Last month, Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, addressed a conservative crowd in Utah, the gathering being one of many nationwide events that some Spirited Reasoners believe might be a prelude to a presidential run in 2024.
“Did you not get the CDC’s memo?” he asked the audience, most of whom were unmasked. “I don’t see you complying.”
And of course the crowd roared with laughter in response. Because, in the world of Donald Trump, the world to which Ron DeSantis belongs, COVID-19 is nothing but a joke invented by the left-wing media. Who cares that ICU beds have filled to capacity, nurses and doctors are exhausted, and patients are dying are horrible death by suffocation?
“It is very important,” he went on, “that we say, unequivocally, no to lockdowns, no to school closures, no to restrictions, and no to mandates.”
(See https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/20/politics/ron-desantis-masks-florida-schools-covid-19/index.html )
In other words, we should say no to any public health measures that might be likely to save lives and ease the pressure on our courageous health care providers.
It’s tough being a true leader in the 21st century. To do so means the near certainty of facing mob ridicule and even threats. How much easier it is to simply follow the mob—i. e., figure out which way the parade is marching and then run to the front of it, acting as though you knew which direction the crowd was headed all along.
Spirited Reasoners are betting that, while some Americans continue to be wedded to that style of faux leadership, most voters will appreciate the tougher road of the true leaders who are out there doing the job we paid them to do while ignoring the screams of the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. These true leaders are the ones who will get our votes in the next election.
Spirited Reasoners are betting that the size of the majority that backs responsible leadership will be even greater in the future than it was in 2020.