How to incorrectly answer a question that has one correct answer

DeSantis whiffs on the easiest question a politician could possibly provide an answer to.

DeSantis standing at a podium featuring an incredibly ironic banner given the circumstances

DeSantis standing at a podium featuring an incredibly ironic banner given the circumstances

Brendan Wells, Web Editor

While disagreements between Americans seem to be a prevalent topic in everyday life and discussion, there’s one thing that all Americans can surely agree on; the political discourse in this country is absolutely out of control. While the solution to this issue won’t form overnight, I firmly believe that the current politicians in office owe it to the average American citizen to at least do the bare minimum, and attempt to appear as adults, rather than the children that they present themselves to be. The failure to do so is rampant among both parties, but the politician who has the most immediate impact on my life exemplifies this childish behavior to a T. So, let’s talk about Ron DeSantis, and his latest political blunder. 

Those paying attention to their news feed have most likely seen the rise in Nazi and white supremacist supporters and apologists, especially here in Florida. Pro-Nazi demonstrations have taken place on overpasses, roadsides, and public streets, most notably in the city of Orlando. First, I’d like to dispel the notion that Antisemitism “doesn’t exist” or “isn’t as big of an issue as the media makes it out to be.” The opposite is true, and if the protests at Orlando shopping centers, and vandalization of synagogues depicting swastikas in Chicago isn’t proof, I’m not sure what is.  Secondly, I’d like to state the incredibly obvious, that there is absolutely NO place for antisemitic demonstrations and actions in today’s United States. Legality of waving a swastika flag aside, it is (or should be) a universal opinion that the horrors that the Nazi regime imposed and continue to impose on the Jewish community are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The final point I’d like to make is that “condemn the Nazis” is quite literally the easiest question you can answer as a politician, with that answer being “yes of course.” THIS is exactly why the comments made by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are so incredibly disappointing.

In a press conference following the incidents, DeSantis was questioned about his lack of response to the Nazi demonstrations after multiple Florida politicians rushed to condemn the activities. Instead of taking the easiest political layup of all time and simply saying “Nazis are bad”, DeSantis instead decided to politicize an issue that doesn’t have any relation whatsoever to politics. “So, what I’m going to say is these people, these Democrats who are trying to use this as some type of political issue to try to smear me as if I had something with to do that, we’re not playing their game.” Here’s where the title of this article comes into play. There is ONE right answer to “condemn the Nazis”. Just one! However, for whatever reason, the Governor of a state that has become a hotbed for Alt-right and white nationalist activity made it a political issue. Not only is this response insulting, its astoundingly selfish. The Jewish community in Florida and across the country is hurting, and for DeSantis to respond by taking the opportunity to answer in a manner that further adds fuel to the raging fire of toxic partisanship in this country is downright disgusting in my opinion. “Condemn the Nazis” will forever be the greatest political layup of all time, and DeSantis chocked it away. While the right will argue that the condemnation of Nazi’s is a “given.” I beg to differ. The hesitancy of some politicians to denounce white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups is incredibly alarming, and I believe constitutes concern of colossal proportions. However, I’d be a fool to claim that this issue is exclusively Republican, as multiple Republicans displayed some sensibility, notably senator Rick Scott and Florida speaker of the house Chris Sprowles, wasting no time in making statements against the disturbing demonstrations. Scott stated that “Across America, we’ve seen a heartbreaking & disgusting rise in hate like this. We must always condemn it & continue to stand strongly with our Jewish communities,” and Sprowles claimed that the Orlando demonstration “does not reflect the values of Floridians.” These comments were made before DeSantis’, so to say blueprint that any high school history student could’ve formulated wasn’t clearly laid out for him would be idiotic.

While the only saving grace of this horrific press conference was DeSantis calling the Nazi demonstrators “Jack***es.” the entire situation still rubs me, and many other Floridians the wrong way. The ultimate point here is that Americans need strong leaders who will work for the people who elected them, and not themselves. This issue needs to be addressed all up and down the political ladder, as now more than ever we must hold our commander-in-chief and local officials alike to the highest of standards. The United States has immense ground to make up on the global stage, and soundbites like this are doing us absolutely no favors.