There is a misconception pushed by the media – and, I might add, abetted by the behavior of certain Republicans – that the GOP will only win the support of the masses by becoming more moderate.

And forsaking social conservatism.

But there is one Republican who keeps proving these lies of the Left false: Governor Ron DeSantis.

Today, the popular governor of the Sunshine State was sworn in for his second term. According to approval polls, he is one of the most popular governors in America. Florida was the fastest growing state in 2022, with 320,000 Americans flocking to live there between 2021 and 2022.

In 2018, when DeSantis was first elected, Florida Democrats had 300,000 more registered voters than Republicans. Since then, they have garnered only 2,300 of the state’s 1.2 million new voters. Needless to say, the 2022 midterm election was the Democratic Party’s worst statewide showing in more than a century. DeSantis was reelected handily, even carrying Miami-Dade, a historic Democrat stronghold.

All that to say, DeSantis is popular.

Hugely popular.

Keep in mind that Republicans in other states generally underperformed in 2022. Whatever DeSantis is doing in Florida certainly warrants a closer look.

How did a man of little note prior to 2020 turn a one-time swing state into one of the reddest states in the nation?

According to leftist logic, one would think he had done so by becoming less conservative. By renouncing the old, antiquated ways of the GOP. By embracing the “universal appeal” of a Mitt Romney or Liz Cheney.

How else?

SEE ALSO: Introducing Media Matters’ 2022 ‘Misinformer of the Year’

DeSantis’ formula was simple: fight bare-knuckled for common sense and against “wokeness.” Turning a deaf ear to the media’s denigration of the “far-right,” he went farther right. Far from becoming less conservative, he became more conservative.

He also challenged GOP orthodoxy that says elected Republicans must keep their hands clean of the culture wars.

He addressed the “fatherlessness crisis in Florida,” encouraging men to be more responsible. He rejected lockdowns and vaccine mandates. He fought Disney. He banned sexual indoctrination and Critical Race Theory from the classroom. He made Florida’s election system one of the safest and most efficient in the country.

Whenever a hot-button topic came up, he was on the forefront of the fight, defending We the People. Whenever the corporate media pressured Republicans into backing down, he was defiant.

Florida went against everything the political establishment says about what it takes to be a “good Republican” and proved them wrong.

Dead wrong.

As the Democratic Party goes ever farther to the radical left, voters are not interested in weak-kneed appeasers. They are not necessarily interested in genuinely radical Republicans either. They have little use for mouthy firebrands who wallow in conspiracy theories and undisciplined name-calling.

They want fighters.

Fighters who fight for the things that actually matter to everyday Americans; and against the perverse insanity of the left.

Which matters more to voters: futile theories about Paul Pelosi’s attacker? Crude insults about an injured 82-year-old man? Or ensuring that our kids are shielded from sexual indoctrination?

Petty fights within the GOP? Or Republicans making a unified effort to stop wokeness in its tracks?

We only have so much time. It takes discipline to know which battles are worth fighting and which will only deter voters.

SEE ALSO: Hollywood crashes in market value, Americans vote NO on woke

DeSantis’ inaugural address today – and more importantly, his track record – prove he has that discipline.

“When the world lost its mind – when common sense suddenly became an uncommon virtue – Florida was a refuge of sanity, a citadel of freedom for our fellow Americans and even for people around the world,” he boasted. “In captaining the ship of state, we choose to navigate the boisterous sea of liberty rather than cower in the calm docks of despotism.”

“We face attacks, we take hits, but we weather the storms, we stand our ground, and we do what is right,” he continued. “As the Book of Psalms reminds us, “I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.’”

He later added that “fighting for freedom is not easy because the threats to freedom are more complex and more widespread than in the past – the threats can come from entrenched bureaucrats in D.C., jet-setters in Davos, and corporations wielding public power. But fight we must.”

This fight is proving that true conservatism works. That people will flock from miles around just to be free.

But do we have both the courage to fight and the discipline to do so effectively? The media will tell us a hundred times that it is better to shut up and stand down. The choice is ours if we will listen to them.

Jakob Fay is a staff writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance.

About The Author