When Senator Bill Nelson was denied entry into the Homestead detention facility holding 1,000 undocumented children it sparked something, knowingly or unknowingly, that had been missing – a sign of political life. Surrounded by state and national media, Nelson suddenly had an issue. He had passion. If Nelson is to defeat Governor Rick Scott in November and be reelected to a fourth term, he can point to this day when his campaign started.

Up until now, Nelson had been lagging behind. Scott had outspent him on TV $17 million to $3 million. Scott was here, there and everywhere. Nelson looked tired. Democrats privately grumbled that Nelson didn’t appear to care that Scott was running laps around him.

Amazingly one day, one event changed the dynamics of the race.

Elected Republicans who don’t think Floridians – of all political persuasions – are watching how they respond, may wake-up the day after the election wondering what happened.

It’s admirable to show loyalty to the President from your own political party. But  know this – President Trump won’t cast one vote for them in November. It’s aspirational to want to finally fix the illegal immigration issue that has gone on for decades; to demand the wall be built at the southern border. But this is different. These are children. No matter what language they speak, no matter the color of their skin, no matter where they were born – these are children. Listen to the audio of some of those children crying, asking for their parents and even the coldest heart will be touched. Something seems wrong about using them as political pawns to force a dysfunctional Congress to act.

After two months of the federal government removing children from their parents, some Republicans are beginning to speak out. Rick Scott, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Adam Putnam, even Ron DeSantis, who’s fully embraced President Trump, all have expressed varying levels of discomfort with this policy.

If you’re a Republican, it’s okay to oppose the president. Ronald Reagan once said, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.” That’s wise advice from the architect of the late 20th Century Republican Party.


David Bishop is a native Floridian, husband and father. During his 30 year career, David has been a journalist, political operative and communications consultant.