Florida is known for its bright sun, beautiful beaches, numerous tourist destinations, and, albeit to a declining degree, its orange groves that produce the nectar of breakfast.
Yet according to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Sunshine State is also “the place where woke goes to die.”
DeSantis on Tuesday visited Pasco County to pump up his education platform.
He talked about the emphasis the state is placing on having kids understand American history, the evil of communism and how money works. He discussed the need to promote workforce education because not everyone is cut out for a “brick and ivy” university.
Yet at the same time, he noted that Florida’s university system offers considerable bang for the buck, given its relatively low-cost tuition and quality education.
The governor also discussed the state boosting teacher pay on his watch, and an idea to use retired military personnel and former first-responders as classroom teachers. He pitched a plan for a “teacher apprenticeship” program. And he floated a scholarship program to allow high school teachers to obtain a master’s degree.
But, as often happens when DeSantis appears at such events, news emerges when the governor segues from a topic.
At one point during the press conference, DeSantis was asked about making teaching a more desirable profession.
He asserted that teaching has lost its luster because “education” programs in colleges have become a “magnet for a lot of ideology.” DeSantis said people don’t pursue teaching because they don’t want to become a “cog in some indoctrination machine.”
But DeSantis added that problem is extended to other societal institutions, which are now “infected by ideology at the expense of facts and reality” – meaning almost exclusively from the left.
He used that comment as a springboard to explain why the state is fighting to ban children from receiving transgender procedures. DeSantis pointed out that many European nations have reversed course after being overly permissive with such procedures for minors.
In the news: 3 Florida Men Arrested In “Operation Cyber Scumbag” Child Sex Sting
“We’re following the data, and what you have is a lot of ideology trying to be put into medicine,” said DeSantis. “And that’s very, very dangerous.”
He then argued ignoring data also figured into the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor said either dishonesty or incompetence led some authorities to promote outlandish ideas – such as idea that COVID would disappear if we all wore masks for six weeks, that closing schools was proper to stop the spread and that forced masking would have no ill effects, especially for children.
He then had one more example.
“They lied to us about the mRNA shot. They said if you take it, you will not get COVID. That is false. That is not true,” DeSantis said. As proof, he pointed to widespread numbers of boosted vaccine recipients who still get the virus.
“Time and time again, I think you’ve seen ideology placed over data and evidence,” he maintained. “They will constantly try to shift because they will never admit that their ideology was incorrect.”
“That’s very, very dangerous,” he added. “And that’s a problem with our society that we’re grappling with” in “woke corporations,” classrooms, and other politically charged venues.
“What I’ve said is that the state of Florida is the place where woke goes to die. We’re not going to let this state descend into some kind of woke Dumpster fire,” DeSantis concluded. “We’re going to be following common sense. We’re going to be following facts. And that’s just really, really important.”
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author or the subject and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Free Press.