— Steve’s Marketplace —
Editor’s note: Contributing columnist, Steve Nicklas, expresses his views and insight on various topics in Marketplace.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rarely passes up an opportunity to poke the woke – and willingly evoke their wrath.
For starters, DeSantis routinely swims against the tide of the mainstream media and its blatantly liberal agenda. The first-term governor masks his youthful age and inexperience with bold, conservative decisions that stoke the woke mob. Sort of like kicking a fire ants’ nest.
After all, the woke movement wants to open our borders, defund our police, confiscate our guns, control our lives (with emergency orders and regulations), redistribute our wealth, neuter our genders, threaten our neighborhoods (with rezoning and riots), close our small businesses, stifle our free speech, tear down our statues, and erase our history. All in the name of progressiveness – and in being legitimately woke.
It’s a lot to handle for a proud country built on individual freedom and liberty. But when you would rather castrate the U.S. Constitution than follow it, any of this becomes possible. Except in the booming state of Florida, that is.
DeSantis takes victory laps as regularly as Bruce Jenner as an Olympian decathlete. DeSantis seems to be on TV more than the My Pillow guy, with press conferences and appearances throughout the state. He is out and about touting new gun-ownership measures and anti-mob legislation and restrictions on local-level emergency orders. And let’s not forget the new voting protection laws.
DeSantis is easily the highest profile governor right now – for favorable reasons, at least. Plenty of governors are facing luke-warm fire from the media over inadequate performances, like with onerous lockdowns, hypocritical antics, and underhanded conduct. Think Mario Cuomo, Gavin Newsome, Gretchen Whitmer.
When the media tries to poke holes in his policies, DeSantis taunts them, throwing their loaded questions back in their faces. Like with his effective handling of the pandemic. Or being one of the first states with fully functioning public schools. Or vaccinating the vulnerable and the elderly first against the new virus. Or opening our small businesses earlier than most, fueling our flourishing state economy.
Maybe DeSantis awoke before most other governors, who are crippled by indecision and a desire to appease the woke crowd. It’s even influencing corporations, like Woke Coke, and professional sports leagues like Major League Baseball. All the while, most other politicians are paralyzed by wokeness and its offspring – the cancel culture.
DeSantis is unfazed by it. He recently spoke out about a bill banning violent riots. “Hey, if you’re in Portland, and you think you can come down to Florida and do this?” DeSantis asked. “Stay out of our state, we don’t want you coming down here causing problems.”
As another taunt, he signed his voting reform bill exclusively on Fox News, a conservative news outlet (compared with the others, at least). And in tackling another liberal agenda item, DeSantis is now requiring any Florida residents receiving unemployment benefits to be actively looking for a job.
He is also ripping into the Centers for Disease Control, an embattled agency beset with miscalculations and flip-flops over its virus precautions. Also, for keeping Florida’s lucrative cruise industry pretty much dry docked with onerous CDC rules.
“If you look at some of the stuff that they’ve done on school openings,” DeSantis says about the CDC, “they’re basically doing the teacher’s union’s bidding. I’m sorry, that’s not science, that’s politics.”
In his latest campaign, DeSantis is lauding emergency workers in Florida for everything they do – and because they are underappreciated in some other places. He was in Satellite Beach this week for a ceremony announcing $1,000 bonuses for every police officer/sheriff’s deputy, firefighter, EMT and paramedic in the state.
“Some want to defund the police,” DeSantis said out front of the Satellite Beach Police Department. “We’re funding the police and then some.” Now that’s a poke. No joke.
Steve Nicklas is a financial adviser with a regional brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns also regularly appear in weekly newspapers in North Florida and in South Georgia, and on his website at SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has published a book, “All About Money,” of his favorite columns from the past 20 years. The book is available on Amazon. He can be reached at 904-753-0236 or at [email protected].