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OPINION: Sean Hannity and Ron DeSantis take on Governor Gavin Newsom

KentWired Illustration by Gabrielle Lutz

On Thursday, Fox News hosted a debate between California Governor Gavin Newsom and Florida Governor and current presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. In typical American fashion, this debate was a disaster of yelling and talking over one another, resulting in very little discernible information being broadcast to the American people regarding either governor’s platform. DeSantis is trailing in his home state by upwards of 40 points, with the majority of his state favoring the reelection of Donald Trump in 2024. Newsom stated this is one of the few things the two have in common: neither himself nor DeSantis will be their party’s nominee in 2024. 

The first issue the governors were asked to speak about is the current quality of life in their respective states regarding the economy. Governor Newsom was the first to respond, taking this opportunity to go after DeSantis and the fact he welcomed money into his state from Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation with open arms. DeSantis claimed this was factually incorrect, a statement he continued to make throughout the debate to refute any and all of Newsom’s points that he did not like being brought up. Newsom went on to criticize Florida’s tax policy wherein low-wage workers pay a higher percentage in tax than billionaires, which boggles my mind that anywhere in the world, billionaires get tax breaks and the costs of these breaks are shouldered by the hard-working people of America. Seemingly every day, the state of Florida finds new policies that regress this country until it is barely recognizable. 

One of the most regressive policies instituted in Florida is the “reform” taking place in the education system, which consists of banning sexual education as it pertains to LGBTQ+ individuals, banning education about gender and sexual identity, banning any books that even hint at LGBTQ+ themes and the forced outing of transgender students to their parents. DeSantis was repeatedly scrutinized for these policies by Governor Newsom who emphasized the fact that more than 1,400 books have been banned in the state of Florida, to which again, DeSantis said this is both happening and not happening, first saying “false” repeatedly into the microphone in futile attempts to mimic the debate habits of Donald Trump, and then claiming that book bans are regional, not statewide. Terrifyingly, it’s becoming clear that DeSantis does not even fully understand what is happening in his state. 

Moving forward, the governors were asked about their respective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which each state handled incredibly differently with Florida being one of the least restrictive states in the union, for which Governor DeSantis claims all the credit. While Governor Newsom laid out the facts about how COVID-19 was handled in California, specifically the fact that Fox News was using false statistics to show how many died in California compared to Florida, Ron DeSantis had the nerve to laugh about the fact that Florida had higher rates of learning loss among children during the pandemic. DeSantis went on to claim that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are both in the pockets of the teachers’ union while he, the mighty civil servant he is, stood up to the teachers’ union and kept schools open which, if you look at the facts, led to more COVID-19 cases and more deaths from COVID-19 than states that kept schools closed. DeSantis, however, never stuck to his ideology that COVID-19 was not dangerous nor should people be scared of it, as he was seen wearing a mask with the man who seemingly he is basing his entire personality and campaign on, Donald Trump. Even though the number of deaths in Florida from COVID-19 equates to more than ten 9/11s, DeSantis is still pushing the rhetoric that what he did was right for the state. 

Sean Hannity, the “moderator” of this debate, asked Newsom about the state of California’s policy regarding late-term abortions, specifically those that extend into the eighth and ninth month of pregnancy. Newsom handled this swayed question with poise and backed his response up with data that shows that these late-term abortions happen far less frequently than conservative media is portraying. Newsom stated that these decisions are never taken lightly and must be left up to a woman and the discretion of her doctor without the government having a say, especially in regard to the 6-week abortion ban that Ron DeSantis has repeatedly stated he is in favor of. Although at that point in the pregnancy, most women don’t even know they are pregnant. DeSantis went on to boast about this policy, stating that in Florida every life counts, and you are free from the government taking your tax dollars to fund abortions up until the moment of birth, a statement that is riddled with misinformation. 

Clearly, not everyone matters in Florida if children are being restricted from receiving life-saving gender-affirming care, schools are not free to teach the truth about gender identity nor are they allowed to teach any sort of curriculum that even mentions sexuality, the state is making it easier for felons to purchase firearms due to the unbelievably loose background checks that in many cases, don’t even exist. Florida is not the freest state as Ron DeSantis likes to boast, but rather a borderline authoritarian state with a fascist leader. 

This debate was meant to be swayed in the favor of Ron DeSantis, with him and Sean Hannity teaming up against Gavin Newsom, but despite the odds, Newsom was the clear victor of this debate. He saw through the fact that the odds were stacked against him and prevailed as both the winner of the debate and by far the better leader of the two. Governor Newsom cares about the state of California and is a true patriot, unlike Christian nationalist Ron DeSantis. I believe in the coming years, Gavin Newsom would make a wonderful president as he truly cares about the wellbeing of our nation and will move us forward to a brighter future.

Jackson Small is an opinion writer. Contact him at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jackson Small, Opinion Writer
Jackson is a sophomore majoring in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. This is his first year writing with Kent Wired, where he is an opinion writer predominantly regarding current events and politics. Contact him at [email protected]

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