial laws he supported have been held unconstitutional; Others are still being challenged in court. A federal judge threw out his “Stop Woke Act” calling it “positively dystopian.”
Another federal judge found that he violated both state and federal law by suspending me from my elected position as Tampa local prosecutor for political reasons and publicity.
None of this matters to DeSantis, who touts these so-called achievements during stump speeches, despite the fact that they have been found to violate the fundamental liberties of the citizens whose rights he has sworn to uphold. Is.
DeSantis’ willingness to violate people’s constitutional rights in order to grab a headline (or a primetime interview on Fox News) is appalling, but the real danger is that he has reduced serious political discourse to the class clown equivalent of public policy. .
DeSantis is a Harvard and Yale graduate – a man smart enough to know better, but feigns stupidity. Governance involves complex issues of public policy. It requires identifying problems, developing and implementing solutions, making difficult choices, explaining those choices to your constituents, and being truthful about your successes as well as your failures. DeSantis has built his political career by doing largely the opposite.
As a member of Congress for six years – during a period when his Republican Party held a majority in the House – the only piece of legislation DeSantis authored that became law was a one-sentence passage in the 2018 appropriations bill. There was an amendment that prevented the Department of Defense from purchasing. Heavy water from Iran. It may be a sensible quirk, but it’s really “Mr.” Gorbachev, tear down this wall” in his ambition.
As governor, his legislative victories have mostly been culture war issues that have energized his base, but have had minimal impact on the kitchen table issues that concern most Floridians, as well as most Americans.
The microscope of a presidential campaign will pull back the veil on who DeSantis is and what he has (and hasn’t) done. I’m not sure the ghost of the DeSantis presidency has President Reagan turning in his grave, but Gipper would certainly agree that these are serious times for serious leaders — not pretenders just to play them on TV. .
Andrew Warren was elected State’s Attorney for Hillsborough County, Florida in 2016 and was reelected in 2020. In August 2022, Warren was unlawfully suspended by Gov. The suspension violated the US and Florida constitutions but said it lacked jurisdiction to reinstate. Warren’s legal battle against DeSantis continues.
(tags to translate) Florida