Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis laid out his rejection of pressure from “elites” in the media and government on Sunday in a fiery speech to the National Conservatism Conference in Miami.
The staunchly conservative Republican told the gathering that he resisted undue influence from the outside while guiding his state successfully through the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, his stances on education and business policies are also under fire from liberals nationally.
In a fascinating hour-long speech, DeSantis pushed conservatives to reject the idea that business should be left to its own ends and that government cannot be used for conservative purposes.
The Florida governor faced much criticism for his policies blocking the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity for kindergarten through third grade. He has also taken a firm stand against businesses conducting “woke” training sessions in the workplace.
“Florida has served as the promised land since COVID started.”
— Kassy Dillon (@KassyDillon) September 12, 2022
But it was his COVID-19 policies that put him on the front lines for derision by the national media.
As states around the country raced to see who could lock more people down longer, DeSantis vowed to use common sense to protect the most vulnerable while keeping Florida open for business.
Earlier this summer, the governor put the state in front of rejecting official programs for COVID-19 vaccinations for the very young. This position aligns with a majority of parents of small children who are extremely hesitant to get the vaccinations for their youngest family members.
DeSantis touted a laundry list of areas where the national elites conflicted with his leadership of Florida on lockdowns and forced maskings. He told the audience that they were wrong when they denied natural immunity and they were wrong to first believe that COVID-19 is not seasonal.
That is something even the Biden administration now readily admits.
DeSantis also touted that for the first time in the state’s history, there are more registered Republican residents than there are registered Democrats. This despite the state being a destination for retirees from deep-blue areas such as New York and California.
The Florida governor is right. National elites, in both government and media, want nothing more than to have the entire country march in unquestioning lockstep. Their reaction to his refusal to play along is more than telling.