This month’s Twitter announcement by Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida was not without its fair share of hiccups. Some were characterizing the whole attempt as botched and unorthodox, but in reality, does it change anything? Regardless of the imperfect execution, hard funds flowed in like we have never seen before. It wouldn’t be an irrational statement to say that DeSantis “broke” the internet. DeSantis’ unconventional approach was a risk, especially with an eye on the Republican nomination and the looming shadow of Donald Trump.
No one can deny that DeSantis has a very strong track record in Florida, ranging from his legislative accomplishments to his successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic, which secured his reputation as a leader. His actions have drawn people from the United States to Florida and have even swayed some Hispanic voters to his side. DeSantis’ time in the Navy, his Ivy League Education, and achievements like universal school choice and billions in Everglades protection are also substantive marks on his resume.
Yet, recent conflicts with Disney over issues like corporate subsidies and ideological divergence have raised questions. There is an ongoing debate regarding the fairness of subsidies and special perks offered to big companies like Disney, and DeSantis’s stance against such practices has become a matter of public concern.
Despite the Disney debacle, it’s important to note significant achievements under DeSantis’s leadership, particularly his handling of the pandemic. Florida was an oasis, unlike any other state in 2020, almost everything remained open, and he was the leader gilding the state through challenging times. However, the Disney feud must serve as a lesson to avoid unnecessary confrontations, especially with big business. Let the market decide. In my opinion there is no reason for a politician to step in; patience is the key.
Republicans need to develop a more collaborative approach rather than constantly being on the attack. One such issue that needs tackling is entitlements. Trump supporters may to sidestep this issue, but the reality is that it isn’t going away. Within a decade, Social Security and Medicare will face a 25% cut, a problem that was first identified in the 90s.
The reluctance to tackle the entitlement issue, regardless of who is in the White House, is not real leadership. A true leader is one that faces difficult issues head-on regardless of the trials and tribulations surrounding the issue. It is in these challenging moments that we see a leader’s true colors and how they respond.
It seems that Trump’s targeting DeSantis on entitlements is similar to past Democratic tactics. Yet, problems persist and will not be resolved by wishing them away. Our leaders need to grapple with these challenges and face them head-on.