Ron DeSantis stole the show at the National Conservative Conference in Washington, DC, on Sunday evening. The Florida governor gave a speech hitting many hot topics, from woke-ness in the corporate world to the Republican party’s subservience to an undeserving Wall Street.
The latter is especially infuriating given that Wall Street objectively hates GOP voters. Yet, as I’ve written before, Republican leaders have a tendency to value the affection of a segment that gave three times the money to Joe Biden during the 2020 election.
DeSantis is a different kind of Republican, though. He understands what time it is, and he’s not afraid to say exactly what other GOP politicians are too scared to utter. That led to lots of ruffled feathers as he delivered his remarks. For instance, there was this shot at the COVID-19 vaccines that sent the hysterics into a tizzy.
“They were wrong about the efficacy of the mRNA vaccines.” DeSantis keeps courting anti-vaxxers pic.twitter.com/q0jxOjUxgo
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) September 12, 2022
Notice what’s missing from Chait’s critical remark. Namely, any actual rebuttal to what DeSantis said. Why did he not offer one? The answer is that the Florida governor is correct. The federal government lied about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, claiming that they stopped transmission. They then used that false claim to push for unconstitutional mandates that ultimately held no scientific value. After all, if everyone spreads the coronavirus regardless of vaccination status, then you aren’t “protecting” anyone by forcing others to get vaccinated.
Chait’s complaint is indicative of what the left has become, though. Rather than adhering to facts and reason, they follow government proclamations in a cult-like fashion, even when they conflict with reality. So it’s not that DeSantis was wrong. He wasn’t. Instead, the angst comes from the fact that DeSantis had the audacity to speak the truth, regardless of how it conflicted with the predominant narrative.
That’s been a theme of the governor’s tenure, and it’s why he’s gained such a following. He also doesn’t just own the libs, though that’s a worthy cause. DeSantis is willing to speak right to the heart of the blind spots within the GOP itself. For example, he hit Republicans who value free markets as a nebulous idol separate from the betterment of society.
Perhaps DeSantis’s most important point in his speech at @NatConTalk was that free markets are meant to be the means to an end of a prosperous and fulfilling life. They cannot be an end in and of themselves.
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) September 12, 2022
DeSantis’ critique shouldn’t be seen as a repudiation of free markets, but as a realization that when massive corporations abuse them to monopolize and control, those markets are no longer actually free. That such behavior typically comes via coercing the government to rig the game only makes the point starker. Republicans that continue to prioritize corporate tax cuts for those that hate them over the needs of their constituents are not the future of the party.
That’s not to say tax cuts are bad. On the contrary, I’m rather a fan of them. But what sets DeSantis apart is his willingness to speak to the societal repercussions of government policies. That’s why he’s led the nation in pushing back on harmful leftwing ideology in schools and has been willing to take on corporate giants like Disney. Sometimes, the hard thing to do is the right thing to do.
And frankly, if the left is losing its mind about it, that’s a pretty good sign he’s over the target.