Florida Governor Ron DeSantis formally announced his presidential campaign Wednesday in a “Twitter space” conversation with Elon Musk. The event was full of awkward pauses and tech glitches, and drew amused responses from the Trump and Biden campaigns.  

Pity the campaign people charged with making DeSantis “likable.” When DeSantis tries to make a joke, an angel dies. He’s involved in a feud with Minnie Mouse. He never flies commercial, apparently. And we’re in for a long campaign of viral moments of DeSantis caught on camera looking like he’s about to bite a dove’s head off. 

DeSantis’s campaign fits the “thinking man” Republican blueprint: shake the rich for cash with backdoor meetings about taxes and “I’m not Trump,” then throw red meat to the “yokels” who are drawn to Trump’s performance of “working class” cliches. To that end, DeSantis has turned Florida into a wingnut laboratory, spearheading the banning of books and empowering conservatives to make decisions that affect other people and their children. 

Most recently in the Sunshine State, school administrators deemed a poem delivered in Joe Biden’s inaugural unfit for elementary school students and moved it to the middle school library. Fifth graders are 11-12 years old; they will be legal adults in six years. And they can’t handle Amanda Gorman’s “United We Climb?” 

When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? 

The loss we carry. A sea we must wade. 

We braved the belly of the beast. 

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice. 

And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. 

The parent who started the fracas complained that the poem  “is not educational and have (sic) indirectly hate messages,” adding that the poem would “cause confusion and indoctrinate students.”

About what, exactly? Light? The sea? Dawn?

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