Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 2.0

Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, announced his campaign for president this past Wednesday in an audio chit-chat via Twitter. Standing by his side was Republican mega-donor David Sack and the world’s worst billionaire, Elon Musk. Launching his campaign with embarrassing technical difficulties, reflective of​​ Twitter’s failing infrastructure since the termination of half their staff, DeSantis declared war on “wokeness.” 

In order to run for president, Florida law historically required that one cannot currently hold any political offices. However, after signing SB 7050 into law, Ron Desantis has given himself the green light to run for president while still holding his position as Florida governor. Republican supporters of the “resign to run” measure emphasized that the law only clarifies what is already considered allowed, while Democrats argue that DeSantis is giving himself a soft place to land when he loses the presidential election. 

The law also makes unnecessary changes to voter registration policies, further restricting the voting rights of Floridian communities of color. The legislation calls for the reduction of time as third-party voter registration organizations have to file voter registration applications and a 2-day reduction to the vote-by-mail request period. Republicans claim that this is simple election reform to maintain the “Florida gold standard.” However, the passage of SB 7050 is proof of a long-standing Republican goal to undermine the fairness of American elections and skew results to favor Republican candidates.  

DeSantis is spearheading the battle against wokeness in his home state of Florida, instituting extreme limitations on public school education, an abortion ban and some of America’s cruelest anti-trans policies. His Republican supporters seem to be ideologically aligned, with 55% prioritizing “fighting woke ideology in our schools and business” above health care and social security reform. 

Echoing ideals often found in dark corners of far-right internet echo chambers, DeSantis claimed that “The work mind virus is basically a form of cultural Marxism.” DeSantis also proved his fundamental understanding of the word “elites,” not using it to describe wealth or social status, but rather he defines it as “those who share the ideology and outlook of the ruling class, which one can demonstrate by ‘virtue signaling.’” He holds the belief that men like Clarence Thomas, and his moral support billionaire, Elon Musk, are not members of the elites despite being some of the richest, most powerful people in the world. 

Governor DeSantis has crafted Florida into a place “where woke goes to die,” creating a state that falls short in every other field that matters to constituents. Although DeSantis boasted that Florida was “number one in net in-migration, number one in new business formations, number one in education, 50-year low crime rate and one of the lowest tax and debt per capita rates in America” on his campaign website, he neglected to mention the many areas where Flordia fails. 

The state’s “regressive tax structure” leaves Florida’s tax burden mostly on the shoulders of poor and middle-class Americans; with no income taxes and extremely low corporate tax rates, Florida is a safe-haven state for the rich, privileged and elite.

Ranking consistently at the bottom for healthcare, school funding and elder care and in the highest percentiles for teen birth, infant mortality and disease, Florida is not the beacon of American excellence. Beneath Ron DeSantis, the war on wokeness and attack on political elites is a presidential campaign that hurts working-class Americans and serves the wealthiest people in the world, such as the two billionaires he had by his side while announcing his candidacy.