If the Republican Party has any chance of taking back the White House in 2024, they need to take a page from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ playbook and push back against the radical left.
The Republican governor stood up to the COVID-19 bullies who practically predicted a mass extinction event when he decided to reopen his state and revive its economy during the pandemic — a move that put him in the political crosshairs even as Floridians thrived.
DeSantis has continued to advance a conservative agenda, including recent anti-riot legislation that increases penalties for crimes committed during civil unrest, provides legal protections for drivers forced to make their way through a riot roadblock, and withholds state aid from any locality that pushed to defund police.
Now, the governor has announced another move that will simultaneously send the left into fits of self-righteous rage while demonstrating staunch support for the group in America most oppressed, abused and maligned: police officers.
On Wednesday, DeSantis announced a $1,000 bonus for first responders in his state including firefighters, paramedics, and police officers who were on the job during the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News reported.
“I asked the legislature in this legislative session, we need to do bonuses for law enforcement,” DeSantis said in a news conference. “Some wanted to defund the police, we’re funding the police, and then some,” he said.
FL Gov. Ron DeSantis announces $1K bonuses to law enforcement officials in his state:
“Some want to defund the police. We’re funding the police and then some.” pic.twitter.com/qy3bhedlye
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 5, 2021
DeSantis made the announcement surrounded by first responders and members of law enforcement while at a podium with a clever placard that read, “DEFUND THE POLICE” with the prefix crossed out by a circle with a line through it.
According to WESH-TV, the governor’s office said the bonus will come from the rescue plan passed by Congress and distributed to the states.
This recognition for more than 174,000 first responders in Florida is significant as monetary compensation for those who did not shy away from their duties during the pandemic.
But more importantly, the bonuses send the message that DeSantis supports his state’s first responders, especially while so many other leaders in America are calling to defund law enforcement officers.
After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last May, anti-police sentiment exploded largely due to the Black Lives Matter movement.
An idea that would previously seem unreasonable — if not completely unthinkable — was shockingly adopted by some municipalities even as their streets were plagued with violence and riots.
Predictably, cities like New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago and others are experiencing skyrocketing violent crime and murder rates that coincide with this push to defund police.
Whether they actually went through with the measures or not, the message in those cities was loud and clear — police officers were to be mistrusted and were unwanted on city streets.
The narrative has poisoned every interaction between a white police officer and a minority suspect and is immediately assumed to be a racially charged rousting — and any use of a police weapon in the course of such an interaction is automatically considered murder.
Officers have become subject to abuse by members of the public who now feel emboldened to treat officers with disrespect and suspicion even as these same uniformed heroes would willingly risk their own lives for the people that mistreat them.
But few GOP politicians are courageous enough to stand up for police officers and publicly reward them for their service.
Even South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott‘s much-touted rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s address to Congress included talk of police reform that effectively accepts the left’s premise about law enforcement being somehow defective.
Politicians see the defund police rhetoric is popular on the woke left, but they need to understand the rest of America wants police in their neighborhood to keep an orderly, safe society for everyone.
DeSantis seems to be making all the right moves as he bucks the conventional wisdom that usually steers Republicans toward taking whatever the left’s agenda is and watering it down to make it more palatable to their base (or at least that’s what they think).
The Florida governor was on point with coronavirus lockdowns, mask mandates, anti-riot measures, and now with supporting first responders.
With a resume like that, he would easily knock RINOs out of his way on the road to the White House should he decide to run in 2024.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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