Four days after delivering his "Oasis of Freedom" versus the "Yoke of Oppressive Lockdowns" speech at CPAC-2021, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told the Sunshine State's lawmakers why it has the moniker, "Oasis of Freedom."
During his Tuesday State of the State address, he observed that Florida is open for business and open for education.
"We will not let anybody close your schools, we will not let anybody take your jobs and we will not let anybody close your businesses!" he said.
DeSantis countered business closures in other states with the founding of new businesses in the Sunshine State.
"Because of our actions, Florida is leading the nation in the number of people submitting business formation applications, and we are one of the top destinations for business relocation."
Failing grades, lack of attendance, depression and even student suicides that plague other states are unknown in Florida.
"The failure of so many places outside of Florida to open schools at the beginning of the school year will go down as one of the biggest policy blunders of our time," DeSantis said. "Florida did not make that mistake."
While other state governors are praying that Congress approves the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that includes state coffer bail-outs, the Sunshine State is sitting pretty.
"Throughout the pandemic, Florida has not touched one red cent from our rainy day fund," the governor said. "The bottom line is that we saved Florida's economy, and as a result, our budget outlook is positive."
The governor also made it clear that Florida is the Free Speech State, and he will not allow Big Tech to run roughshod over the rights of Floridians.
"Florida has always been a state that strongly supports free speech, and we cannot allow the contours of acceptable speech to be adjudicated by the whims of oligarchs in Silicon Valley."
Other states are taking note and following suit. While DeSantis delivered his State of the State address, the governors of both Texas and Mississippi announced that businesses could open 100%, and their mask mandates had come to an end.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who has held his state hostage under strict lockdown orders for nearly a year, called this move "Absolutely reckless."
A few days before President Joe Biden's inauguration, the Los Angeles Times ran a controversial headline suggesting that Biden intends to "Make America California Again." Claiming the Golden State is "the de facto policy think tank" for the new White House team, the Times said, "there is no place the incoming administration is leaning on more heavily for inspiration in setting a progressive policy agenda."
And the Times may not be far off the mark. Biden was asked Tuesday when America might return to normal. He said, "My hope is by this time next year."
But if California is his model, Biden's at least a half-century too late.
Sunshine, beautiful beaches, a warm climate, and a "cool" vibe were part of California's allure in the 1960s. Florida has that also, but with something extra: no personal income taxes, low corporate taxes and a business-friendly environment.
Ford O'Connell, a political analyst, Republican strategist, and regular Newsmax TV contributor, agrees that following the Florida blueprint will open the door to future GOP victories.
"The key to Republicans taking back our country is simple: Continue to make Florida a conservative model of governance for the rest of the nation," he tells Newsmax.
And it's working. Voters of all stripes are taking note. A Mason-Dixon poll released Tuesday found that 53% of respondents approve of the governor's job performance, 42% disapprove, and 5% were undecided.
This is despite the fact that as of October, Democrats held a narrow 134,000-voter edge over Republicans among the more than 14.4 million active registered voters in the nation's largest swing state, according to a report released by the Florida Department of state.
And that lead has been narrowing for decades.
In 1980 Democrats could brag that they had twice the number of registered voters as Republicans. In 2016 when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 113,000 votes, Democrats held a 327,000-voter lead.
Just as following California's example may lead to the Democratic Party's demise, evidence is mounting that Florida could become be the GOP's future — and its savior.
O'Connell concludes that "if Republicans [follow the Florida model] in 2022, trust me when I tell you, 2024 will take care of itself."
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 10 books, "What Makes Humans Truly Exceptional," (2021) is available on Amazon along with all others. Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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