Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) noted in a recent podcast how American voters who joined him in taking a stand against the revivalist agenda in his state ultimately left the Florida Democratic Party as a “carcass dead and rotting by the side of the road.”
While that sense about the fate of the Democratic Party in Florida might have been confirmed by a glance in the rearview mirror, DeSantis nonetheless seems focused on the road ahead and bigger trophies than the ones that were rolled off the asphalt. in Tallahassee last November.
DeSantis discussed his new book, “The Courage to be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” on Tuesday’s episode of Newsweek’s “The Josh Hammer Show.”
In the episode, DeSantis detailed some of the ways in which Florida’s success in fighting “COVID fascism and the biomedical security state,” the “awakening,” identity politics and other debilitating attacks in America advanced by the left and ESG-linked corporations escalated, which amounts to a bailout or “revival” for the country.
The episode comes after DeSantis’ visits to New York City and suburban Philadelphia and Chicago last week to discuss crime with law enforcement groups and before trips to Texas, California, Alabama and other states, appearances that Axios claims amount to “a de facto campaign launch.”
DeSantis contrasted his capture of the governor’s mansion four years ago with his landslide re-election in November, noting that while his initial margin of victory was roughly 32,000 votes, in November it was more than 1.5 million.
He attributed his success, in part, to rejecting advice to trim sails and avoid making “a lot of waves.”
Instead of playing it safe and pandering to the sensibilities of ideological foes, DeSantis noted that he’s going “on the offensive. . . . That ends up being a good defense, too, because a lot of Republicans are more likely to sit down. The the media attacks them. . The media defines the terms of the debate and puts them in a bad position.”
Recognizing that passivity was a dead man’s game on the political road, DeSantis said, “We were constantly out there making things happen and really defining the terms of the debate. We didn’t shy away from the issues.”
“We’ve demonstrated a knack for identifying the left when it’s totally off its rocker, isolating those examples, and really protecting Floridians from the worst pathologies of the left. People don’t have to be Republicans to appreciate that,” he added. .
The governor recalled that Florida was a well-run state when he took office, but the focus in Tallahassee was more of a “chamber of commerce agenda. You know, making sure you’re doing things for corporations and for it’s a good place for business… A lot of those policies were solid, but I think we’ve supported each other on every aspect, whether it’s education, yeah, fighting the awakening, illegal immigration, all these different things “.
DeSantis highlighted the populist and patriotic reasoning behind his efforts to send illegal aliens to so-called sanctuary cities run by Democrats: “It’s a political no-brainer for Republicans because, I think, almost working-class people of all ethnicities different agree with that,” he said.
DeSantis added that he did not share the concern of some politicians about the potential alienation of Hispanic voters by enforcing immigration laws, saying, “I rejected that, so in my first year as governor we banned sanctuary cities. . This should have been done like 10 years ago.”
As with deporting illegal aliens from the state, DeSantis indicated that fighting the identitarian left, the tyranny of COVID, and the transgender agenda, especially in schools, won him no favors in the corporate press, but won the favor of the 4.6 million Floridians who converted. go out and vote for him.
DeSantis indicated that it was not libertarian indifference that won him the support of nearly 60% of voters, but a conservatism unafraid to use government powers to protect the good and the just.
He suggested that Republicans unwilling to exercise the government’s powers to protect the country may ultimately cede it to “quasi-public powers” exercised by woke corporations.
“They can marginalize you from a conservative point of view,” he said. “You should be able to live your life the way you want in Florida, without having the left’s agenda stuffed down your throat.”
DeSantis suggested that his administration’s enthusiastic fight against wide-awake indoctrination and rampant authoritarianism secured Florida not just a reputation as a “free state” but “mojo.”
“People have seen Florida as a haven … I think it’s made the state a lot more interesting, a lot more dynamic, and I think it gives us a foundation to have a good run,” he said.
As for a presidential run, DeSantis has yet to announce his intention to face former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.
The 2024 Republican National Convention will take place July 15-18 next year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In a Feb. 20 Economist/YouGov poll, 43 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of DeSantis; 36% indicated having an unfavorable opinion. The same poll had Trump at 42% favorable, 52% unfavorable.
A February 17 Rasmussen poll indicated that 52% of likely American voters had a favorable impression of the Florida governor. Although 33% of likely voters have a very favorable opinion of DeSantis, he nevertheless trailed Trump by 13 points among Republican voters.
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