In this installment of their weekly Sunday Six conversation, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative discuss six GOP governors who are leading the way in the raging battle against leftism.
#6: Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin
PF: Glenn Youngkin gained national attention last fall during his gubernatorial campaign against Democrat Terry McAuliffe. In a state that Joe Biden won by double-digits in 2020, McAuliffe was thought to be a shoe-in on Election Day. Virginia is a solid blue state and Youngkin needed a bold strategy if he was to achieve the unthinkable and take control in Richmond; and that’s exactly what he did.
Youngkin won in November due in large part to confronting cultural issues head-on and from a conservative angle. Most notably, Glenn Youngkin recognized the evils of Critical Race Theory, the Democrats’ attempts at indoctrinating school children in CRT, and the burgeoning rejection by parents of defiant school boards attempting to bypass parental rights. Youngkin was out in front of a major issue that has shifted well to the right nationwide, and he was elected easily because of it.
Youngkin is currently pushing for tax cuts in the state, much to the chagrin of Democrats. He attempted to shut down mask mandates in schools, though he met stiff resistance in the courts. And Youngkin is Pro-Life, though he tends to temper his enthusiasm on the issue.
But what’s most important for a conservative governor in a blue state is to retain power. Democrats in power in any statehouse can do irreparable damage, and retaining voters in a left-leaning state means walking a fine line for a Republican. So far, Youngkin appears to be doing splendidly, having recently achieved a 50% approval rating. And considering he’s a Republican and the unreliability of such polls, we can safely assume the real number is about 5 points higher, maybe more.
#5: Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Parker: Leadership in Texas has provided solid direction for the rest of the country. Greg Abbott deserves a lot of credit for that. Now, conservative- and libertarian-minded folks will always be able to poke holes in the “perfect” governor. No such governor exists, as no such perfect person exists. Has Abbott been 100% effective at guiding the conservative movement? No, but let’s count the wins he has achieved.
First off, Texas passed a monumental bill defending the right to life of the unborn. If nothing else, the fact that Abbott is protecting babies makes him someone worth championing. We simply cannot survive as a society if we condone the murder of unborn babies. I don’t think it’s a stretch to see the devaluation of life in the womb and the relentless pursuit to normalize pedophilia. Moreover, the left also loathes the idea of even becoming parents. The left selfishly hates children. Governor Abbot signed the “Heartbeat Act” that prevented abortion once a heartbeat was detected – often as young as six weeks. Bravo, Mr. Abbott.
Then, among other great things, Abbott has defied federal law and moved ahead with the construction of a border wall with Mexico. It is of the same design put forth by Donald Trump and is currently under construction. Look, no matter what laws are passed here, if new waves of immigrants can keep arriving then it doesn’t really matter; we will always be swimming upstream. America needs to secure its borders first. Period.
#4: Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy
PF: About the only time a governor from Alaska gets noticed in the lower 48 is when they’re picked as a presidential running mate, ala Sarah Palin in 2008. Otherwise, they’re largely ignored down here. But Mike Dunleavy is worthy of our attention.
Dunleavy is unapologetically conservative. He proudly calls himself Pro-Life, and governs accordingly. He has been vocal in his opposition to Critical Race Theory in Alaska’s schools. Just last week he suspended the gas tax in Alaska to ease the pain of skyrocketing fuel prices. And in January Dunleavy joined Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a lawsuit against the Biden Administration challenging Biden’s attempt to enforce a COVID vaccine mandate for Alaska’s National Guard. That’s a pretty conservative resume and we didn’t even mention the second amendment, mask mandates, or judicial nominees.
But perhaps the best evidence of Mike Dunleavy being a conservative who’s fighting back against rampant leftism was a recent endorsement he received. In December, Donald Trump was ready to endorse Dunleavy in his re-election bid, but Trump wanted to ensure that Dunleavy wouldn’t then turn around and endorse Alaska’s current Senate RINO Lisa Murkowski (click here for some detail on Murkowski) in her own campaign for re-election.
Dunleavy didn’t hesitate to comply with Trump’s request, stating “please tell the president he has nothing to worry about.” For a governor to withhold his endorsement of a sitting senator from his own party who’s been in office for over twenty years is ballsy, and a good example for other Republicans to follow.
#3: Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts
Parker: Perhaps one of the most unheralded champions of liberty during the entire Covid pandemic was Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts.
As far back as June of 2020, when the powers that be tired of burning and looting our cities during their three-week Covid hiatus (for the BLM riots), Ricketts ordered that federal buildings not enforce the mask mandates issued from up high. Then when vaccine mandates were de jour, he also ordered state agencies to not comply with federal mandates.
