During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mainstream media became hyper-focused on how different states governed themselves. Their goal was to portray Republicans as failing and Democrats as saviors. Some in the press were hailing New York Governor Cuomo and evening comparing his weekly press conferences to President Trump’s, as they immediately followed one another. Like New York, California and other liberal states were lauded in the media for their oppressive lockdowns, curfews, mask mandates, school closures, and vaccine requirements. At the same time, the mainstream media turned their sights on Republican-led states like Texas and Florida that refused to turn their communities into a police state.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis bristled feathers from the start. The Governor became public enemy number one to the radical left and mainstream media. It started when DeSantis faced criticisms for not locking Florida down, keeping businesses, schools and churches open, and giving people the freedom to choose whether or not to wear a mask and choose whether or not to take the vaccine. At one point, the DeSantis administration was accused by a fired employee of forcing her to alter the state’s official COVID-19 data – the number of cases and deaths reported daily to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). State and national media ran headlines stating DeSantis “misled the public on the COVID-19 pandemic,” that he dismissed a “Scientist For Her Refusal To Manipulate State’s Coronavirus Data,” and that he “tried to hide COVID info.” A state inspector general investigation report found her allegations “unsubstantiated,” “unfounded,” and that they “did not occur.” Just another day of The liberal media smearing a Republican based on completely verifiably false rumors.
Then came Mickey Mouse, or rather, Bob Chapek, CEO of Walt Disney World, who was forced by cancel culture forces to oppose a state bill that would protect young children in K-3 from being exposed to gender theory and sexual orientation discussions. When Disney came out strongly against the bill and the Governor, the Republican-led Florida legislature stripped Disney World of its special operating status, undoing nearly 70 years of precedent.
Next comes the world of women’s college swimming. In March, transgender athlete Lia Thomas won the NCAA Division I swimming title, becoming the first transgender athlete to win a championship. Thomas beat Florida-native Emma Weyant, who placed second and is an Olympic Silver Medal champion. Governor DeSantis subsequently issued a proclamation declaring Weyant the rightful winner, saying, “By allowing men to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud. In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.” The media’s predictable meltdown followed, but the public, who by and large still accepts basic biology, undoubtedly noted the Governor’s courage when so many remained silent about a clear subversion of women’s sports.
A few months later, Governor DeSantis took further action by signing the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act into law, which protects female athletes from having to compete against transgender athletes. DeSantis said that men who compete against women like Weyant are “robbing women and girls of achievements, awards, and scholarships.” Groups like Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Council shot back, and the latter is suing Governor DeSantis in federal court. According to the left, standing up for women and girls and the integrity of collegiate sports is unconstitutional.
The barrage of hits on DeSantis is amazing to witness. He takes fire from Disney and the NCAA and is berated in the media for keeping schools open and opposing mask mandates and lockdowns. Nevertheless, the Florida Governor keeps taking the hits and gaining in popularity. DeSantis is fighting for what he believes in despite the critics and negative headlines from the corporate press. America’s Governor has drawn a line in the sand for the woke left. Voters in Florida and across the country are paying attention.
Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action
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