Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) joined Allie Beth Stuckey on her BlazeTV show "Relatable" this week to discuss the basis both for his new book and for an America reclaimed from woke capital and the depraved left.
DeSantis told Stuckey that the liberal media, woke intelligentsia, and career leftists denounce him and disparage the state of Florida now with greater intensity, not simply because they resoundingly lost the battle for the Sunshine State, but because of what that loss means: Their ideological foes have a winning strategy to reclaim and revive America.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a history professor at New York University, recently claimed, "Ron DeSantis will destroy our democracy with deadly precision. I cannot emphasize enough how dangerous he is."
Florida Democratic Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost insinuated on Feb. 15 that DeSantis was fascistic, reported Newsweek.
"Here in Florida, we're succeeding," said DeSantis. "We're the fastest-growing state in the country, leading in net end migration, number one in economic freedom, number one in education freedom, number one in new business formations, massive budget surplus, low taxes, all these things, unemployment rate over a percentage point lower than the national average."
"Those are facts that are very threatening to leftists because it calls their whole worldview into question. So they can never admit anything good about Florida, and they have to try to pursue narratives or denigrate the state," he added.
"So I think that when the left does this, they're basically trying to tell people to believe them over their own lying eyes. It typically is very ineffective," added DeSantis.
The governor cited the manufactured apoplexy over the Parental Rights in Education bill as a good example.
"I think it's a testament that we're winning these debates, because they can't argue for things like 'Gender Queer' on the merits. Should a fifth-grader be doing 'Gender Queer'? Should you see some of the graphic stuff that's in there? They don't want to have that argument on the merits. So they try to create these boogeymen and hope that people will buy it," he said.
In light of the October Gallup poll showing that only 34% of the American public trust the media, it is unsurprising that the liberal media's "boogeymen" have proven ineffective at chipping away at DeSantis' support.
"I think more and more people realize that no, in Florida, all the normal stuff is taught. But yes, we are not going to teach students that they are inherently racist because they're white. That is not appropriate and that's not something that is permitted in our classrooms. But they don't want to have that debate, because they know the vast majority of the public, of all races, agrees with us that that's inappropriate," said DeSantis. "So they got to try to do these other things to try to act like Florida's doing something out of the ordinary, when in reality what we're doing is supported by parents across the board."
Stuckey claimed that while DeSantis and his administration have been accused of being anti-democratic and tyrannical, the reverse is true. Educators, corporations, and others in the state have repeatedly sought to circumnavigate the democratic process and impose their political will on Americans, frequently with the help of the liberal media.
For instance, Disney publicly announced that it intended to help reverse legitimate legislation passed by elected representatives and signed by a massively popular governor, thereby contravening the will of the people.
After DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law in March, the Walt Disney Company issued a statement saying, "Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the 'Don’t Say Gay' bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law. Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that."
"Disney said, 'Okay, well, we are going to actually undermine the wishes of the people of Florida, who duly elected all of these officials who authored and then signed that bill into law.' That is actually anti-democratic," said Stuckey. "Of course the role of the duly elected governor then and the legislature is to say no, you're not going to continue to undermine the wishes of the state of Florida."
DeSantis underlined how it wasn't sufficient to merely react to the woke behemoth's efforts to sidestep democracy in Florida. It was necessary to go on the offense.
"We cannot be putting on a pedestal a company that is going down the road of trying to promote things like gender ideology to young kids," he told Stuckey. "And so we made the decision that game was up. I'll be signing legislation soon to permanently remove their self-governing status. They've been stripped of any special privileges, and actually it's reverting to the state of Florida."
The governor added, "We're going to ensure they pay their debts, their fair share of taxes, and of course they're not going to have self-governing authority. And so I think that that was an appropriate thing for us to do. And you have some Republicans that think companies are entitled to corporate welfare and that you should just give them all these subsidies, and I just don't believe that."
DeSantis similarly did not believe claims by the media that he would lose the November election over his efforts to fight back against Disney.
DeSantis secured nearly 60% of the vote in the November election, winning by a margin of roughly 1.5 million votes.
When it comes to eliminating identitarian bigotry and transsexual propaganda in the classroom and holding corporate monoliths accountable for their circumnavigations of the democratic process, it's not just outcomes that are causing the corporate press and the left to "spasm," suggested DeSantis. Rather, it is the unapologetic and pugnacious means by which these wins are achieved.
DeSantis noted that "the reality is right now in our country, entrenched progressive elites are a big, big problem. But they control so many institutions that if you really want to have a thriving state, you've got to fight these people and you've got to beat these people."
"And I think in Florida we've shown that we've been able to succeed against a lot of really powerful institutions. ... There's definitely a better path," said the governor. "And I think the state of Florida has forged that."
This path, delineated in DeSantis' book, "The Courage to Be Free," has already rattled critics in the liberal media.
Jennifer Szalai penned a review of the book in the New York Times, in which she called DeSantis' calls to action "bland platitudes."
Despite this remark, Szalai concedes that these "platitudes" have proven effective, writing, "'Be willing to lead, have the courage of your convictions, deliver for your constituents and reap the political rewards,'" has amounted, in practice, to "outlawing classroom discussion of sexual orientation through the third grade; rejecting math textbooks that run afoul of Florida’s opaque review process; forbidding teachers and companies to discuss race and gender in a way that might make anyone feel 'discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress.'"
Szalai also noted that Florida has significant pro-life measures in place, again, thanks to an embrace of DeSantis' directives.
While the New York Times, Democrats, and New York City academics may take issue with DeSantis' outlook, once again the public appears to be on board. His book has already hit No. 1 on the Top 100 list of Amazon.com Inc.
Tuesday night he told a crowd of Republicans, "Just think, every book that’s sold is going to annoy CNN a little bit more and a little bit more."
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