Florida man makes waves in bid to slap America in the face
Ahead of the 2024 presidential election, former President Donald Trump surely will dominate headlines among GOP candidates. But don't forget Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is technically a competitor.
A Florida man is making headlines as he embarks on a journey to prove he is definitely not an amphibian and braces to announce his bid to become the Republican Party's second-most disgraceful president.
But rather than for caressing a stone-cold iguana and speaking in tongues while on methamphetamine, Ronald Dion DeSantis is getting noticed for travel restrictions that are a bit different than what the GOP is accustomed to cheering on.
Most recently, the nation’s oldest and most prolific organization fighting for the empowerment of minorities, the NAACP, issued a travel warning on Saturday about the Sunshine State.
"Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals," the NAACP said. "Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color."
The advisory was “in direct response to Governor Ron DeSantis' aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools,” the NAACP added.
DeSantis, who was first narrowly elected governor in 2018, is well known for his socially awkward tendencies and off-putting demeanor.
But actions are much louder than words, and as noted by the NAACP, his strong-arm policies are far from innocuous.
For example, the Republican during his tenure has inked legislation banning abortions after six weeks, drastically limiting race education and outlawing gender-affirming care for minors.
That’s only the beginning, with DeSantis also making it easier to sentence those convicted of crimes to death and cracking down on undocumented immigrants.
The latter drew condemnation from, among others, the League of United Latin American Citizens last week.
One would think that enraging important human rights organizations such as LULAC and the NAACP would be political suicide for a presidential candidate — unless you realize it’s the GOP we’re talking about.
We’re also talking about a country that elected Trump, who won the presidency despite comments about grabbing female genitalia among a neverending list of other abhorrent remarks.
And that still didn’t stop him as he served a full four-year term — and two impeachment attempts — with waves of backlash against his crimes, politicies and rhetoric.
The modern-day GOP has moved so far to the right on the political spectrum that the shock value of candidates has become increasingly appreciated and supported.
But that also could be DeSantis’ downfall, as the closest similarity he has to Trump is his close relationship with Lev Parnas, who worked to undermine the investigation into Russia’s election interference and get dirt on President Joe Biden, as Reuters reported Monday.
While his policies are up to par in terms of the party’s preferred levels of cruelty, he is wholly lacking when it comes to personality.
DeSantis is actually known for his lack of charisma and awkward demeanor. He performs best in online engagement when Twitter users share clips of his interactions like wildfire.
In addition, Trump has turned him into a verbal punching bag, making even the left laugh as he floats nicknames such as “Meatball Ron,” “Ron DeSanctimonious” and “Tiny D.”
All of this comes before DeSantis even officially enters the race, which he is expected to do this week.
The point, however, is that the GOP and the bigoted base that Trump enabled in 2016 demand strongmen to take the country’s helm.
That party needs someone who can navigate the country as if they were a dictator while technically working under the confines of a country that functions as a democracy, albeit flawed.
They want a bully. They want someone over-the-top and loud.
Something DeSantis is not.
Maybe that’s why Trump is out-polling DeSantis 56.3% to 19.4% on average when taking into account other Republicans in the field, according to RealClearPolitics.
That’s a field that also includes South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, a man who has at best raised eyebrows for having two first names, and potentially former Vice President Mike Pence, whose biggest fears are his wife and gay people.
So, here’s to what undoubtedly will be an entertaining election cycle for both parties.
After all, don’t forget about the Democratic infighting, with establishment candidates trying to tout whatever progressive bona fides they think they have while dismissing any candidates who actually run to their left.
Meanwhile, far-right Republicans won’t have to worry so much about that, considering fringe politics has become the name of the game.