Opinion: Has DeSantis Gone Too Far?

How Attempts at Voter Appeasement Have Showcased a Void of Empathy in the Republican Party


Edward Bunch III, Staff Writer

Ron DeSantis, 46th Governor of Florida and potential 2024 Presidential candidate, has been making waves of approval in the minds of conservative voters since his term began in 2019.

For many, DeSantis marks a turning point in the history of the Republican party. In recent decades, many voters have vocally expressed concerns over corruption scattered throughout the U.S. Government.

However, after a recently failed political stunt involving illegal transportation of migrants, the checklist of corruption is beginning to stack up against Republican candidates including DeSantis.

Some of these accusations have merit and have been documented properly; however, most instances of political corruption still go unchecked due to the volume of occurrences and cunningness of its enablers.

During the time of Greek scholar Aristotle, political corruption was commonly defined as leadership who values private advantages more than public interest.

This definition has remained fairly consistent to this day; however, corruption has also been acknowledged as an absence of moral standards in addition to a chain of selfish actions.

Thus, corruption has taken many different forms in our politics today. Politicians accused of being corrupt are those who have used their position and power for the gain of themselves or allies.

For example, a politician who is in bed with leaders of the oil industry and then votes to allow an excessive amount of oil-drilling in a particular area is likely one of our candidates for corruption.

How does DeSantis play into all of this? Let’s jump a few years back and see.

Early Career

For his political campaigns, Ron DeSantis often touts his legal and military experience in Iraq/Guantanamo Bay as a nod to his patriotism and dedication to the success of his nation.

Many Republican voters have stated that they prefer an “America First” candidate who fights for the well-being of his countrymen rather than personal or financial gain.

Using his resume alone, DeSantis passes the voters’ test with flying colors. His military experience and Harvard education say a lot about his smarts, but what does this experience say of his character and, by extension, level of corruptibility?

Guantanamo Bay is historically famous for its constant human rights violations against its prisoners. The torture camp has held around 800 Muslim boys and men without a charge or trial.

Such actions already speak to a violation of ethics based on the standards of the U.S. Constitution and the general public, but let’s continue to discuss DeSantis’ involvement.

DeSantis served as the “scheduler/administrative officer” for the torture camp during his active duty service and was tasked with overseeing the guarantee of rights to prisoners as essentially a prosecutor.

Considering the camp’s history and DeSantis’ responsibilities, it is fair to say that the current governor of Florida failed profusely in maintaining fair ethical standards at Guantanamo Bay.

His actions and words concerning those detained there also leaves the possibility that DeSantis played an enabler role in the inhumane torture as well.

In 2007, DeSantis began serving in Iraq as part of a 30,000 troop “surge” following his time in Guantanamo Bay. During this stationing, the goals of these troops were to quell the insurgencies occurring across Iraq and end Jihadist expansion.

In Iraq, DeSantis served as senior legal advisor to a SEAL team as part of the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG). His role was to ensure that any military plans followed the rule of law and that detainees were to be treated humanely and fairly according to the Geneva Conventions.

The U.S. operations in Iraq have also been properly accredited as torture following the reveal of many top secret documents and operations.

In both examples, we see a government workplace where DeSantis is responsible for upholding a standard committing multiple violations of U.S. and international ethical regulations.

This pattern becomes especially concerning when considering the vast support of Florida law enforcement that DeSantis has accrued throughout his term by utilizing legislation. The words of DeSantis and his administration likely plays a major role in the way police and citizens of Florida interact every day.

By definition, DeSantis fits the criteria of a morally corrupt politician. Let’s now pivot and analyze some of the initiatives he has taken as Representative and Governor of Florida.

Legislative Proceedings

As previously discussed, DeSantis has made quite a name for himself among the Republican voting base as a potential candidate for the 2024 Presidential election. Most of this appeal has come from the legislation he has signed into law for Floridians.

In June 2019, DeSantis signed two bills with polar opposite compassion for the afflicted. The first bill, SB 7066, forces former felons to pay all fees and fines for incarceration before regaining the right to vote.

The second bill, HB 7127, immediately cut Florida’s tax on corporate profits by $2.7 billion.

Unless one believes in the now disproved theory of “trickle-down economics” –first popularized by former president Ronald Raegan– these two signings show a clear lack of care for improving the lives of Floridian citizens.

In June 2020, DeSantis forced out Florida’s public counsel, allowing a path for FPL to raise power rates by $5 billion statewide.

In April 2021, he simultaneously signed two separate bills that placed firmer penalties for civil disobedience and also increased taxes on Florida consumers by $1 billion…again for businesses.

Recently, the DeSantis administration has also been involved in a scandal involving Vestcor Companies, an apartment company and one of DeSantis’ largest donors, who has contributed almost $400,000 to his campaign alone.

Allegedly, DeSantis worked with lobbyists on a bill that would’ve made it easier for apartment developers to change cost-controlled rent neighborhoods –built with public subsidiaries– into private, profitable apartments and condos.

For more information and insight into the deceptive signings during DeSantis’ term, re ad the following Twitter thread supplied by investigative reporter Jason Garcia.

The willingness to cooperate and side with lobbyists on issues directly affecting the quality of life for many Florida residents is the most alarming of DeSantis’ criticisms. This two-faced behavior is one that has been noted for many years but has yet to become questioned.


Between a void of morality, history of under-the-table deals, and a willingness to ignore the needs of the public majority, Ron DeSantis fits the bill for a corrupt politician.

His recent undertakings concerning the transportation of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts only further showcase his lack of regard for human life.

In an attempt to prove that Democrat cities would not actually support an influx of illegal immigration, Governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis both coordinated dishonest transportation of migrants from Texas to liberal states.

The migrants, who number about 50 total, were informed by members of DeSantis’ administration that after their flight they would arrive in Boston and be provided with food, shelter, clothing, and an express path towards a work visa.

As most of these migrants are Venezuelans escaping from violence in their home nation, this agreement was made without pushback. However, once they got off they were faced with none of the aforementioned benefits that were discussed.

Residents of Martha’s Vineyard quickly banded together to accommodate the migrants with everything they needed, including food and translators, thus disproving the Republican theory on immigration response.

DeSantis has yet to apologize for this stunt, and has even doubled down on the plan, stating that it may become an ongoing program.

This latest act by the DeSantis administration has earned the criticism of many nationwide, including by President Biden, who believes DeSantis is using human lives as political props.

By definition of U.S. code § 7102, DeSantis’ stunt qualifies as human trafficking by use of coercion on the federal level. Despite the apparent need for legal proceedings, DeSantis shows no desire to change.

Public officials and Congress members should collectively condemn actions like that of DeSantis; however, that is not where this battle ends. The age of using real people as props in political debates has lasted decades too long.