Viewpoint: DeSantis wants to do for U.S. what he’s done to Florida

Viewpoint: DeSantis wants to do for U.S. what he’s done to Florida
Karen Rubin, Columnist

Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor itching to be president, in his recent appearance at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Uniondale, lauded the surge in Republicans on Long Island, but never mentioned George Santos. He also never mentioned Donald Trump, not to praise him or bury him. Or permitless carry. Or abortion.

He boasted of turning Florida from a 1-point swing state to solidly Republican, winning re-election in 2022 by 20 points, and for the first time since the Civil War, with not a single statewide elected Democrat elected to office. “The Democratic party is dead, dead, dead,” he cheered.

How did that happen? Because he alone ignored the pundits who said he should rule like a moderate and instead boldly lead with policies and an agenda – only 50% of the vote but 100% of the authority. And then he offered his policy prescription, The Florida Blueprint, to do the same to New York and the rest of the country.

But how much of that mega-swing was due to voter suppression (he called it “election integrity”) and voter intimidation (a new election police force). Just a few days after his victorious visit to Long Island, Florida Republicans introduced a massive new voter suppression bill affecting all aspect of elections.

Instead, he attributed the gigantic swing in Florida voter registrations (from 301,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in 2018 to 450,000 more Republicans than Democrats, “Can you believe that!”) to his bold leadership in attacking the Biden’s administration’s public health-COVID policies at a time before vaccinations, when more than 3,000 people a day were dying.

“We weren’t going to let Florida descend into Fauci-ism…A lot of stuff was done not to protect health but control your behavior.”

He lauded the Tampa judge who overturned the whole concept of public health by declaring mask mandates on airplanes unconstitutional, and boasted passing a law to bar Florida from following federal public health mandates ever again.

But while he is touting Florida as the Freedom State, he didn’t mention denying women their reproductive freedom or teachers and doctors their freedom of speech or reporters their freedom of press. He justified banning books as pornography. (Vero Beach High School banned “Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation.”)

He also didn’t mention he would “quietly” sign permitless carry into law just two days later, in a state notable for Stand Your Ground, the murder of Trayvon Martin, mass shootings at Parkland and Pulse Nightclub (Florida accounts for 10% of all mass shootings).

He blasted Obama and Biden for their “open border” policies and for fentanyl deaths (“Biden doesn’t care”). But he said he is eager to build a border wall and would send his guys to build it.

He joked about using Florida money to send 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, but didn’t mention his plan to go after undocumented immigrants, which modeled after Texas’ anti-abortion law, aims to terrorize and intimidate: prosecuting for felony anyone (even the adult child who is a citizen who drives their parent to the doctor or their lawyer) who aids, transports, hires, houses or gives support to undocumented immigrants and to track costs for providing them with health care.

DeSantis laid down the law about firing those “progressive prosecutors often funded by people like George Soros – elected not to enforce law in an even-handed way but to advance an ideological agenda. A menace to society – letting real criminals go, making communities less safe. I’m the only governor in the U.S. to remove a Soros-backed DA.”

He crowed about his education policy: “Over 1.3 million are in choice programs and likely to have more. Florida is leading the way in school choice and rejecting CRT in K-12. We’re not going to teach kids to hate their country and each other. Parents have a right to how curriculum is being taught.”

He also has ended Diversity, Equality, Inclusion standards (“Division, Exclusion, Indoctrination has no place in public institutions.”) On the other hand, DeSantis signed legislation designating Nov. 7 as a day all students will receive instruction on the “evils of communism, and communist dogma, Marxist socialism.”

“We take pride in Florida, how we really protect freedom.”

And you should, too, was his message to Long Island parents. “Invade your school board. Fight. Don’t give up. Show courage.” Cheers from the standing-room-only crowd.

Nobody has asked DeSantis what he is doing for the Floridians whose homes, communities and livelihoods have been destroyed by Hurricane Ian and the steady stream of climate disasters, costing the nation’s taxpayers billions of dollars, when DeSantis is taking action to make it ILLEGAL for investors, for bond holders to take climate risk into consideration (or do any social investing).

“Environmental social governance is a Trojan horse to impose leftists ideology through corporations on society – climate, guns. We will eliminate ESG in state pension (applause). We are making sure big financial institutions aren’t discriminating against gun owners, Christians, or they will be deprived of our lucrative market.”

Yet he has the gall to boast of a $23 billion surplus in a $109 billion budget in a state that has no income tax and how he vetoed $3.3 billion in spending (3% of the total) – the reason, he asserted why so many New Yorkers are fleeing to Florida. So why are New York taxpayers paying to restore the damage from Hurricane Ian and the other climate disasters that DeSantis is doing nothing about, and why are Floridians advertising in New York pleading for charity to help rebuild?

He attacked the Biden administration for funding COVID relief that kept people from being evicted from apartments, foreclosed on houses, desperate for food, saying the stimulus spending is responsible for inflation now.

“Our president Joe Biden is weak, floundering, controlled by Leftist elements.”

His final message: “Defend people against pathology of the left imposed on them. Fight the woke – in government, schools, corporations. Never surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die,” he declared.

More accurately, Florida is where people go to die.



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