Governor Ron DeSantis Provides Florida With A Teachable Moment

In the short time that Governor DeSantis has been in office, he has proven media wrong. According to the Miami Herald, " Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters that he had been misunderstood, or “unfairly demagogued,” by political rivals and the media." Now, during his short time in office, DeSantis has gained unexpected praised from both parties. But here’s the thing. He wasn’t an unknown quantity and while I’ve been surprised and impressed with the speed and effectiveness with which he’s carried out his agenda, I’m not surprised with the agenda itself. I’ve taken the opportunity on several occasions to point out DeSantis’s actual record and background. 

As I've mentioned in the past,  if you want to have a clearer picture of the overall mold of Ron DeSantis, we can look directly to his voting record as a guide. After all, actions speak louder than words. His voting record was 4% more conservative than the average Republican. For perspective, his record is slightly less conservative than Mario Diaz-Balart and he had the 151st most conservative voting record in the US House. Meaning that while he’s more conservative than not, he's far from being a hard-right ideologue as he’s often been portrayed in media. 

I've also mentioned the difference between DeSantis and Rick Scott. Ron DeSantis’s voting record in Congress ranked him as a conservative pragmatist. His initial foray and cabinet selections seem to resemble more of the same. The huge difference between Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis is background. Like Rick Scott, Ron’s background includes military service. That’s about the end of the similarities. Rick, of course, became a prominent CEO in the hospital industry. Being a political outsider, he largely surrounded himself with outsiders. 

While being the non-establishment Republican in the race, Ron still comes to the position as a former congressman with an impressive legal background. The nature of legislating effectively includes compromise and collaboration because you’re but one of 535 in Congress. Ron seems to reflect those qualities as he’s extending olive branches, appears ready to delegate more tasks to his cabinet, which consists of more experienced Florida politicos than Scott’s administration featured.  

The teachable moment is this. How often are assumptions made about people and issues rather than thoughtful consideration of them? We’d all better served to take a page from Dr. King and apply it life generally. If we judged people/issues based on content and validity rather than assumptions often perpetuated in news media, we'd be less surprised, more informed. We'd be more considerate of what we perceive to be different. Assumptions close minds. Facts and information only matter when you’re open to them.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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