An Open Letter to Governor DeSantis

Governor DeSantis:

`I am writing you with a suggestion that could fast track your trip to the White House… or it could just as easily blow up in your face and end any presidential aspirations you may have.

Before I explain, let me provide some context.

I remember meeting you at a GOP convention in Orlando when you were running for Senator in 2016. However, when Marco Rubio dropped out of the presidential race and decided to run for re-election to the Senate, you likewise changed course and ran to retain your House seat.

I am glad that things worked out the way they did, because a six-year Senate term might have dissuaded you from running for Governor in 2018. However, a two-year House term was exactly what the doctor ordered and thankfully, you pulled out a narrow win over Democrat Andrew Gillum. His post-election scandals – not to mention his progressive policy positions – would have proven disastrous for our state.

Now that you have served a remarkably successful first term and have been resoundingly and deservedly re-elected as Governor, I assume your eyes are once again turning toward Washington. This time, however, I imagine that your sights are set on the White House, not the Senate.

Personally, I hope you decide to run, and I also hope that you will be our party’s nominee for President. Frankly, I think you are the GOP’s best hope for defeating President Biden or whomever the Democrats nominate in 2024.

And that, Mr. Governor, is my reason for writing to you.

In recent years, the Republican nominee for President has garnered about 10% of the black vote. For instance, Donald Trump received 8% of the black vote in 2016 on his way to victory and 12% of the black vote in 2020 on his way to defeat.

Mr. Governor, I think you could do even better, but I also fear that you may do considerably worse.

If properly explained, your positions on issues such as school choice, crime, and parental rights should resonate within the black community. The problem is that the political narrative on these and other critical issues is being hijacked by the Progressive Left and their accomplices in the mainstream media.

As a pastor with 35 years of prison ministry experience who also works closely with at-risk and mostly minority youth, I have a lot of interaction with the black community. In fact, I am one of only two white ministers in a county-wide pastors association here in Indian River County. Unfortunately, your pro-family, pro-education, pro-economic opportunities, and pro-traditional values message is being lost in the black community amid a firestorm of misinformation.

For instance, pastors and parishioners alike are being told that you want to erase Black history from the public-school curriculum. You and I both know that that allegation is blatantly false, but sadly, perception is often reality. The truth of the matter is that you fully support Black history being taught, but you draw the line at including Critical Race Theory. You also don’t want a call for reparations to be pushed or promoted in taxpayer-funded history classes.

That makes sense to me and millions of other Floridians… and for presidential purposes, to tens of millions of your fellow Americans. After all, white children should not be taught that they are inherently racist based on their skin color and black children should not be taught that they are inherently victims based on theirs.

But your message isn’t getting through, Mr. Governor, to the people who need to hear it the most. In fact, I recently heard a black gentleman who is a leader in our community say, “If he wants to get rid of Black history, then he wants to get rid of me.”

Along the same lines, the Progressives are intentionally trying to blur the distinctions between equity and equality. You and I both support equality in education, which means ensuring a level playing field and equally available resources for everyone. However, we both vigorously oppose equity, which insists on equal outcomes regardless of the amount of time, effort, and hard work invested by enterprising students… or the amount of laziness and entitlement exhibited by less diligent ones.

But to the non-discerning ear, equity and equality are the same thing, which is why I think you need to clear up this misconception sooner rather than later. And so, here is my proposal that could propel you into the Oval Office… or permanently exile you to the political hinterlands.

Come to Gifford.

Gifford is an unincorporated section of Indian River County that is part of the Vero Beach-Sebastian metropolitan area. As of the 2020 census, it included 5,511 residents, 75% of whom are African American.

I propose, Mr. Governor, that you conduct a town hall meeting at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center or the adjacent Gifford Community Center. Invite the press, invite local officials, but most importantly, invite the good people of Gifford. In fact, reserve a VIP section for ordinary folks from the surrounding neighborhood.

I would also suggest that you negotiate an agreement with the host facility that a predetermined number of people will be given a chance to share their views and air their grievances, and that no one – including yourself – will be interrupted or shouted down. You are sure to catch a lot of heat, but based on the way you’ve handled COVID, Disney, and the woke elitists, I imagine that your closet is full of big boy pants.

So, put on a pair, Mr. Governor, and come to Gifford, knowing full well that the mainstream media will seek to set a trap for you every step of the way. However, if you are able to cut through their liberal smokescreen and show their socialist propaganda for what it is, I think you could score some major political points… and win over a few converts (and votes) while you’re at it. At the very least, I think you would earn the grudging respect of a far-too-long overlooked community.

Like I said before, Mr. Governor, I can’t make you any promises other than that you would be walking through a political minefield on your way into a potential hornet’s nest. But from what I’ve seen, you aren’t one to shy away from a fight or to pass up an opportunity to clear up misconceptions by speaking directly to your constituents. After all, that’s what great statesmen – and prospective Presidents – do.

Good luck and Godspeed, Governor!

Dale Glading
About Dale Glading 107 Articles
Dale Glading is an ordained minister and former N.J. Republican candidate for Congress.