DeSantis fans respond LOUDLY
In these highly impassioned political times, I guess one can expect strong strident opinions – often based on very limited information. I saw that in the reaction to my suggestion that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis needs a lesson in crisis management. What I viewed as constructive criticism brought about a flurry of comments. As to be expected, some were supportive, some were using the platform to express their own opinion, and some were hostile. Not only did the latter readers disagree with my suggestion, but they also viewed it as an ad hominin attack on DeSantis. And in return mounted their own ad hominin attack on me.
They accused me of being on the other side of the political chasm from them – and DeSantis. Hmmm. Let me see …
Pathfinder referred to me as “another RINO,” “Biden blind boy” … and I should “shut my face.”
JoeyP thinks I am a (sic) “nit wit” who should be fired.
Jerry believes my article had “all the characteristics of DC swamp whining.”
Belinda said I “sound like Liz Cheney RHINO” (not sure what the “H” stands for) – and wondered why I do not own up to being “a leftists CCP democrat.”
Of course, there is an irony in all these overheated responses. They completely misread the commentary and apparently have never read any of my previous ones – and they obviously know nothing about me or my political history. So, I would like to take this opportunity to correct the record.
First of all … like them, I am a staunch supporter of Ron DeSantis. While I voted twice for President Trump in the past, if DeSantis and Trump were competing in the 2024 Republican presidential primary (which I do not think they will be), I currently lean to voting for DeSantis. In the past, I have rated him as by far the GOP’s top prospect as a future president.
So, why all the animus from DeSantis fans? It is the difference between objective analysis and blind loyalty.
I do believe that DeSantis embroiled himself in a needless controversy by banning mask mandates at the local levels. He was not blocking mandatory mandates from the Biden administration (as one reader believed and which I would also oppose), but from mask mandates issued by local agencies and businesses. As a conservative, I like any government rulemaking to happen at the closest level to the people — where they can exert the greatest influence. That is where the debate should take place.
Instead of being the subject of national controversy, the fight between those wanting mandatory masking in schools and public buildings and those opposed would be happening at the local level. The mask-option folks would be fighting with the local school boards and municipal officials. DeSantis would not be involved – and politically, that would be to his benefit.
In terms of the private sector, there is no way constitutionally that DeSantis can ban restaurants and retail stores from imposing mandatory masking requirements – or even proof of vaccination. That is within the rights of the owners and operators. And it is the right of those who object to protest or refuse to patronize such establishments. That is one area in which the government has no authority to intervene – at least a limited government based on conservative values. The left wants the government to settle just about everything, but we on the right prefer to keep the government limited in its interventionism.
Now, as to the personal attacks coming from folks ostensibly in the same camp as me – you know, those “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”
I am a lifelong conservative in the tradition of President Reagan (politically) and economist Milton Friedman (economically). I have spent years fighting the DC establishment – Democrat and Republican. I am one of the anti-RINOs. I ran the primary campaign against Congressman Adam Kinzinger when he was anointed by the Republican establishment in Washington. I chaired the campaign that defeated the powerful Democrat chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee etc., etc., etc.
Unfortunately, the politics of the day produced a lot of attack dogs – like those noted above. They cannot hold a civil discussion – nor do they care about facts. They just love to pounce on anyone with whom they disagree – even when there is no cause for such hostility.
We can most certainly disagree with DeSantis decision on mask mandates. I side with those who are fighting against mask mandates. I have never been much of a mask wearer – even before the vaccine. I never wore them outside – and only inside when required to do so. I am very pleased that most of the stores and restaurants no longer require them in my area.
I have never understood those who demand total agreement on all issues. Virtually everyone who attacked me for my opinion on DeSantis’ handling of the mask issue would find common cause with me across a broad range of issues. One disagreement and they call me things that I am not – and never was. I have sometimes referred to that kind of response as “political Tourette’s Syndrome” – where a person just needs to shout out irrational obscenities.
And the great irony is that irrational and angry – even vulgar – rhetoric does nothing to advance the cause in which a person believes – or hopes to advance. It is just a verbal version of barroom brawling.
These kinds of angry outbursts have always been on the fringe of political debate, but it seems the Internet has broadened the bandwidth of such stridency – making it a more dominant political mainstay rhetoric. Of course, we would all be better off if we could engage in vigorous political dialogue in a more civil manner – without the pejorative name-calling, false accusations, and inane vulgarities. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen soon enough.
So, there ‘tis.