“A Citadel of Freedom”
“When the world lost its mind — when common sense suddenly became an uncommon virtue — Florida was a refuge of sanity, a citadel of freedom for our fellow Americans and even for people around the world.” Ron DeSantis, 2022
In Spectator.com Dave Seminera writes about Ron DeSantis. When the governor came into office, he had a flimsy mandate of just four-tenths of one percent at a time when Florida had 257,175 more registered Democrats than Republicans. Republicans now outnumber Democrats in the state by more than 356,000.
In the wake of his resounding 20-point win in November, could DeSantis’s 2nd inaugural address last week be mistaken for a warm-up for the 2024 presidential campaign?
DeSantis – a Trump Knockoff?
Although DeSantis was speaking to Floridians in a 2019 speech, according to Mr. Seminera, the governor seemed to be addressing all Americans. DeSantis urged us to reconsider Florida as a model rather than as the butt of Florida Man jokes.
Republican hopes in 2024 may hinge on this effort to recast the Sunshine State. It won’t be easy, but Florida can be re-branded, though DeSantis will likely need a secret weapon he may not have considered.
Trump, the Businessman/DeSantis, all Business
The media are happy to diminish DeSantis as a Trump knockoff. But as Seminera observes, DeSantis’s concise, 16-minute address was “as focused and substantive as Trump’s speeches are a gallimaufry of complaints and rants.”
Trump is the businessman, but DeSantis is the one who is all business. Trump uttered nearly 9,000 words in his campaign launch, while DeSantis’s speech weighed in at 1,649. Though it obviously wasn’t a campaign launch, it still sounded like one at times.
Florida – a Model of Governance
“When the world lost its mind — when common sense suddenly became an uncommon virtue — Florida was a refuge of sanity, a citadel of freedom for our fellow Americans and even for people around the world,” said DeSantis.
Florida – Where Woke Goes to Die
DeSantis spoke of the “historic number of families” who have moved to what he called a “promised land of sanity,” one of law and order, fiscal restraint, and no Covid mandates.
Freedom, a word he didn’t use once in his 2019 address, was the key theme of the speech. He also never mentioned the word “woke” four years ago, but his pledge to keep Florida as the place where “woke goes to die” was his biggest applause line of the day.
Florida – a Laboratory of Democracy
In his speech, DeSantis spoke of our federalist constitutional system as a “laboratory of democracy,” where states can test governing philosophies, arguing that his have worked. The proof, he said, was in what he called the “mass exodus of productive Americans” from blue states, just as he warned four years ago. The demographic trend is undeniable and, as a resident of Florida, I would love to see our state be a model for governance.
Mr. Seminera gives readers more sound bites from Ron DeSantis:
Florida – a Model of Freedom
(It will) require a serious de-programming effort akin to the sort of re-education program South Koreans will have to do in the North when the Kim dynasty falls.
Florida – As an Anti-Dystopian Nightmare
Media figures, celebrities, and other woke types view Florida as a dystopian nightmare. A growing number of Americans distrust the media, but influencers are sadly still, well, influential. The only way to break through to independents and wavering Democrats is to have them visit our state and see things for themselves.
Florida – a Haven of Sanity
Perhaps, suggests Dave Seminera, Governor DeSantis ought to bring “impressionable young people from around the country here to let them see how the place where woke goes to die is indeed a haven of sanity in a world gone mad.’
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