Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Faces Trouble Ahead and Behind
“Trouble ahead, trouble behind” the Grateful Dead used to sing, and right now those lyrics are ringing true for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The “trouble ahead” is obviously Donald J. Trump, who, at this point, is leaving the governor in the electoral dust in the Republican presidential derby.
The “trouble behind” is outsider candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who is beginning to catch up to DeSantis. In any case, he’s closer in the latest polls to the Florida governor than DeSantis is to Trump with the biotech entrepreneur’s bullet trending upwards.
Is DeSantis a Hypocrite?
Ramaswamy—who, unlike many politicians, writes for himself—has an op-ed in the May 5 edition of USA Today entitled “Ron DeSantis says he’s fighting ‘woke’ companies like Disney. But it’s just a PR move.”
The article raises an interesting question. To what extent in this presidential election, indeed in all elections, do we hold candidates responsible for their past sins? Shouldn’t we just judge them by their improvements, by the good things?
Secondarily, are those sins really in the past or are those improvements simply eyewash?
And finally, do we need a Statute of Limitations on past sins? After all, Reagan and Churchill were once liberals, as was this columnist in the last century, as he is often reminded in the comments.
For Ramaswamy, there is clearly hypocrisy involved with DeSantis. He isn’t alone in the accusation. Trump has leveled the same charge at the Florida governor but the tech entrepreneur and author of “Woke, Inc.” has done it more precisely.
“But here’s the problem for DeSantis: as governor, he was also a purveyor of indefensible corporate welfare to Disney itself. In 2021, DeSantis signed a political anti-discrimination statute that penalized companies for engaging in viewpoint-based censorship on the internet. This was a signature piece of legislation in his anti-woke crusade, but the law specifically exempts companies in Florida that own a theme park larger than 25 acres. Disney’s internet properties and streaming services were exempted from a statute that was designed to stem corporate ‘wokeness’ in Florida.”
How could that have happened? Ramaswamy explains:
“DeSantis’ own director of legislative affairs lobbied for the Disney loophole. DeSantis’ chief budget officer, policy chief and his then-general counsel also worked behind the curtain to change the terms of the bill to create the special carve-out for Disney. This is the same Disney that DeSantis now claims to be fighting against.”
It remains to be seen how this will affect DeSantis’ political future, but it’s clear that his opponents are not going to let him off the hook easily. As voters, it’s up to us to decide whether we want to hold candidates accountable for their past actions or judge them solely on their current platform. Either way, it’s important to stay informed and engaged in the political process.
- Engage: Stay informed and engaged in the political process.
- Hold accountable: Decide whether to hold candidates accountable for their past actions or judge them solely on their current platform.
- Stay informed: It remains to be seen how this will affect DeSantis’ political future, but it’s clear that his opponents are not going to let him off the hook easily.
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