Great political leaders possess the unique ability to create dynamic legislation with members of the opposite party through compromise
Great political leaders possess the unique ability to create dynamic legislation with members of the opposite party through compromise. This is rewarded when an idea successfully materializes into a law that makes a positive impact on all citizens.
When George W. Bush was elected governor of Texas in 1994, defeating the very powerful Ann Richards, the legislature was still controlled by an old Democratic guard in Austin, which most thought would be prohibitive to his administration.
Surprisingly his critics were astonished that some very colorful personalities could find common ground, even mutual respect for each other, while working to improve the lives of Texans. He was worthy of being our 43rd President.
The opposite is the current acrimonious state of affairs in Florida.
The first time I learned of Ron DeSantis was during his campaign for governor of Florida in 2018. His most impressive education, naval and public service record at first glance were a truly exceptional foundation for a potentially successful path to the White House.
My first hesitation was his accolades to the demagogue sitting in the Oval Office. My second was researching his congressional record, reviewing previously published work and policy positions while in Congress. Third was his service record, particularly his assignment at Guantanamo Bay (GITMO), where he was a primary witness to the conditions of the facility, human rights violations and illegal “enhanced interrogation” programs while assigned to the Office of Staff Judge Advocate.
The final straw was his lack of leadership during the pandemic, when one saw his true colors shine. In front of the West Wing, he flapped his arms like a child throwing a tantrum at the media for insinuating he was ignorant of the nature of the pandemic—86,000 perished in Florida, with nearly 50 percent infected, making it the third-highest state in the number of cases.
DeSantis is truly the textbook definition of a fascist whose behavior is not indicative of a democratic leader, but that of an autocratic dictator. Along with the impetuous Florida Legislature, he is systematically creating a chimera in the Sunshine State focused on animosity, violence, retribution, segregation, gender, sexuality, restrictive education and suppression of basic constitutional rights. Most recently he proposed a law concerning the nondisclosure of currently publicly accessible information about state officials.
Allowing this Machiavellian any future office will only exacerbate the critical ideological divide domestically. That is stifling the peerless potential of our prosperity and preventing us from bolstering our global leadership for the 21st century.
Ned Sader has more than two decades of public affairs experience working for corporate and nonprofits, with a specialty in the development of public/private partnerships. He has served on numerous regional boards and is a lifelong resident of Wayne County.
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