Even prior to arriving in Florida to work for the Office of Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2020, I was immediately struck by the bravery and conviction he exhibited during the early days of Covid. He stood on principle and fortified his position with data.
This endeared me to his causes. My own path to Florida began with studying and sharing Covid data online. In contradicting some of the federal government’s narratives, I endured a tsunami of smears from corporate media attempting to attack my credibility and qualifications for my job.
For saying things like masks didn’t stop respiratory viruses, lockdowns were destructive, and the virus may have come from a lab, I was ridiculed and vilified. In fact, some congressional Democrats tried to have me canceled after I accepted a position with the state.
Despite the onslaught, the DeSantis administration never budged. Going with the governor against Anthony Fauci was the correct decision.
Now, my path has diverged a bit. But my resolve has not.
A few months ago, I left the state office to join the Ron DeSantis for President campaign. It required little contemplation. You only commit to such an endeavor knowing it’s a finite journey that could be a roller coaster ride of emotion.
Recently, my journey was cut short as one of a reported 38 staffers who parted ways with the campaign in what has been termed a “reset.” Some would consider this a dead end to their political pilgrimage. I view it as more of a bright orange “detour” sign.
When I pledged my blood, sweat, and tears to this cause, I did so because I believe America is ready for her restoration and DeSantis is the man to lead that “Great American Comeback.”
DeSantis Is Putting His All Into This
Already, I believe the fruits of the campaign reboot are coming to harvest. In the past few weeks, DeSantis has done interviews with CNN, NBC, and The New York Times. He’s joined popular conservative long-form podcasts with influencers Clay Travis and Megyn Kelly.
In doing the “full Grassley,” the governor is visiting all 99 counties in Iowa ahead of the January caucuses. He’s been involved in more town halls and engaging in other forms of retail politics.
This is vital for the public to become more intimately familiar with the man I trust. In one of those town halls last week, he unveiled his economic plan to bring Americans under control of their own financial destiny once again.
On Tuesday, it was reported the governor’s Chief of Staff James Uthmeier — my previous boss in the Office of the Governor — would be taking over as campaign manager. I’m excited for James. He is intelligent, diligent, energetic, and fiercely loyal.
But as with all the other noise involved in the campaign, I believe, ultimately, all that is necessary is for Americans to hear from the candidate directly. Once they hear his policies and vision for America and experience his grasp of nuanced issues, they will understand why he’s ripe for leading the restoration.
Florida’s Red Hot, and DeSantis Got It There
When DeSantis took office in his first term, Florida had a net of more than 300,000 more Democrats registered than Republicans. Now that advantage is more than 550,000 in favor of the Republicans. Florida is turning into an oasis of freedom, and people are fleeing bottomless blue pits in record numbers to be part of this powerful red freight train.
I don’t place loyalty to politicians ahead of the best interests of our society. But we must fight for those who fight for us. In these closed quarters, with shared principles and vision, my DeSantis colleagues become like a second family. Personally, I don’t abandon family.
Controversy sells. Media outlets and merchants of controversy would love nothing more than for someone in my position to gossip or fuel the fire of despair. They would love for me to tell tall tales of a floundering campaign and turn quickly against my colleagues. But that is not my story to tell, nor is it the one anyone should want to read.
Among all the victories the governor and state of Florida have put on the scoreboard on the path to a near 20-point midterm win in 2022, perhaps I’m most impressed by the quality of character in the governor’s orbit. I have worked alongside many passionate and principled people in both the administration and campaign.
The Man in the Arena
In a speech given in Paris in April 1910, President Teddy Roosevelt delivered infamous remarks about “the man in the arena.”
“It’s not the critic who counts,” Roosevelt said, “not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”
As metaphors go, there is none more apropos for DeSantis. He is awakening the spirit of blue-collar Americans all over the country. They see him as their fighter for American values: for life, family, their livelihoods, and the economy.
“The average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed,” Roosevelt also noted. “The stream will not permanently rise higher than the main source; and the main source of national power and national greatness is found in the average citizenship of the nation. Therefore, it behooves us to do our best to see that the standard of the average citizen is kept high; and the average cannot be kept high unless the standard of the leaders is very much higher.”
My work didn’t end the day I departed the campaign. If anything, today I am more convinced than ever that DeSantis is the right man for the presidency. He’s restored my faith that America is not some rudderless ship wandering aimlessly at sea.
When They See Him, They’ll Love Him
Much is made about polls and momentum. I’m sure there are valid criticisms of the campaign to this point. However, getting this candidate out in the open will appeal to voters. As the visibility of his policies and vision for America increases, and voters awaken from their summer slumber and begin to truly consider options for 2024, they will see what I saw in 2020.
DeSantis’ understanding of the issues is vast. When voters hear more about what he stands for — and, equally important, why — I’m confident he will resonate with them. They will learn what I learned in 2020.
My journey may have taken a detour, but the destination hasn’t changed. I will continue to fight for the man who is fighting for us.
DeSantis will do for these United States what he has done for Florida and raise our expectations for the executive. I say this not as an employee or out of a sense of loyalty, but because I’ve seen it and I believe in it.
Kyle was a research director for the DeSantis presidential campaign and, before that, the Republican Party of Florida. He joined the DeSantis administration in 2020 as a researcher and data analyst for the Florida Office of the Governor.
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