In 2022, having long woken up to the scam that was the medical establishment’s guidelines, he both refused to initiate new protocols during the Omicron wave and also signed into law a bill preventing vaccine mandates to take hold among employers. His protection of individual freedom, which should admittedly be justb taken for granted rather than be celebrated, is nonetheless quite welcome in the face of dictatorial actions bny other governors like Gruesome Gavin Newsom and the murderous Andrew Cuomo.
This guy has simply been in front of the curve since the beginning. Governor Ron DeSanits gets most of the press for his equally-rigid stance against state-sanctioned tyranny, but Ricketts has been there every step of the way.
#2: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
PF: I don’t think I’m overstating the situation when I say Ron DeSantis has quickly become a political superstar. Not only is DeSantis redefining what it means to be a Republican governor, he’s redefining what it means to be a conservative. On his current trajectory, Ron DeSantis could well be the most important conservative voice of this generation. And keep in mind, at 43-years-old he’s the youngest governor in the country, Democrat or Republican.
Pick an issue and DeSantis is not only conservative, he takes an in-your-face stance on it. DeSantis didn’t just call out the absurdity of the recent Lia Thompson, transgender swimmer issue, he accurately called the second place swimmer the rightful winner. When Democrats tried to call his parental rights bill the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill,’ DeSantis didn’t back down and instead pushed it forward; and it turns out that voters in Florida and across the country support the provisions in the bill. And when DeSantis wanted to sign his anti-vax mandate bill last fall, he didn’t do it just anywhere, he sent an unmistakable message by signing it in the town of Brandon, Florida. Let’s go Brandon!
Ron DeSantis has clearly learned from Donald Trump, and hopefully other Republicans are learning from Ron DeSantis. Don’t back down. Don’t be a victim. Be conservative, be proud of it, and speak up. Here’s something that’s driven me crazy for years: Whether in our culture or in government, conservatism works, and leftism doesn’t. Republicans like DeSantis who embrace conservativism and don’t shy away from controversy thrive, as evidenced by DeSantis’ gaudy approval rating and the number of blue state residents flocking to his state. Stand up for yourself, Republicans, and stand up for America.
#1: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee
Parker: When it comes to the future of conservative leadership in America, there is one arena that we cannot back down: Matters of truth. For that reason, Bill Lee gets my third and final spot, although we are certainly leaving deserving considerations off the list. The thing is, though, when you consider the insidious BLM/CRT agenda, the truly vile transgender lie that 2+2=5, and all aspects of Covid from the past two years, few have done better than Lee.
Wikipedia shares more on each of these topics. As far as BLM, here is how Lee responded to the George Floyd Riots:
“In August 2020, Lee signed into law a bill increasing the severity of penalties for a number of protest-related offenses. Most notably, it reclassifies camping in a tent outside the Tennessee State Capitol from a misdemeanor to a felony offense punishable by up to six years in prison. This means that anyone convicted of the act will also lose their right to vote, as convicted felons in Tennessee are disfranchised.”
In terms of protecting truth, here is how Lee has responjded to the growing transgender movement:
“On March 26 [of 2020], Lee signed legislation banning transgender athletes from participating in sports opposite to their biological sex, making Tennessee the third state to do so. In May 2020, he signed a controversial “bathroom bill” that prohibited transgender people from accessing public school bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.”
And in terms of Covid, there is simply too much to cover, but he limited closures, limited masking, and spoke out against vaccination for young people. Consider:
“Throughout the pandemic, Lee opposed a statewide mask mandate and “touted Tennessee for being one of the last to close early in the pandemic and among the first to reopen…As the highly contagious Delta variant spread in Tennessee, Lee said that he had “no real concern” over it. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surged in Tennessee from July to August 2021.Tennessee’s COVID-19 vaccination rate was among the lowest in the country. Lee encouraged Tennesseans to get vaccinated, but opposed vaccine mandates and, amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, maintained that it was a personal choice whether to get vaccinated…
In 2021, Lee blocked the Tennessee Department of Health from reaching out to teenagers to encourage them to get vaccinated. In July 2021, his administration fired the state’s vaccine chief, Michelle Fiscus, who had angered some Republican state legislators by promoting vaccination for eligible youth. The state Health Department stopped vaccination-related outreach to minors for all diseases, not only COVID-19…
In August 2021, Lee signed an executive order that allowed parents to let their children opt out of school mask mandates The next month, Lee vowed to fight President Joe Biden‘s plan to require COVID-19 vaccines for federal employees and federal contractors, as well as to require businesses with more than 100 employees to require vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing; Lee asserted that the action was unconstitutional…
In November 2021, Lee signed a bill into law that restricted the ability of localities to implement public health restrictions, such as mask mandates.”
That’s what we call winning – and a freedom-first agenda.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Blue State Conservative. The BSC is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented.
Featured photos by (DeSantis) Federal Government of the United States of America, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, and (Abbott) Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons