Reviews | Ron DeSantis bets on Trump advantage

Among the new state guidelines: An individual, by virtue of his race or sex, is not responsible for acts committed in the past by other...


Among the new state guidelines:

An individual, by virtue of his race or sex, is not responsible for acts committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex. A person should not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race.

A second bill, the Parental Rights in Education Act, is also on DeSantis’ desk for signing. The measure states that

Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties about sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through 3rd grade” and that “a school district may not encourage class discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grades or in a way that is not age appropriate.

At a press conference on March 4, DeSantis told reporters“Obviously right now we’re seeing a lot of focus on transgender, telling kids that they may be able to choose genders and stuff. I don’t think parents want that for these young people. kids,” before adding, “I think it’s inappropriate to inject these issues, like transgender, into a kindergarten classroom.

On April 10, 2021, DeSantis signed the “Law on Combating Public Ordera conservative response to Black Lives Matter and other protests that turn violent or destructive. On September 9, 2021, however, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker blocked law enforcement because a person of “ordinary intelligence” could not be sure that he had broken the law by nonviolently participating in a demonstration that turned violent:

The vagueness of this definition forces protest candidates to make a choice between refusing to jointly express their opinions with others or risk being arrested and spending time behind bars, with the associated collateral risks for the employment and financial well-being.

DeSantis has capitalized on Florida’s outdoor culture to become the nation’s leading opponent of mask mandates and school and business closures, including a Executive decree of May 3, 2021 declaring:

In order to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals in this state and to expedite the state’s recovery from the Covid-19 emergency, any emergency orders issued by a political subdivision due to the Covid-19 emergency that restricts the rights or freedoms of individuals or their business is invalidated.

For DeSantis, the pandemic offered an opportunity to distinguish himself from Trump. In January, Jonathan Chait describes its strategy in New York Magazine:

As Trump tiptoed around vaccine skepticism, DeSantis stepped in with both feet, banning private companies such as cruise lines from demanding vaccinations, naming a skeptic vis-a-vis vaccines at his state’s highest office and refusing to say if he had received his booster dose.

DeSantis “may or may not be crazier on Covid than Donald Trump,” Chait wrote, “but it’s a telling commentary on the state of their party that he sees his best chance of supplanting Trump by positioning himself as even more crazy.

Michael Tomasky, editor of The New Republic, has a similar take on the Trump-DeSantis Covid feud, in writing January 18:

What’s suddenly intriguing is that DeSantis decided to try and outflank Trump; to outdo Trump, in terms of his tough lib control on the vaccine issue. And it’s Trump – Donald Trump! — which plays the role of civilizer, normalizer of truth.

Politically speaking, however, DeSantis’ stance on Covid politics, as well as his culture war agenda, have been successful. His favorability ratings have skyrockets and in the third quarter of 2021, the most recent data available, Florida’s gross domestic product grew 3.8%, the third fastest in the nation, according to the Economic Analysis Officebehind Hawaii and Delaware.

DeSantis’ aggressive posturing and threats to take legal action have created concern about retaliation in some quarters. In January, for example, Dr. Raul Pino, the administrator of the Florida Department of Health’s office in Orange County, wrote to his staff to say that only 77 of 558 staff had received a Covid-19 reminder. , 219 had two doses of the vaccine and 34 received only one dose, according to the report by my colleague Patricia Mazzei in The temperature. “I am sorry but in the absence of reasonable and real reasons, it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated,” added Dr Pino. He continued: “We’ve been here for two years, we were the first to give vaccines to the masses, we’ve done over 300,000 and we’re not even at 50%. Pathetic.”

Shortly after, Pino was put on one month administrative leave. Jeremy T. Redfern, press secretary for the Department of Health, said when announcing the furlough that the department was “conducting an investigation to determine if any laws were violated in this matter.” Redfern said in a statement that the decision to get vaccinated “is a personal medical choice that should be made without coercion or a mandate from employers.”

This and other similar developments certainly didn’t hurt DeSantis’ poll results. the last survey published on February 24 by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida not only found that “among elected officials in this survey, Governor Ron DeSantis had the highest job approval rating at 58% , with 37% disapproval”, but also that Florida Republicans prefer DeSantis on Trump 44-41 as presidential candidate.

John Feherya Republican lobbyist who previously worked for the party’s house leaders, argues that DeSantis is

attuned to the libertarian impulses of an electorate that simply does not trust the conventional wisdom emanating from Washington. DeSantis also seems willing to woo cultural conservatives in ways most Washington politicians don’t, such as with the sex education bill he signed into law. DeSantis also seems willing to take on big business for their revival, a potent issue among the GOP base.

Feehery described DeSantis as “a joker”, noting “he was also right about Covid, which took an incredible amount of courage.”

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