A case for Ron DeSantis
In the presidential race, I am solidly for Governor DeSantis. I trust his judgment. There are many examples, but his ability to see through and counteract social insanity is foremost.
In 2020, America lost its mind over COVID. Today, Americans are being bullied to accept weird sexual and gender ideologies. In both cases, DeSantis demonstrates extraordinary leadership.
COVID created enormous social and legal pressure to alter our behavior. None of these changes made sense. Masks were germ-infested rags that provided trivial protection and were harmful. The lockdowns had negligible benefits. The people who sheltered at home, paradoxically, had higher infection rates than people who freely moved about.
We know all this now. DeSantis looked at the data and came to these conclusions in real time. He protected the most vulnerable and then opened Florida. He opened the beaches. He opened schools without a mask mandate, but allowed parents to choose remote classes. He opened businesses. In all cases, he chose freedom. He displayed judgment and the courage to lead. The result: Florida 's COVID record is 8% better than the median state.
The 310 million Americans who didn't live here suffered the worst public health disaster in history. As John Hindraker at Powerline observed, the lockdown and the epidemic were worse than the epidemic alone.
The economic costs are staggering, and COVID policies increased inequality. I don't need to recite the agony inflicted on individuals. On the macro level a USC study calculated the American costs of COVID policies as $14 trillion. "Involuntary business closures have been the leading cause of a massive decline in U.S. GDP during the COVID-19 pandemic." These closures also caused enormous transfers of wealth from main street to Amazon and Wall Street. "In the United States, billionaires are a third richer now than they were before the pandemic."
The social costs are even higher. They include "a rise in non-COVID excess mortality, mental health deterioration, child abuse and domestic violence, widening inequality, food insecurity, lost educational opportunities, unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, social polarization, soaring debt."
It's difficult to find anyone who wasn't either directly affected by these tragedies or had close contact with people who were. Children with speech impediments and retarded socialization from enforced masking may suffer for the rest of their lives.
I'm not arguing that Florida and DeSantis are unique. Sweden followed a similar path with comparable results. There've been other American leaders with DeSantis's foresight and courage. Among presidents, the most recent is Ronald Reagan.
Liberals have handed Republicans the opportunity to expand their support and win big in 2024 by leading the revolt against all things woke.
After being challenged by a rival, DeSantis defined woke as cultural Marxism. It's an attempted revolution aimed at overturning our way of life. Until recently, I thought woke would prevail. The record in Florida gives me hope. With the right leadership, we will overcome.
Looking at DeSantis's record and the reactions of his critics shows that we can win. The reaction to Florida's prohibiting schools from discussing sexual preferences and gender ideology in all grade levels is instructive. Calling it "don't say gay" is a slur on gays, who much more often than not are repulsed by pedophiles and pederasts. Some gays are parents. More have nieces and nephews. Generally, their reaction to men dressed as women performing sexually in front of children is the same as mine. DeSantis explains, in a concise way that's worth watching, our shared interest in not sexualizing children. The way DeSantis dispensed with Disney and its oblivious Republican allies highlights his agility and determination. The absurd book-banning claim died when DeSantis showed text and pictures of books removed from school libraries. TV stations covering the press conference had to cut away. The content was too explicit to be broadcast.
At its core, the woke movement insists that the distinction between men and women is an illusion. The inequities this creates are unending.
Males should not compete in women's sports. Sororities should not be forced to accept men. Men should not indiscriminately use women's restrooms or changing rooms. "Transwomen" in these situations have filmed women and have raped women and children.
Children should not be encouraged to select a different gender. The most important point: Children should not be mutilated in the name of "gender-affirming care." There's a lie that without those mutilations, suicides increase. The opposite is true. Suicides rise after these horrible surgeries. A Swedish study demonstrates that people who've had their genitals mutilated to look like the opposite sex are 19 times more likely to commit suicide. Florida is right to prohibit these mutilating surgeries on minors.
Elections often turn on brands. Ron and Casey DeSantis own the anti-woke brand. The left's hysterical reaction to Casey's lovely jacket proves the point.
In 2016, Republicans were presented with a mixed blessing. The blessing had many upsides. The three subsequent elections are the brutal downside. Republicans need to win in 2024. I've presented only two of the reasons DeSantis is best positioned to win. An objective review of DeSantis's record will reveal a host of additional reasons.