The DeSantis They Know in Florida

The DeSantis They Know in Florida. By Saleno Zito.

He is a little taken aback by his growing popularity among the conservative base and how widespread it is: “It’s not just in Florida. It’s also coming from Washington state, Alabama, all over the place, and I look at that. I’m like, ‘Wow.’ They’re just responding to what I’ve done. It’s not like I’ve ever campaigned in these places. It’s pretty neat. People have been great.”

He gets out of his car and heads to his favorite hometown haunt. Flannigan’s is packed with locals and tourists who have heard through word of mouth that he’s home and might stop by to say hi to the owners. Within minutes, he is surrounded by hundreds of well-wishers.

He steps onto an elevated area to give a quick speech, then heads to his parents’ house to pick up his wife, Casey, and their three children to take in the Florida State Fair in Tampa.

“One of the things I liked about doing these fairs, especially that first year of COVID, and I’d ask, ‘Hey, can I get a couple hot dogs,’ and I’d try to pay and the vendors would say, ‘I am not taking your money. I would be out of business if it wasn’t for you,’” he said. …


He sees the ideological creep across all of the cultural curators in our country, not just in academia but also in corporations and other large institutions.

But ideological capture isn’t limited to academia and the federal bureaucracy. DeSantis said conservatives must also adjust from a world in which “business and institutions weren’t terribly political” to the current moment, “a situation where these institutions have been captured by leftist ideology,” he said.

“You have companies doing the ESG, where they’re trying to impose a leftist worldview on society through their economic power. You have K-12 schools where you have school unions, who are very partisan, trying to impose certain ideology,” DeSantis said. “So my job as governor, we are the free state of Florida, but that means I need to defend threats to freedom across the board. I can’t just say, ‘If it’s not government doing it, then why do you care?’

At least America hasn’t been trained to hate him, yet.