Douglas Andrews / March 2, 2022

Florida Is Free AND Safe

Governor Ron DeSantis has followed the facts and trusted his instincts, and Floridians are flourishing as a result.

Last night, as we suffered through Joe Biden’s interminable State of the Union address and listened to him paper over the very real problems that plague our country, we wondered: What might a successful speech have sounded like?

The answer could likely be found in numerous successful, Republican-run states. After all, as Iowa governor Kim Reynolds noted in her Republican rebuttal last night: “On the economy, the contrast couldn’t be more stark: While Democrats in DC are spending trillions, sending inflation soaring, Republican leaders around the country are balancing budgets and cutting taxes. … And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that of the top 20 states that have the lowest unemployment rates, 17 are governed by Republicans.”

Seventeen of 20? Facts are stubborn things.

Indeed, Republican governors are succeeding despite the headwinds of Joe Biden and his fellow DC Democrats, and perhaps no state has benefited more from strong, energetic, conservative leadership than The Free State of Florida, which has been governed for the past three years by the nation’s youngest chief executive, Ron DeSantis.

Much of DeSantis’s success stems from his refusal to abide by the misguided and ruinously anti-scientific restrictions of the permanent pandemic. When other governors were panicking and locking down and wrecking their economies and encroaching on the freedoms of their citizenry, DeSantis was digging in his heels. He was ever buried in the latest data, the latest findings, and he was ever adapting and governing accordingly.

Democrats are fond of saying that they follow the science — until they don’t. DeSantis, though, followed the science and the facts wherever they took him, and Florida has flourished as a result. And not just economically, but societally. As former Miami city commissioner Marc Sarnoff writes:

Crime is skyrocketing across the country — but not in Florida. After the Covid-19 pandemic started and the George Floyd killing led to riots in one city after another, many local officials embraced “Defund the Police” and other soft-on-crime approaches, with disastrous results. But in Florida, Democrats and Republicans alike realized that personal safety is an overriding human need. And they delivered. That is another reason that residents of other states are voting with their feet and moving to the Free State of Florida.

Imagine that. People want to be secure in their property and their possessions. And that means investing in law enforcement rather than defunding it.

“There was a time,” Sarnoff continues, “when Democrats understood these realities. After the crime wave of the 1980s, President Clinton signed the Crime Control Bill of 1994, of which Joe Biden was the main sponsor in the Senate. Fearing a left-wing backlash, Biden walked away from that bill during the 2020 campaign. But he should have feared the backlash from mainstream America more.”

True that. The soft-on-crime Democrats are staring down an electoral shellacking this November, and they’re scrambling to rebrand themselves as pro-cop instead of anti-cop. Crime now ranks second behind only inflation among voters’ concerns, and the Democrats are rightly vulnerable. In the meantime, though, The Free State of Florida continues to serve the real needs of its people — and continues to flourish.

The state of the Sunshine State? Strong indeed.

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