A Thursday press briefing offered proof of why Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has lately been referred to as "America’s governor," as well as a reminder of what it means to be an American.
The subject was limiting vaccine mandates; the venue was an auto dealership in Brandon, Fla. ("Let’s Go Brandon!")
DeSantis used the occasion to sign a number of bills shielding Florida businesses from local and federal vaccine mandates. He was joined by Attorney General Ashley Moody, Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson.
At one point a reporter thought it ironic and even hypocritical that the governor could get angry at the federal government’s attempt to mandate vaccines, while at the same time he uses his state government to prevent vaccine mandates.
The reporter apparently believed DeSantis was overstepping his power.
"So, first of all, this idea that somehow conservativism is about, like, local school boards, it’s the United States of America, not the united school boards or counties commissions of America," DeSantis began, which brought cheers from the attendees.
"So, the states are the primary vehicles to protect people’s freedoms, their health, their safety, their welfare in our constitutional system," he explained, and then compared that to the federal government’s more limited powers.
"What Biden is doing is not constitutional. There has never been a federal vaccine mandate imposed on the general public," he said.
"It’s never been done before. They don’t have the power to do it. There’s no federal police power. States have the police power. So that’s from a constitutional perspective. It is worlds, worlds apart."
Then he moved on to local government controls.
"Now, some people say, 'Hey, these local governments wanted to lock down businesses, they wanted to force mandates, they wanted to keep the kids locked out of school.' Yeah, you’re damned right I overruled them on that because they were wrong," he said, prompting louder cheers.
"And the fact of the matter is you don’t have the right to do wrong. And if I had not stepped in last year and made sure that these local governments couldn’t lock you down, couldn’t mandate, we wouldn’t let 'em fine, we had kids in school last year because of me, not because of them. And that’s just the bottom line."
And then DeSantis addressed freedom — that thing that defines America, and therefore the number-one thing that government must protect.
"So, people can say is it the job of somebody that’s elected to look out for the liberties of everyone in the state or do you just say ‘Hey, if somebody’s violating your freedom, we shouldn’t do anything?'" he asked rhetorically.
"The fact of the matter is, if we would have let them lock the kids out of school last year, we would have paid the piper for years and years in this state. If we had let them lock down businesses and restrict and do all that, we would have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. So, we had to stand up for people’s liberties, their livelihoods, their right to work, people’s right to own a business, and it was the right thing to do," DeSantis continued in what appeared to be a description of conservatism.
"But what Biden is doing . . . he even admitted he doesn’t have the authority to do it. [White House press secretary Jen] Psaki admitted that they don’t have the authority to do it. And in fact, even six months ago they are all saying 'Of course you never mandate. Of course, you never mandate.'"
DeSantis finished by stating that it comes down to a choice.
"And so the question is, do we actually have a constitution that constrains people like Biden or is it just when he loses patience, he can do whatever the hell he wants to? No, I’ll take the Constitution, thank you very much."
Podcaster and Newsmax TV host Benny Johnson posted a video of the exchange on Twitter and described DeSantis’ remarks as "absolute" fire, then called the governor "DeSAVAGE" and added, "Watch this. Believe me."
DeSantis is often mentioned as a future presidential candidate, but for now he’ll be engaged in his own re-election as Florida’s governor in 2022 against former governor (and former Democrat) Charlie Crist.
TV host Trey Gowdy, a former Republican congressman from South Carolina, often reminds his viewers that the primary obligation of government is to protect its citizens.
On Thursday DeSantis reminded us that the best way to protect the people is to protect their liberty. When the people are given free rein, not only do they prosper, but the nation prospers as a whole.
Let freedom forever ring.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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