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How Florida became a haven “in a world gone crazy”

Florida has become a “refuge of sanity in a world gone mad”. That was the assessment of Governor Ron DeSantis, of the Republican Party, in comments Saturday night () at the Third National Conference of the Conservatism in Miami.

DeSantis’s speech focused on the central theme of how Florida became a bastion of freedom – a refuge for those seeking better governance and a freer life. He said that his state, in many ways, has gone in the opposite direction compared to many other states and the US federal government.

“ Our federalist system is said to create ‘democracy labs’ where different states can approach things in different ways,” said DeSantis. “But I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a sharp contrast between different philosophies of government as in recent years.”

He stated that we have seen a “great exodus” from states and localities ruled by “left-wing” politicians. Refugees from these places fled to Florida, which DeSantis said had become a “promised land” for a record number of people.

The The governor of Florida presented several statistics on how Americans – since the beginning of the Covid-pandemic 19 – have flocked to the state, not only to visit but to live in.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, he said, “there has been more adjusted income transferred to the state of Florida than there has ever been for any state in a similar period” in American history. DeSantis pointed to the contrast with states with “bleeds” of wealth and people, such as California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey.

This does not mean that the Sun State has become more politically blue. as people arrived there from other places. Instead, DeSantis said, it created a radical political shift, where the Republican voter registration is now higher than the Democratic registration.

) This happened, he declared, because Florida followed a specific “plan”. Rather than following the path set by “media elites,” DeSantis said Florida was based on “fundamental principles” derived from the philosophy of the nation’s founding fathers. “We are not afraid to antagonize the ruling class and discredited elites,” he said, quoting President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speech in January. .

In this speech, Eisenhower warned that “public policies can become prisoners of a scientific-technological elite” and called for “statesmen” guiding the system “aiming at the supreme goals of our free society.”

“My view was that we needed to choose freedom about fauci-ism in the state of Florida,” said DeSantis, referring to federal public health officer Anthony Fauci [N. t. principal conselheiro médico de Joe Biden para assuntos da pandemia]. “We had to make sure these policies didn’t exclude important values ​​just because you had people with a very narrow view, with some credentials behind their names… telling us those values ​​didn’t matter.”

Following this path is what allowed Florida to prosper while other states suffered during the Covid pandemic-19, noted DeSantis, and was the reason, for example, that 2021 was a record year for tourism in the state.

And it wasn’t just tourism that benefited. Schools remained open. This, he said, prevented the drop in student test scores that took place in states with severe restrictions and school closures.

In addition of keeping Florida open in general, DeSantis said he felt it was important to protect an individual’s right “to participate in society.” In particular, he referred to the so-called vaccine passports used by some companies to bar entry to people who did not have proof of vaccination.

DeSantis has banned the use of vaccine passports and employer-required vaccines, which he says has led to Florida having a reputation as an open and free state.

He acknowledged that some conservatives criticized his policies as intrusive to business, but he persisted in the face of criticism.

) “As we didn’t have vaccine passports, 2021 marked the best year for domestic tourism in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “We were right in that, both from the point of view of liberty and from the point of view of general social good.”

In addition to his policies for Covid-19, DeSantis cited other areas that he said had moved the state in a positive direction. This includes an efficient system that has produced better government services than other states with much larger budgets. He pointed to the state of New York, which has 3 million fewer people than Florida, but a state budget that is “twice the size.”

Despite this, Florida has provided better roads, schools and other services while at the same time having no income taxes and having the “second lowest per capita tax burden” in the country, DeSantis said.

The governor of Florida also pointed to his state’s robust array of school choice programs, which provide opportunities for millions of children. But it wasn’t just the school choice that DeSantis offered; he said he also pushed for laws to stop critical race theory and other fringe ideologies from taking over classrooms.

He reinforced that , by making Florida a “state of law and order” and punishing those who rioted and destroyed property, he averted the chaos, destruction, and social decay seen in other states amid and after the riots of 2020.

Finally, DeSantis spoke about the challenges Americans face at this time, which are unique even compared to what President Ronald Reagan faced in the 1990s 19. The threat to freedom no longer comes just from the size of the government, he said. It comes from the power of unleashed bureaucracies and radicalized institutions, public and private.

He said that many institutions were swallowed up and transformed by a ruling class. aggressively left and ideologically uniform. It will not be an easy fight, he assured, “because they have a lot of support in all the upper echelons of society.” However, the challenge is not simply having common sense or the right policies, it is having courage and standing up for what is right.

“ If you stand up for what is right, you will be attacked by the corporate press. You can be censored by Big Tech. You will be vilified by the opposition,” he said. Ultimately, however, DeSantis concluded, it’s best to do the right thing and “not care about the consequences.”

)Educating is not indoctrinating

During a Heritage Foundation event, on Friday (9), in Orlando, Ron DeSantis also spoke about the importance of parents claiming their rights in education, especially after the Covid pandemic 19. “We have seen in recent years in our country how important politics is, both the good and the very bad,” he said. “Maybe there is no area where the contrast between a free state like Florida and some of the lockdown states is [maior] than in education during Covid.”

The event featured the presentation of Heritage’s “Education Freedom Bulletin”, which ranked Florida as the freest state in the country. (The Daily Signal is The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet.)

“Let’s not let fear drive policymaking” , he added. “Let’s make sure we’re there to support our children’s well-being and also to support families across Florida.”

The governor also addressed how his plans to give parents more rights in their children’s education had led to conflicts with leftist groups. DeSantis highlighted his state’s work on the “Parents’ Rights in Education” bill and curriculum transparency projects. “Parents’ Rights in Education” was often referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics and the corporate media.

“The purpose of our school system is to educate children, not indoctrinate children,” DeSantis said. “You don’t twist American history to try to advance your current ideological agenda.”

DeSantis also said his administration is putting an emphasis every increasing in American civic education. “While [nós] we fight against things like [teoria racial crítica] … we put a renewed emphasis on American civility, on ensuring that the children who attend our schools have an idea of ​​what it means to be an American,” he pointed out.

After his speech, the governor sat down with Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts for a discussion of what made the Florida’s educational policies are among the best in the country.

Roberts noted that while Florida was first in several different metrics of freedom education, lagged behind other states in free choice of school policy [N.t. school choice, ou escolha de escola, é um termo usado para alternativas educacionais nos Estados Unidos, que vão desde a possibilidade de se matricular em uma escola pública em outro bairro, até programas de voucher escolares para ensino particular ou domiciliar, de acordo com a escolha da família]. Roberts then asked DeSantis what his plans were to strengthen school choice in the State of the Sun.

The governor pointed out teachers as a negative influence in achieving better school choice policies in Florida and said his state was planning to reform how families could use state scholarship funds to choose where to send their children to school.

“There are opportunities for some innovation with [bolsas], such as an account that the parents can control, which could be a monthly fee, but also can be used for tutoring or other services,” said DeSantis. “Parents will be able to make a number of other choices to give their children the best possible opportunity.”

According to the “Bulletin Freedom of Education”, Florida is the best American state in protecting the rights of parents. Roberts, who referred to DeSantis as “America’s governor,” said the work Florida lawmakers are doing in education is the “leverage to get our schools back for our children, our parents, and our families.”

A full video of DeSantis’ speech, with questions and answers can be found here.

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The Daily Signal. Published with permission. Originals in English

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