by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Facing a Biden administration that is responsible for a record level of illegal border crossings, a stunning policy failure in which border communities have been largely abandoned by the federal government, two red-state governors have said enough is enough.
By moving migrants from border areas to elite liberal enclaves and “sanctuary cities,” Govs. Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Ron DeSantis (R-FL) are relocating the immigration crisis to the lawns of those who created and have too long tolerated it. Former President Donald Trump is all about himself, and therefore, his loud gestures were also about himself. In contrast, Abbott and DeSantis are taking their legitimate arguments to Democratic heartlands in an original and politically savvy way.
It’s certainly not DeSantis’s first instance of going on offense in this manner. When Florida-based Disney vowed to use its millions in corporate funds to enable powerful public lobbying against laws like the Parental Rights in Education bill passed earlier this year, DeSantis moved to strip Disney of its special protection status. Some pundits on the Right saw this as an affront to Disney’s free speech rights. But DeSantis recognizes that this is a new game, one in which Republicans must resist a left-wing and media-supported movement that demands obedience and activism from corporations.
The GOP needs more leaders who are laser-focused on creatively waging this struggle for values. And why not?
After all, the recent evidence suggests the “go bold” approach works. As with Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA), it’s worked with supporting parents against activist teachers unions and hard-line gender activists. It’s worked with resistance to burdening vaccine and mask mandates. It’s now working with the struggle against unsustainable open borders. So the migrant flights should continue in defiance of a weak president and a protectionist media that view journalism largely as opposing whatever policy Republicans support.