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Ron DeSantis Throws His Hat In The Ring
I am running for President of the United States because I want to lead Our Great American Comeback.
What sort of President does he intend to be? What sort of problems does he see that demand resolution?
This will not be a “fact check” of his announcement speech. Partisan media types are sure to beat that horse to death if they have not already done so. Rather, my goal here is simply to enumerate at least some of the facts and data that pertain to the signature points of his announcement. How well those materials support Ron DeSantis’ case that he should elected President I leave to the reader to decide.
A bit of disclosure: Some of DeSantis’ talking points are topics about which I have already written, and I am linking to those articles in lieu of extracting the data points from them to repeat them here.
Politicians will make their speeches and pepper them with partisan views on everything, including the promises they make. Still, for voters to make sound decisions in the ballot booth, we must tease out the facts from the rhetoric, and look past the usual spin and political hyperbole to understand the factual truths at issue in any election. With that in mind, let us consider the factual elements of Ron DeSantis’ announcement.
Our country is going in the wrong direction. We see it with our eyes and we feel it in our bones.
I am hardly going to quarrel with this statement. All Facts Matter has an entire section discussing how things are going off the rails in this country, economically speaking.
Our southern border has collapsed and drugs are pouring into our country, killing tens of thousands of our fellow Americans
The opioid crisis has been a subject of ongoing debate in this country for a number of years.
Despite the PHE declaration, opioid deaths have continued to rise in this country per the CDC. Between 2020 and 2021, drug overdose deaths increased for several categories of drugs, most notably the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
As for the depiction of the southern border as having “collapsed”, US Customs and Border Protection statistics show that over 6.5 million illegal border crossings have taken place from fiscal year 2021 through now (as of this writing).
Our cities are being hollowed out by spiking crime -- the result of weak, ideologically-driven policies
While there will always be debate about the causes of crime in any community, the existence of crime is a matter of fact and data.
Certainly there has been a significant rise in violent crime in the United States, according to the FBI’s statistics.
Homicide rates in particular have risen significantly.
So, too, have aggravated assault rates.
Our federal government is making it harder for the average family to make ends meet and to attain and maintain a middle class lifestyle
Our president lacks vigor, flounders in the face of our nation's challenges, and takes his cues from the woke mob
Given the nearly comical kerfuffles over improper and potentially illegal handling of classified materials, among other Administration miscues, there are at least some facts to support that criticism.
The middle section of DeSantis’ announcement is where he frames his overarching vision both for his campaign and, presumably, his prospective Presidency.
Then comes his framing of his record as Florida Governor.
We chose facts over fear.
This is speculation on my part, but I presume this refers to DeSantis’ response as governor to the 2020 COVID “pandemic”. While Ron DeSantis issued a number of executive orders during 2020, a sizable number stand out for their relation to the pandemic.
We chose Education over indoctrination.
Whether DeSantis’ legislative initiatives constitute an improvement of education in Florida or not, the legislative initiatives themselves are a matter of record.
We chose Law and order over rioting and disorder.
Ron DeSantis activated the National Guard to assist local law enforcement in restoring order after protests related to George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police turned violent in Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa. DeSantis also activated the National Guard on Election Day.
Also, whether the bills DeSantis has signed into law pertaining to law enforcement constitute “choosing law and order” is a question to be debated. The laws themselves are a matter of record.
We held the line when freedom hung in the balance.
I am again speculating, but I presume this refers to the laws and Executive Orders Ron DeSantis signed pushing back against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
DeSantis also issued Executive Order 21-81 on April 2, 2021, prohibiting the use of “vaccine passports”. In June, 2021, DeSantis issued Executive Orders 21-132 and 21-133, granting categorical pardons and remitting all fines for offenses arising from local COVID-19 restrictions.
In large measure, DeSantis’ assertions of the errors of the current Administration are a restatement of the points he made earlier in his speech. However, two points warrant additional mention:
Biden has pursued inflationary policies that are hurting working people
There is, of course, no denying the rise in consumer price inflation beginning in 2021.
While finger-pointing and blame games are almost a recreational pasttime in Washington, the inflation data is what it is, and consumer price inflation rose when it rose. People will debate the causes of the rise, but they cannot debate either the existence or the timing of the rise.
Biden has embraced medical authoritarianism, such as unconstitutional covid vax mandates
Anyone recalling the Administration’s abortive effort to use OSHA to impose a vaccine mandate will find contesting this claim quite difficult.
I have written at some length on this aspect of the government’s COVID-19 policies, and have previously described the Administration’s stance as authoritarian. I stand by that description.
Has Ron DeSantis captured the crucial issues facing this nation? Has he stated a compelling vision for addressing those issues? Does his tenure as governor give confidence that he would adroitly lead this nation in addressing those issues?
These are questions voters must answer for themselves, in the sanctity of their own minds. These questions form the case Ron DeSantis must make to voters if he is to win the Republican Party nomination and then carry the day come November 2024.
Ron DeSantis is of course going to present his case for the Presidency using all the powers of persuasion at his command. He will spin the facts both of the current Administration and his terms as Florida’s governor however he can to make that case. This is the essence of any political campaign.
Still, the facts are as they are, both as they pertain to the current Administration and to DeSantis’ terms as Florida’s governor. Some of those facts I have presented here. Others will undoubtedly emerge or occasion renewed focus as his campaign unfolds. This, too, is the essence of any political campaign.
In weighing Ron DeSantis as a possible President, the facts are what matter. The facts are all that matter.
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