Leftists Will Be Furious with Ron DeSantis After He Said Governors Are Not 'Dictators'


If you’re a governor, the more you lock down your state, the more love you’ll get in the liberal sphere.

Sure, it may cost jobs, but you’re saving lives — and you’re not like those other crass governors who want to get people back to work and allow citizens to utilize their essential freedoms.

Take Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis. If DeSantis ever gets some media attention, it’s usually bad attention. Yet, quietly, he’s managed to close Florida later and reopen it earlier than many other states.

He also doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for governors who might take the opposite tack. In an interview Thursday on Fox News, DeSantis compared governors who keep their states locked down to despots.

“You’re not a dictator, you don’t have unlimited authority and people do have rights,” DeSantis said on “Fox & Friends.”

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It came after co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked DeSantis whether some governors were “being too strict and going too far.”

“I don’t think any governor has the authority to restrict anyone unless there’s a direct relationship to combating this virus,” DeSantis said.

“If you look around the country, clearly there have been examples of really draconian, arbitrary restrictions that have nothing to do with public health — like you can’t plant a seed in your front yard in your garden, you can’t walk around the neighborhood with your daughter, or something like that.

“So some of this stuff I think has devolved into social control. I think absolutely it’s gotten out of hand.”

And, as DeSantis said, his state was doing just fine taking the opposite tack.

“Here’s the thing: It’s less effective to do that. In Florida, we did not do that. We were reasonable, we trusted the people to act appropriately,” he said.

Should Florida have locked down sooner?

The Republican Florida governor called on state legislatures to reclaim power from governors, without calling out any names — although it wasn’t too hard to tell through subtext who some of those governors might be.

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DeSantis also defended the reopening of many of the state’s beaches, saying that while he felt the virus “is highly transmissible” indoors, it’s less so outdoors.

“I’ve certainly always believed that the open air is just simply a less transmissible environment,” DeSantis said, adding that he believes “the studies have borne that out around the country.”

DeSantis noted that he had protected long-term care facilities early, another not-so-veiled reference to another governor.

The Whitmers and Cuomos of the world, of course, would contend that Florida somehow got lucky. The left has marveled at the fact that DeSantis’ Florida has remained relatively free and open during the coronavirus panic while having the 27th highest per-capita death rate among all 50 states, according to data from The New York Times. (New York and Michigan, meanwhile, are number one and number six as of Saturday, respectively.)

The latest theory is this one, as explained neatly by a headline in the Tampa Bay Times: “How Florida slowed coronavirus: Everyone stayed home before they were told to.”

But that’s the personal responsibility aspect. Are Cuomo and Whitmer telling us that they don’t believe the people of their state can be trusted to make decisions on their own?

Of course, that’s always the thing — if you don’t believe your citizens can be trusted, the media will always listen to you.

Look at the gun control debate and ask yourselves which squeaky wheels get the grease. It’s usually the Michael Bloombergs of the world or the people from the March for Our Lives. It’s not going to be a Second Amendment backer.

That’s the dichotomy at work with the coronavirus, too. The media has idolized Gov. Cuomo, even to the point where many Democrats would prefer him on the top line of the presidential ticket instead of Joe Biden.

No one seems to think that Gov. DeSantis has seen his standing improved by the coronavirus crisis, even as his COVID-19 numbers are objectively better than Cuomo’s. That’s all the mainstream media at work — and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out it doesn’t stop there.

However, governors aren’t dictators, no matter how popular locking down may be.

Leftists may hate Ron DeSantis for pointing this out, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture