Liberal colleges are known for radicalizing students into left-wing causes. Yet the opposite was true for Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
He went to the Ivy League not really thinking about politics and left a wholly invested conservative.
DeSantis provided some insight into his background during an interview Friday with Mark Levin of Fox News.
Asked about how he developed his principles, DeSantis said his parents came from “steel country,” in Pennsylvania and Ohio, communities that were “blue collar, salt-of-the-earth.”
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The family lived in Dunedin, and according to his family background, DeSantis said he grew up with “Rust Belt values.”
He characterized his upbringing as “apolitical,” mostly focused on sports, especially baseball. “I didn’t even know colleges were liberal,” he told Levin.
That changed when he set foot on Yale’s campus. That, he said, was “major, major culture shock.”
“You start sitting in some of these classrooms and even though one of Yale’s mottos is ‘For God, For Country, For Yale’ — I sit in the classroom [and they are] attacking religion, attacking God, attacking the United States.”
“I’m sitting in class, and they’re saying that the U.S. was to blame for the Cold War, not Joseph Stalin.”
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Back in Dunedin, he said, people were Republicans and Democrats, but they shared “core American principles.”
But the longer he remained at Yale, he grew into a hardened political conservative.
“I wasn’t influenced by it, in terms of it [liberalism] pulling me in that direction,” said DeSantis. “I rebelled the other way.”
“I went through Yale and Harvard [where he attended law school] and came out more conservative.”
DeSantis acknowledged that once he got away from the Ivy league, he didn’t believe the radicalism he was subjected to would hold up in the “real world.”
But today, he added, “What we see with a lot of the woke ideology in society, this is a reflection of what a lot of these universities have produced over the last generation. So, we’re reaping a lot of what was sowed in those classrooms 10, 15, 20, 25 years ago.”
DeSantis, who shared with Levin insights from his new book, “The Courage to Be Free,” added that we can see the effects on politics.
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“We have these God-given rights,” he said. “We loan power to the government under a Constitution to protect those rights, and I think that what we’ve seen in more modern society is we’ve seen an un-mooring of those constitutional foundations,” he said.
“We have an administrative state which is totally out of control. It violates people’s freedoms. It’s really been weaponized against factions of the country that the ruling class doesn’t like.”
“We’ve got to re-constitutionalize this government,” DeSantis added. “What we’re facing now is not what the Founders intended.”
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