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Why Ron DeSantis Shouldn’t Run for President in 2024

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Ron Johnson

I am struck by the dilemma that many conservatives will face as the 2024 Presidential election nears—should DeSantis run? My answer is a resounding “NO!”

As a Floridian for 41 years, I have first-hand experience being advantaged by Governor Ron DeSantis’ leadership in my home state. Things are so good here, unless you are a hopelessly woke Democrat--you are applauding our governor’s undying commitment to keeping Florida safe and removing Marxist wokeness from Florida schools and universities.


For 2024, Democrats are tolerating the idea that “good old” Joe Biden, the working man’s moderate, will fix everything that Donald Trump ruined. Afterall, Biden is a puppet whose strings are being pulled by the leftist elite. In a March 18, 2023 interview with Roger Kimball, VDH offers a characterization about President Biden: “He is a non-compos mentis vessel whose job is to carry a hard left agenda across the finish line.” 

Wokeness Has Permeated Florida’s State Universities…Until Now

Sadly, wokeness has permeated Florida’s state university system (SUS) as it has public universities across America. I refer you to a series of ongoing articles presented in CitiJournal by Christopher Rufo, who has done heavy digging into how Marxism permeates Florida’s SUS. He contends that the woke are fragile as is their ability to argue convincingly for their usurpation of higher education. Rufo shows how they promote mostly by drama and hearsay a victim’s revolution (see Tim Groseclose’s Left Turn—How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind) instead of using sound Aristotelian logic with compelling evidence-- hallmarks of classic higher education. 

Arkansas, Iowa, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and West Virginia have followed DeSantis, by introducing legislation seeking to ban CRT and other vacuous race-based programs promoting the woke gospel of race essentialism, collective guilt, and race-based harassment in public institutions. Woke educators exercise their expectation of exemption from social mores—a permissibility for anything goes, be it in college, high school or grade school. 


There is a rub for many of us with a DeSantis presidency in 2024. We would get a young, brilliant new President whose proven courage and fortitude would enable him to take the woke national Democrats head on and steer America back to the right (literally and figuratively) path.

A subliminal measure of Florida’s attraction, thanks to DeSantis’ leadership, is not just all the out-of-state license plates from New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, etc. that Florida has attracted. It is that they are coming to Florida to stay and escape their progressive states’ policies in schools and government. No other state or governor has been treated with such manifest intolerance for paralyzing woke cornerstones and the people who advocate them.

But there are several reasons why Ron DeSantis should not enter the 2024 Presidential election. None of these reasons have to do with his affirmed abilities or widespread appeal to both conservative and liberal (not woke) voting blocks--people who have made Florida the place to live. 

America’s Election Status Quo

Americans even in states like Arizona, Georgia, Nevada have done precious little to ensure election integrity nationally since the 2020 election. These states, through their leftist attorneys general, have allowed the probity of elections to disintegrate. Motor-voter, mail-in balloting, ballot harvesting, and voter machine irregularities have created an election system that would deny office to even Ronald Reagan (RIP). 


A 2013 article in Mother Jones by Andy Kroll discusses a secretive meeting after Obama and other Democrats won big in the previous November’s election. Included were the usual leftist suspects (big labor, environmentalists, civil rights activists, immigration reformers), and other progressive leaders who considered the challenges facing their cause, and formulated how they could ward off the alleged deep-pocketed advances of conservatives.

Kroll states that “At the end of the day, many of the attendees closed with a pledge of money and staff resources to build a national, coordinated campaign around three goals: getting big [conservative] money out of politics, expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation…to form a united front on these issues—potentially, a coalition of a kind rarely seen in liberal politics. The liberal activists dubbed this effort the ‘Democracy Initiative’.”

We now know what havoc Democrat elites have wreaked on America. For a non-compos mentis Presidential candidate to gain office in 2020 campaigning only from his basement or an aberrant candidate like John Fetterman to be elected to the Senate in 2022 despite a lead by his Republican opponent, our election system has failed. Fetterman’s recent hospitalization for clinical depression after suffering a stroke while campaigning the previous year hasn’t stopped him from co-sponsoring multiple legislative initiatives, a disquieting move that has surprised some in the medical profession.


Dr. Marc Siegel told Fox News Digital that Fetterman likely has impaired judgment while losing capacity to think clearly with his recent mental health diagnosis, which would complicate his efforts to bring bills forward with colleagues. People who cast doubts on Fetterman’s mental acuity are defamed as “ableist” by the leftist mainstream media (MSM) writ large, drawing attention away from Biden’s and Fetterman’s inabilities. Since both allegedly won, who cares?  Democrats want “tyranny of the majority” [as long as it isn’t Republicans] without an electoral college to balance what would otherwise be majority rule.

America’s Gain Would be Florida’s Loss

Even if DeSantis won in 2024, the teachers’ unions, organized labor, our state universities and MSM would redouble their efforts to turn Florida blue with a Democrat governor and a panoply of liberal politicians. An example of this is that the vast majority of MSM, even in Florida, coverage of DeSantis is 90% negative and irascible.

Newsweek’s Ewan Palmer offers a story about Ron DeSantis suffering a blow as Chief Judge Mark Walker of the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta, an appointee of Barack Obama, ejected the dystopian “Don’t Say Gay” law. Bowing to yellow journalism, the bill’s actual title, FL HB 7 (22R), the Individual Freedom Act, actually expands anti-discrimination laws to prohibit schools and companies from leveling guilt or blame on students and employees based on race or sex; Judge Walker’s opinion is likely to be overturned further up in the judicial hierarchy.


The MSM’s charge that FL HB 7 prohibits the teaching of lessons or business practices such as diversity training sessions, which could make people feel “guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress’ because of historic wrongs due to their race, sex or national origin” is patently false. As a professor emeritus at one of Florida’s largest state universities, I have first-hand knowledge of what is being taught under the rubric of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). it is full-throttle Marxist propaganda, where capitalism is inherently evil and white people are obligated to make reparations to persons of color. Long forgotten are the words of Martin Luther King who implored, “they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”--not equality of outcome but equality of opportunity. 

Victor Davis Hanson acutely likens America’s woke educational proclivities to those of the Byzantines during the last days of Constantinople: “Like Byzantines, Americans have become snarky iconoclasts, more eager to tear down art and sculpture that they no longer have the talent to create. Current woke dogma, obscure word fights, and sanctimonious cancel culture are as antithetical to the past generations of World War II as the last generation of Constantinople was to the former great eras of the emperors Constantine, Justinian, Heraclius, and Leo. The Byzantines never woke up in time to understand what they had become. So far neither have Americans.” Thankfully, Ron DeSantis has!


With America’s election integrity all but gone across America, we must sacrifice Trump or Vivek Ramaswamy, both who would make great U.S. Presidents, to the vicissitudes of the 2024 progressive election gods because Ron DeSantis still has important, unfinished business here in Florida, before 2028.

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