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Republicans Need to Get Over Trump, and Behind Ron DeSantis

Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at a "Unite & Win Rally" at Arizona Financial Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. Image by Gage Skidmore.
Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at a "Unite & Win Rally" at Arizona Financial Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. By Gage Skidmore.

Before the wheels of his plane could even touch down in Iowa, Donald Trump went after Ron DeSantis with a video on Twitter blasting his absurd made-up names and unfounded criticisms. He claimed Florida was doing great before “Ron DeSanctus” became governor. He even praised Charlie Crist, DeSantis’s Democrat opponent in the 2022 election, and added “sunshine and ocean are very alluring” claiming any state would do well with those elements. Who’s going to tell him about California

A pro-Trump super PAC is now filing an ethics complaint against DeSantis accusing the governor of running a “shadow presidential campaign.” Currently, DeSantis has been traveling across the country to promote his New York Times’ best-selling book “The Courage to Lead,” making stops in key primary states, including Iowa four days ahead of Trump. The committee recommends the highest penalty if DeSantis is found guilty, which would eliminate him from the ballot. 

Clearly, someone is worried. And he should be. Ron DeSantis is a better communicator, a more experienced policymaker, and, more importantly, less insecure than Donald Trump. 

Getting Sick of Donald Trump 

While CPAC and other political operatives continue to shower adoration on Trump, many conservatives like me cannot tolerate another six years of the immaturity, name calling and a chaotic administration that marked his presidency. We don’t want the headache of having to defend his policies, even if they’re good ones. We don’t want to have to brace ourselves every morning, wondering what kind of asinine, thoughtless comment he tweeted out while we were sleeping. And we certainly don’t want to give the Democrats any opportunity to win another election. If a half asleep, slurring, elderly man with obvious signs of dementia can beat Trump, just about anybody can. People dislike him that much. Trump’s grassroots efforts won’t be enough to sustain him this time.

Ron DeSantis: The Future of the GOP? I Say Yes

Republicans need a strong leader, not a cult of personality. Ron DeSantis is exactly that leader.

As for the arguments that DeSantis is part of the globalist establishment, those are patently false. All it takes is a review of DeSantis’ record both as a member of the House and as Governor of Florida. He consistently bucked the tide during his time as a representative. He was an original member of the Freedom Caucus, creating some resistance for the slick operations of the GOP establishment.

He opposed the “Gang of Eight” Bill, which would have paved the way for a massive expansion of future immigration, a bill many Republicans in both the Senate and the House supported. He spoke out against the Russian collusion conspiracy theory. This was one of the main reasons Trump endorsed his candidacy when he ran for governor. 

However, as governor, he also had no problem keeping his state open despite Trump’s appeals to follow Fauci’s guidelines because it was making Trump look bad. He stood up to teachers unions and expanded school choice. He stood up to sugar lobbyists to improve Florida’s valuable natural resources. He stood up to Chinese influence and passed reforms that prohibited agreements between public institutions and the CCP and imposed stiffer penalties for foreign espionage and the stealing of trade secrets. Meanwhile, our federal agencies continue to kowtow to China and are dragging their feet on formulating a cohesive strategy to counter its expansionist agenda. 

Time and time again, DeSantis has proven to do what he says he is going to do, namely, work for the people who elected him – the second time with the largest margin in the state in forty years.  Florida’s economy is booming, and its educational performance is rising in the ranks and people are parking their U-Hauls’ in the Sunshine State in record numbers. 

One of the reasons Ron DeSantis wasn’t more of a force in Congress is because being a successful legislator requires different skill sets than being an executive leader. One of the main requirements for a congressperson is the ability and willingness to strike bargains, a little tit-for-tat. Getting things done in Congress requires a bit of underhandedness and the inclination to put aside principle or firmly held beliefs to “make the deal,” i.e. whatever Kevin McCarthy had to do to finally win the Speaker position. 

Standing down from principle is not in DeSantis’s wheelhouse. He is much stronger in an executive role where he can call the shots and do what he does best: lead. Leading means setting the pace, not following it. It means putting policies in place for others to emulate. This takes courage. 

Trump For President Means Chaos 

Do not confuse Trump’s bombastic outrages with courage. They are not. They are the equivalent of a child throwing a temper tantrum until someone responds. I’m all for a sea change in Washington but burning down the house is not the way to do it. Dignity, respect, and inspiration all need to make a comeback in the Republican party without sacrificing the ability to stand up to the presiding progressive narratives being pushed by everyone from our White House to private sector conglomerates. DeSantis has proven he can do that. 

He knows how to build relationships, not tear them down. He knows how to get people invested in an agenda, not a personality. And couldn’t we all use a little less personality right now? A White House that looks more like an executive office and less a three-ring circus? 

Trump’s most recent speeches reveal how unconcerned he truly is with the issues that currently plague our country. He continues to tout his past successes, whether true or not, and criticize others without addressing any key issues or critical talking points other than to reverberate the policies that DeSantis has led the way on. DeSantis has the vision Trump lacks, a vision guided by first principles, not his own personality. 

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Ron DeSantis has followed the model our founding fathers articulated in both the Constitution and Federalist Papers. I’d be shocked if Trump could recite who wrote the Federalist Papers, much less the philosophies in it that provided the backbone for this country. 

We should be grateful to Donald Trump for drudging up all the sludge in the status-quo swamp. He’s like the drunk uncle that stumbles into Thanksgiving. He livened things up, got people debating, and caused a raucous that was needed in D.C. But we’ve reveled in inebriation long enough. It’s time to sober up, Republicans. This kind of lifestyle – and leader – is unsustainable. 

Jennifer Galardi has been a leading voice in the health and wellness industry and will be graduating in April with a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University. She has been published in the Epoch Times and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy, and anything she finds interesting. 

Written By

Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.