Florida Governor Ron DeSantis believes that Republicans must prioritize cultural battles or risk losing the United States to “cultural Marxism.”
The Republican governor spoke to The Federalist this week outlining his approach to governance and where the Republican Party must go in order to be successful long term. He emphasized the need to take on Democrats and “wokeism” in cultural battles and reject so-called “me too Republicanism.”
“As much as I’m a fiscal conservative, some of these battles with what the left is doing are effectively cultural Marxism,” DeSantis said. “You can have, theoretically, a successful economy, but if the underpinnings of the culture are just being torn apart, I don’t think that’s a society that’s going to be very successful over the long term.”
In an exclusive interview with The Federalist, @GovRonDeSantis says that the GOP needs to engage the culture war: "If the underpinnings of the culture are just being torn apart, I don't think that that's a society that's going to be very successful over the long term." pic.twitter.com/BmcFoPAXc8
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) June 1, 2021
“If all you’re doing is, the Democrats propose $2 trillion in infrastructure [legislation], so we say we’ll do $1.5 trillion, that’s not going to animate anybody,” he told The Federalist. “That’s just Me Too Republicanism and ultimately that’s not going to be successful.”
DeSantis has been one of the leading conservative lawmakers joining, and often leading, conservative policy efforts in education, athletics, social media, and COVID-19. On Tuesday, DeSantis joined a group of Republican-led states in banning biological males from competing in female sports in high school and college. He signed legislation despite pressure from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to pull events from states that enacted such laws.
“We’re not going to be bullied by groups like the NCAA,” the governor said. “I’m totally willing to sacrifice an event in order to stand with the girls of my state.” DeSantis also noted that the NCAA has yet to pull events from other states that have enacted similar laws.
“It’s an easy decision, and I don’t view it as pressure as much as saying, ‘the battle lines are clearly drawn, so which side are you going to be on?’ So we’re obviously on the side of the women athletes in this state,” the governor added.
DeSantis also highlighted the need for elected Republicans to stand up to “corporate media” that work with Democrats to set narratives and unfairly malign or spread falsehoods about the GOP.
“In some respects, [corporate media] really are the heart and soul of the Democrat Party,” DeSantis said. “The politicians are on the side, it’s really corporate media that drives their agenda.”
Florida is gearing up for a legal battle against big tech titans such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter over a recently-enacted law restricting social media platforms from banning politicians and censoring certain kinds of political speech. Two tech industry trade groups, Netchoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, filed suit against Florida on May 27 over the law.
“Republicans need to understand where the battle lines are being drawn,” DeSantis said.
“I don’t think there’s ever been as many hostile cultural forces, whether it’s corporate media, universities, big tech, now big business,” he said. “If you’re an American who believes in the core values of this country — faith, family, opportunity — you are absolutely on the defensive in many respects, so the question is, how do you fight back effectively.”
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