who is Ron DeSantis, the “warrior sent by God” who challenges Donald Trump

His tanned face and toothpaste smile appear on billboards on Florida highways, on little signs nailed to the lawns of Miami homes. Her campaign uniform seems to always be the blue jacket, khaki pants and a white shirt without a tie. But he has another of a “Top Gun” battle, with a green nylon jacket full of stars and dark aviator glasses, which he brings out when he wants to show his war credentials and give the message that he is capable of fighting against everything. that is necessary for the future of the United States. Against Joe Biden or whoever he is. Even against Donald Trump himself.

Forty-six years old, married to a former television presenter, Republican Ron DeSantis is the head of the state of Florida and everything indicates that it will sweep the legislative and gubernatorial elections this Tuesday, when he will renew his mandate. No poll disputes his victory, it is only expected to see by what margin it will materialize.

Your victory will be his springboard to the White House. We must be very attentive to his next movements because this ultra-conservative man, military man, lawyer, who fights “in favor of freedom”, against Disney, sex education in schools, communism and illegal immigration, has a chance of becoming President of the United States.

Money talks: in a few days, he has broken the record of raising 200 million dollars for his campaign, according to Politicalwhen his Democratic rival Charlie Christ has raised just 31.

A portrait of Governor Ron DeSantis, during a campaign tour in Florida.  Photo: AFP

A portrait of Governor Ron DeSantis, during a campaign tour in Florida. Photo: AFP

The Republican’s funds come beyond the borders of Florida, indicating that already has national projection. He has spent only 100, he saves another 100 for his future.

DeSantis does not talk about his plans, but everything indicates that he will run for the Republican party inmates in 2024 to compete with anyone. For now, only the former president, who also flirts with returning to the ring, beats him in popularity.

But many Republicans see it as “a more verbose Trump”without the tycoon’s scandals and with a more solid political career.

The most recent advertisement of his campaign went to unsuspected limits by describing him without blushing as “a warrior sent by God” to Earth. While different images of the governor in uniform passed, with his wife and his three small children, a voice off with the litany of a pastor called to vote for him to fight against the evils of the country. The most religious sectors – key to any election in the United States – observe the character with admiration.

Biden, on the other hand, disqualifies him by saying that he is “the reincarnation of Donald Trump.”

Democrat Charlie Crist, a candidate for governor of Florida, has little chance against DeSantis.  Photo: AP

Democrat Charlie Crist, a candidate for governor of Florida, has little chance against DeSantis. Photo: AP

His popularity is enormous in Florida, in the rural hinterland, even in the more worldly Miami, where Latinos are strong. Lawyer graduated from prestigious universities such as Yale and Harvard, he joined the army as “Top Gun” and came to fight in Iraq. He later turned to politics, first as a state congressman until he became governor.

He took flight when he took on the White House during the pandemic and resisted closing businesses and mandatory mask wearing. He also lowered taxes and the Sunshine State has become a magnet for many big-city Americans seeking a more relaxed climate and paying less.

“Says the things that need to be said.” “He is a family man.” “He understands how business works.” “He has guts to fight crime and illegal immigration.” “He is going to stop socialism”, are some of the phrases that he heard the most Clarion among ordinary people, even among some who have once voted Democrat.

Ron DeSantis fans are waiting for him for an act, this Friday in Coconut Creek, Florida.  Photo: AFP

Ron DeSantis fans are waiting for him for an act, this Friday in Coconut Creek, Florida. Photo: AFP

controversial policies

The most progressive sectors, on the other hand, are horrified by several of his most aggressive policies, such as his fight against sex education and critical race theory in schools.

DeSantis was not shy about banning the shows statewide on the grounds that these topics are taught in the family. He did not hesitate either to withdraw from circulation some math manuals that mentioned homosexuals. He also clashed with the Disney company and withdrew the autonomy of the land in Orlando where their parks are located because the owners of Mickey Mouse criticized his policy regarding the LGTBQ community.

Another of his most controversial measures was when he put dozens of undocumented immigrants who had arrived in Florida on a plane and dispatched them to liberal cities considered “sanctuaries” such as Martha’s Vineyard and Washington DC.

DeSantis is also a strong critic of the regimes in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, with which he has earned the sympathy of a large part of the state’s Latinos.

A statue of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on a campaign vehicle in Coconut Creek.  Photo: AFP

A statue of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on a campaign vehicle in Coconut Creek. Photo: AFP

It has implemented “Communism Victims’ Day,” so that every November 7, 45 minutes are spoken in public schools about “how victims suffered under these regimes through the suppression of speech, poverty, hunger, migration and systemic lethal violence”.

Supporters and detractors

Bertica Cabrera Morris, Republican strategist, explains to Clarion the supposed virtues of DeSantis. “The pandemic very much defined who the real leaders were. This is a governor who not only did not close businesses, but also removed restrictions on them.”

In addition, he affirms, “we only put on the masks if we wanted and this is the reason why Florida did not suffer as much as the rest of the country, neither with the pandemic, nor with the economy. I think that even the Democrats -I have children who are Democrats – they liked it a lot because it was not a totalitarian attitude. People are happy with this leadership.”

Morris, of Cuban origin, also highlights the Governor’s Fight Against Illegal Immigration. “He is very clear that he wants us who are not from here, but he wants us to arrive legally.”

For Jaime Florez, director of Hispanic Communications for the Republican National Committee, DeSantis “is strong because he has led a process of freedom in our state. Florida stayed away from the closures ordered by the federal government based on supposed science and over time we have realized that what was there were fake scientists with an agenda clearly related to government interests ”, he said to Clarion.

“He also did not allow schools to be closed like in the rest of the country. There were closures, but it was a much faster opening than in other regions. De Santis kept at bay all these initiatives and people admire him very much. That has caused nearly a thousand people to move to Florida every day from other states in search of this freedom and the right to live the life that one has, without government mandates for vaccines or the use of masks, or mandates of vaccine passports.

Regarding the ban on teaching sex educationFlorez pointed out that “the results of these elections will amply demonstrate that the governor has sided with public opinion, with those who want a much more solid education for their children.”

Morris is emphatic: “I don’t want my 5-year-old grandson to be talked about sex at school, absolutely not. Most people agree with De Santis on this issue.”

Away from the scandals of Trump, who had three marriages and bragged about touching women’s genitals without their consent, and is the focus of multiple lawsuits for his businesses, DeSantis has a more traditional family photo.

“He is a family man, married to a beautiful woman, who has just gone through an extremely difficult issue as he had breast cancer and thank God he managed to overcome it. He has three wonderful children and his family is something exemplary, ”says Florez.

Democrats doubt his transparency. They say that he is an opportunist and his anti-immigrant policy is “illegal and cruel.” David Singer, a Democratic strategist, told Clarion that DeSantis “only pursues his personal interest and not that of the 28 million people who live in Florida. The people who give him money have businesses in Florida and they seek to project his business on a national level, because they believe that he is going to be the next president of the United States.”

What do DeSantis and Trump have in common? Both supported each other, but since the governor of Florida showed his presidential ambitions, they have distanced themselves slightly and look at each other with suspicion. For Florez, “the two receive undeserved hatred from the sectors of the left of the Democratic Party.”

Miami, special envoy


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