Breaking down DeSantis’ exit from the GOP primary.
DeSantis is out: after weeks of speculation and an unsurprising result in Iowa, it appears Florida’s governor will have to wait his turn. On January 21, Governor Ron DeSantis suspended his bid for the presidency and endorsed former president Donald Trump in the wake of Trump’s commanding lead in the Iowa caucuses.
DeSantis announced his decision via X. “This is America’s time for choosing. We can choose to allow a border invasion or we can choose to stop it. [America] can choose reckless borrowing and spending or we can choose to limit government and lower inflation. We can choose political indoctrination, or we can choose classical education.” DeSantis gave a hopeful conclusion for his supporters stating, “Winston Churchill once remarked that ‘success is not final, failure is not fatal — it is the courage to continue that counts.’ While this campaign has ended, the mission continues. Down here in Florida, we will continue to show the country how to lead.”
An Undeniable Record
While some may be quick to judge DeSantis’ campaign as a display of his incapacity to govern, one thing that conservatives should realize is that DeSantis is truly a class act and his record shows that. Before ascending to the governorship, DeSantis fought for conservative values in the House of Representatives taking on the Obama administration on Obamacare and DACA, as well as being a cofounder of the Freedom Caucus. Upon assuming the role of governor in 2019, DeSantis has managed to turn Florida from one of the most competitive swing states in the U.S. into a Republican stronghold due to his attitude toward public freedoms. From fighting in the halls of Congress to leading the state of Florida in Tallahassee, DeSantis has shown that he’s not a quitter and will stand up to the challenges that he continues to face.
A Proven Leader
DeSantis’s success as a conservative leader deserves a round of applause. The key to understanding DeSantis’ leadership, which has brought much success to the state of Florida, lies within his view of the executive and how he holds himself. I had the fortunate opportunity to gain a bit of insight as to the very nature of his leadership style when writing a review for his memoir “Courage to Be Free.”
DeSantis states that his leadership style is modeled after the Hamiltonian vision of the executive in Federalist 71, “Energy in the executive is the leading character in the definition of good government.” When looking at the work that DeSantis has done as Governor, he has brought an energy to his position that has led to tremendous results for the people of Florida and for the conservative cause in contrast to the likes of his progressive counterparts. Even on the campaign trail, DeSantis being the only candidate to have achieved the “full Grassley” (a strategy where a candidate visits all of Iowa’s 99 counties during a campaign), is a glimpse of the very energy he has and that was clearly seen when he sought to listen to the concerns of the people.
Standing on Principle
Besides bringing energy to the executive, he holds himself to a high standard on the foundational principle of doing what is right, even if it means losing his position. DeSantis has been clear that when it comes to following one’s principles, others are not going to be keen on supporting you if it does not support their own interests. As a result of his reluctance to being a yes man, DeSantis has faced opposition amongst his Republican colleagues on many occasions when he stood for what he believed whether it was his battle with Disney, his support for Florida’s six-week ban on abortion, or defying former President Trump and Fauci over the COVID-19 lockdowns.
In a day and age when America’s population sees their politicians as self-serving and corrupt, DeSantis stood out with bold colors and went against the grain by standing for his principles that got him elected, and has continued to fight for those he serves.
The question some may ask is: where does DeSantis go from here? I am confident that DeSantis will continue to lead Florida, and the state will prosper under his leadership. If all goes well, DeSantis will likely have a strong chance to run again for the presidency in 2028. Regardless of his departure, DeSantis still holds a promising future. He will certainly continue to advance the conservative cause in any way he can. While DeSantis departs from the race back to the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee, his devotion to America’s ideals will hopefully inspire conservatives to lead and push the conservative movement to new frontiers.
About the Author
Hunter Oswald is a senior student studying political science and minoring in economics as well as national security. Hunter is a staff writer for Cogitare Magazine and contributor for the Grove City College Collegian newspaper. He has previously been a member of the Grove City Debate Team.
This past summer, Hunter Oswald interned at the American Spectator. Previously, he completed the Heritage Foundation’s Academy Program, where he studied numerous public policy issues and America’s foundational principles. He aspires to further use his research and analytical skills in helping to inform the public on policy issues that promote and advance America’s principles.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the writer alone. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grove City College, the Institute for Faith and Freedom, or their affiliates.