DESANTIS: Governing With A Sense Of Urgency

The following is an excerpt from The Courage To Be Free, by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (HarperCollins/Broadside Books).

Make America Florida

When I became governor, I threw caution to the wind by rejecting polls and by dedicating myself to being an energetic executive who would take on issues aggressively. I governed with a sense of urgency and a willingness to take risks to accomplish what I set out to do.

We were able to achieve major successes, in part, because I led based on conviction and did not try to conform to what Alexander Hamilton once called “every sudden breeze of passion, or to every transient impulse” among the public. We had our true north, and we were not going to be diverted by media narrative and background noise.

We were also strategic in our approach. I pursued our agenda, mindful of the reality that I was the elected executive within a constitutional system that included checks and balances from other branches and other levels of government. I understood the authority I possessed under the laws and constitution of Florida, understood the various pressure points in the system, and understood how to leverage my authority to advance our agenda through that system.

We live in a bizarre time in which narrative has supplanted facts, and I had no illusions about how my flurry of activity would be met by corporate media outlets, who like those Republicans who refuse to do anything substantive and dutifully accept leftist narratives. Indeed, during the coronavirus pandemic I was the governor most targeted for smears by corporate media and, since January 20, 2021, no Republican officeholder faced more consistent — and erroneous — attacks.

This is the cost of exercising leadership in modern America. A governor who leads by aggressively pursuing policies that defy the leftist ideology of the nation’s elites will face fire — not only by the legacy media but also from activist groups, Big Tech, and corporate America.

To be successful, a leader must be willing to take these hits. It is not always easy, especially when so many of the attacks are blatant lies, but this is simply the price one must pay for exercising leadership. It is a price worth paying. When I took strong stands against the prevailing narrative on draconian coronavirus policies, I may have been vilified by the usual suspects, but I was able to save the livelihoods of millions of people throughout Florida. The Fauci-worshipping coastal elites had no regard for these people, and it fell to me to protect the people of Florida from the destructive biomedical security state.

Taking strong stands will engender blowback from the left-media complex and may temporarily impact a leader’s political standing. Far too often, elected officials permit immediate political considerations to trump doing what is right. For example, when Florida led the nation on requiring schools to be open during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, we faced massive opposition — from Democrats, teacher unions, legacy media, and even some Republicans — such that public opinion was strongly against our policy. Rather than bow to the current public impulse, we stood by parents and students. We beat the unions in court. And we defied the media hysteria which was completely divorced from the data. As evidence has piled up vindicating our approach, our decision has garnered overwhelming support such that those who opposed us typically no longer admit they did.

It might be the case that, when making a tough decision, the politics do not work out. One could even lose an election due to standing on principle. This is a risk that a leader simply must take. If doing the right thing results in losing an election, then so be it.

It is not worth contorting oneself into a pretzel simply to try to cling to an elected office.

Ron DeSantis is the 46th governor of the state of Florida.

Excerpted from The Courage to Be Free by Ron DeSantis. Copyright 2023 by Ron DeSantis. Published with permission from Broadside Books and HarperCollins Publishers.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.


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