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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced he will seek the nomination to be the Republican nominee for the United States presidency. The U.S. is the world's superpower, both economically and militarily, with geopolitical interests throughout all continents and economic impact in most countries. As such, American elections garner a lot of attention, especially in Europe.
For many reasons, Governor DeSantis has become the symbol of effective, strong conservative governance, and Florida is a blueprint for many center-Right governments in American states and European countries. The American support for his candidacy would in fact show that conservatives reject the cult of the individual, as they often have in the past, embracing instead the best common sense, conservative policies. For Europeans, it would mean a trusted and reliable partner that would strengthen the U.S. and the Western alliance in front of aggressions and hegemonic aspirations of our geopolitical adversaries and would present a model that works for bolstering the economy.
DeSantis won the race for Congress in 2012 against all odds, going door-to-door together with his wife, Casey, and convincing people to choose an idealist who could get things done. Subsequently, he became one of the founders of the House Freedom Caucus, one of the most conservative groups in the United States Congress, advocating for fiscal responsibility, limited government, individual freedoms, less bureaucracy, and stronger national defense. Just as he managed to go into Harvard and Yale and come out more conservative than when he started his academic path, in Congress he managed to not only avoid becoming part of the swamp, but also stand up to it. Similarly, he successfully stood up to Fauci-ism and the worldwide infringements of human rights and came out victorious.
In 2018, DeSantis won by a margin of 0.4% against Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum. Four years later, with a successful track record, he transformed the margin of victory into an almost 20% difference with his rival Charlie Crist, demonstrating that voters award competence, politicians that stick to their values and principles and policies that strengthen their freedoms and prosperity.
It was the largest margin of any Florida Governor in 40 years, winning comfortably the vote of men (64%), women (53%), Hispanic (58%), White (65%), independent (53%), and Republican (97%) and reaching 13% with African-Americans and 5% with Democrats. He won Miami Dade, a Democrat stronghold, for the first time in two decades, and turned Palm Beach County Republican for the first time since 1986. Under him, Republicans won supermajorities in both chambers of the Florida Legislature and DeSantis used these victories to push for and sign laws based on what he actually promised when running for re-election. Mr. DeSantis showed that he can win even where Democrats think they have the upper hand. Fundamentally, he transformed a swing state into a reliable Republican stronghold, basically obliterating the Left from all positions of power. More importantly, he can win against President Biden, because he can win states such as Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and many others that other contenders cannot. Electability is one of his greatest advantages.
The governor, immensely popular within his state, ensured a Red Wave in Florida in an otherwise surprisingly bad year for Republicans and helped secure the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. As an example of the efficiency of his governorship together with the House and Senate of the state, just in the recent legislature, they have created the largest school choice program in American history, banned abortion after six weeks, approved a $2 billion tax cut, strengthened gun rights, banned sex change operations from being performed on minors, barred woke initiatives in universities, cracked down on illegal immigration, expanded parental rights in education, protected the rights of individuals against the overreach of government in collusion with large corporations.
Moreover, he signed a digital bill of rights, to protect his citizens from the overreach of big tech, enhanced penalties for fentanyl dealing, fined credit card companies for tracking citizens' gun purchases, made it easier to own a house, outlawed social credit scores, banning government from considering social, political or ideological beliefs when evaluating potential vendors, outlawed central bank digital currency and approved laws that fight antisemitism and any type of discrimination. All of these common sense and widely accepted ideas are transformed into law in a way that would make it difficult for the next governor to undo them.
That is exactly the best feature of Governor DeSantis. He is a strategist that acts with a discipline and precision often lacking in other politicians, giving the reassuring feeling that the adults are now in charge. He has made sure that his governorship is a consequential one and more importantly, that his policies continue to improve and protect the freedoms and lives of his citizens even after he is gone. All of this has been done without increasing the size or degree of interference of government, expanding instead the liberties of citizens.
He has gathered a team that works competently towards their common goal, free of leaks and unnecessary drama. As president of the United States, his record proves that he would preside over a government that cuts bureaucracy, runs efficiently, and does not sabotage itself, while enabling individuals and families to prosper and unleash their economic potential. More importantly, he has shown an admirable knowledge of conservative philosophy and policies and a willingness to study and understand laws and proposals in depth.
Under his leadership, Florida became home of the free, and beacon of liberty across the globe, incentivizing citizens, and businesses to move there from would–be socialist states that are high in crime and low in prosperity. Florida was number one in net migration, in new business formation, in education, and economic freedom. The crime rate fell to a 50-year record low level.
Overall, he has pursued supply-side policies such as tax cuts, deregulation, incentivizing investments in key industries and technology, while keeping government expenditure low. In fact, Florida has a budget surplus, even though it has a lower budget than New York, which through its high taxes and massive spending often goes on the brink of bankruptcy. These policies have resulted in an unemployment rate of 2.6% as of April 2023, gross domestic product real rate of growth for the fourth quarter of 2022 of 3.7%, a budget surplus for FY 2021-22 of $21.8 billion, the highest in the state's history, and a yearly private sector employment growth of 4.7%, as of March 2023, all metrics superior to the national ones. As a conservative, he understands the necessity to lower the deficits, maintain fiscal discipline, and encourage entrepreneurship and the true free market.
DeSantis has combined these free market, supply-side policies with a higher focus on culture, tradition, and individual freedoms. This is the fusionism of the 21st century that all the West needs to strengthen the United States and Europe as the two pillars that will keep the balance of power in the West, just as President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher did in the eighties. Wokeism and cancel culture, higher government intervention and their collusion with corporations that in fact do not serve shareholders or customers but agendas imposed by fringe segments, are the modern manifestation of communism and fascism — precisely the policies DeSantis has been fighting.
He seems to be the only one who can unite a strong coalition of the spectrum of the Right, from social and fiscal conservatives to classical liberals whose philosophy stands at the foundation of the U.S.. Moderates, national conservatives, common sense libertarians and principled realism foreign policy advocates will also find him attractive. All of these different streams of the Right, which have conflicted often with one another in many aspects, have many things in common. To win and effectively address the challenges of our time, an alliance based on the common traits of all of them is needed. I have seen this Reaganite fusion during Governor DeSantis' governance and that will be the key to winning the Presidency and governing successfully.
American center-Right individuals of all streams and philosophies should endorse and join DeSantis and his alliance if they want their voices heard, concerns addressed and the country safer, stronger, and more prosperous. His election can serve as an incentive to his European counterparts and help strengthen the bond between the freedom-loving nations in front of the considerable challenges and threats ahead.
Nikola Kedhi is an economic commentator, financial consultant and contributor to various media such as Fox News, Newsweek, the Daily Signal, Newsmax and Mises Institute. Kedhi is also a co-author of the Constitution of Center-Right Values of the Democratic Party of Albania. He can be reached on Twitter: @nikedhi95 and on Substack.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.