DeSantis runs far right

B. Jay Cooper
3 min readMay 9



Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, considered at the moment the strongest opponent for the Republican presidential nomination against former President Donald Trump, has about completed his agenda in the state of Florida — an agenda most consider establishing his platform and crowning achievements to position him for his presidential run.

DeSantis is new to presidential politics but not new to politics. He has passed a right-wing agenda in Florida that is hard to square with what a majority of the country prefers. While his agenda will be very tantalizing to Republican primary voters, most pundits question how it will play favorably with a general election audience.

Among the items that DeSantis passed in Florida:

A six-week abortion ban. This goes far beyond the 15-week ban that the state enacted just a year ago. Six weeks is earlier than many women know they are pregnant. Even with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the woman, this ban makes Florida one of the most anti-abortion states in the country.

Extension of the death penalty. Florida is now the state with the lowest threshold for the death penalty. DeSantis signed a law allowing juries to recommend capital punishment with an 8–4 vote rather than a unanimous vote. He also signed a law making child rapists eligible for the death penalty, flying in the face of a Supreme Court ruling.

Gender identity, pronouns. This is an expansion of DeSantis’ “don’t say gay” law. It bans teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity, through the 8th grade. Teaching those areas is likely not in any school curriculum but it puts teachers in the position of questioning even answering student questions in a general way. This and other laws passed that affect teaching makes it difficult for teachers to even touch upon certain subjects, a regression of teaching openness that has existed for years. Teachers are left with a no-win choice: risking breaking the law or being true teachers, as they trained for.

Concealed Carry. Florida residents now may carry guns without a permit. This in the same state that had been moving toward gun safety measures after the murder of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla., just five years ago.

Election changes. In the especially self-serving category, another bill changes Florida law and allows DeSantis to run for president without resigning as…

B. Jay Cooper

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: