Decisions Have Consequences

Posted on June 19, 2023 by Robert Ringer


I’ve long been fascinated by how a single bad decision can have a major negative impact on a person’s life.  A wrong decision can also negatively impact a company’s balance sheet (think Ford’s Edsel, Bud Light’s embrace of Dylan Mulvaney, and Coca-Cola’s decision to ditch its classic recipe and rebrand itself the “New Coke” in 1985).

The same is true in sports.  The Atlanta Falcons lost a Super Bowl that was virtually in the bag for them because their offensive coach, Kyle Shanahan, inexplicably decided not to go for a game-winning field goal in the closing minutes that would have clinched a victory in what turned out to be a historic loss to New England.

Worst of all, a wrong decision can have life-and-death consequences, as was the case with President Kennedy’s assassination.  A number of JFK’s advisors and allies, including Senator William Fulbright and U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, urged him not to make the trip to Dallas, because they felt the atmosphere was too toxic and that his life would be in danger.

But Kennedy, always the optimist, had a false sense of security and went ahead with his planned visit to Dallas anyway.  Not only was it a life-ending decision, but a nation-changing decision as well, as it proved to be a precursor to the 1968 assassinations of JFK’s brother Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Which brings me to Ron DeSantis, who has had “future presidentwritten all over him since he began remaking Florida into a dark red state.  All DeSantis needed to do to ensure his political future was make it clear to the world how much he appreciated Donald Trump’s endorsement, which would have resulted in having MAGA Republicans eating out of his hand.

Instead, he decided to downplay the endorsement, which, to no one’s surprise, did not go well with Trump.  Whoever convinced him that he should back away from Trump and lowball his endorsement when he ran for governor of Florida did him a grave disservice, but, in the end, DeSantis has no one to blame for this decision but himself.

DeSantis’ second big mistake was deciding to join the 2024 presidential field and thereby make himself a target of Trump’s wrath.  Had he not acted prematurely, he would have been the odds-on favorite to be Trump’s pick as his running mate.  Then, as vice president, he would have been an overwhelming favorite to be the Republican nominee for president in 2028 at the tender age of 49.  It would have been the easiest and most certain path to the White House, but, unfortunately, he chose to speed things up and go for broke.

It gets worse.  DeSantis now has to depend on Democrats to take out Trump via their weaponization of the legal system.  Further, even if Democrats were somehow able to accomplish that, I doubt many Trump supporters would vote for DeSantis.  They would be much more inclined to switch their allegiance to Vivek Ramaswamy, not only because he has made it clear he would pardon Trump if became president, but also because he’s the most hard-core conservative candidate in the field, the smartest candidate in the field, and the most articulate candidate in the field.

On the other hand, if Trump survives the political persecution aimed at stopping him from becoming president, it’s a real possibility that he might pick Ramaswamy as his running mate, which would set up Vivek to be the favorite in the 2028 general election.  In other words, Ramaswamy would be the recipient of what was DeSantis’ for the taking before his two dreadful decisions.

It’s too early to count DeSantis out, but we would all do well to learn from his questionable decisions.  His poor judgment could end up costing him not just the opportunity to become the 2028 Republican nominee, but the opportunity to ever become president of the United States.  That’s a big price to pay for a couple of bad decisions.

Having said all this, the big question now is whether Trump can avoid making one or more fatal decisions between now and November 5, 2024?  With more than a 30-point lead over DeSantis, and a Democrat Party that is coming apart at the seams, Trump is in a position to control his own destiny.  And the first step toward that end is to learn from DeSantis’ mistakes and ignore the advice of political consultants, then impose some degree of self-control over what he says and does.

At this point in time, accomplishing the latter is a much bigger challenge for Trump than Ron DeSantis.  We shall soon see.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.