Open letter to Ron DeSantis from a lifelong Democrat

Open letter to Ron DeSantis from a lifelong Democrat. By Lionel Shriver.

I am a disaffected registered Democrat. I voted for Joe Biden on the assumption that he was a boring, moderate placeholder who could steady the national ship after the nauseous high seas of the Trump presidency.

Two years on, I’m still sick to my stomach. Biden is captive to a radical left that has made the party I joined at 18 unrecognisable. It is now intolerant, racially obsessed, fiscally incontinent, eager to encourage dependency on the state and politically high-handed.

But I cannot stick putting 2016’s crude, anti-democratic boor back in the White House. So the prospect of facing down a none-of-the-above contest in 2024 — a Trump vs Biden redo, much less Trump vs that idiot Kamala Harris — makes me suicidal.

I’ve never voted Republican in my life. But if you were to secure the nomination (admittedly dependent on whom you ran against), I could be tempted to defect for the first time in nearly 50 years. …

I was first impressed with you early in the pandemic. You did your homework. Rather than blindly accept politicised CDC propaganda, you consulted medical experts with a variety of perspectives, the better to come to your own conclusions: that lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports and school closures are illiberal, destructive and medically ineffective. Thereafter, you weathered frenzied nationwide accusations that you were a granny killer. …

True, I fiercely disagree with you about abortion access. Yet on many other issues, we’re surprisingly in sync. You saw no reason to change Florida’s voting laws during Covid, while drastic, ad hoc, last-minute revisions to electoral procedures in other states later helped justify Republicans’ disastrous rejection of the 2020 presidential results. You have banned the teaching of racist, divisive, historically distorted critical race theory in schools. Although the legislation was slyly mischaracterised by Democrats as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, I don’t think kids under the age of nine should be forced to decide whether they’re boys or girls, either. You have protected women’s sports, which aren’t women’s sports with men in them. You have maintained high-quality public services with no state income tax and half the budget of profligate New York. You’re standing up to Big Tech’s stifling of free speech on the internet.

I’m an immigrant myself, so like most Americans I support controlled, legal immigration in moderate quantity. Uncontrolled, illegal immigration in eye-popping quantity is another matter. So good for you, forbidding the establishment of self-righteous ‘sanctuary cities’, which refuse to enforce federal immigration laws as belligerently as the Biden administration does. I thought your financing of the delivery of two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard was hilarious. Yup, it was a stunt. An inspired one. …

The Dems don’t have anyone else lined up, and they’re starting to panic. They’re praying for Trump to win the GOP nomination, because he’s the Evil Incarnate they think they can beat (a huge gamble; maybe they can’t).

From the perspective of the present, a 2024 Republican nominee with none of the bombast, bile and bedlam of Trump who espouses solid, sensible conservative values — once much the same values my own party embraced — could waltz into the Oval Office with millions of votes to spare. The Democrats are terrified of you, which is why Newsom is already firing salvoes at you personally, all the way from the Pacific.

I can’t count the Americans I have met who say they would vote for you in a heartbeat.

Maybe not charismatic, but Ron DeSantis fights and he gets things done.