(The Center Square) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Michigan on Thursday, claiming his state’s “freedom” is the antithesis of Michigan.
Headlining the stage at Hillsdale College’s Searle Center, DeSantis touted Florida laws that he said empower parents to object to items that violate their standards such as pornographic material in school libraries.
He boasted about refusing to include queer theory, intersectionality, and critical race theory in an AP African American studies course. He said Florida is leading the nation in teaching American civics and teaching “what it means to be an American.”
“We don’t want to graduate listless vessels who have no clue about our country’s history or our country’s principles,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis told the packed crowd that parents deserve to know what their kids are being taught in schools.
That could be a reference to the Michigan Democrat Party posting on Facebook in January 2022 that parents aren’t “the client of the public school” and then deleting the post following pushback.
DeSantis said he’s working to “protect our people against an increasingly weaponized federal apparatus” such as federal agencies that enacted vaccine mandates.
“They weaponized it to try to deny Americans the right to put food on their table if they didn’t bend the knee over the jab,” he said.
DeSantis pushed back against what he called Congress delegating lawmaking authority to unelected federal executives and the World Health Organization.
DeSantis said he refused to comply with federal vaccine mandates, which brought him $2 million in fines but saved tens of thousands of jobs. He encouraged others to stand firm and “have the courage of your convictions.”
“We reject the idea that self-government can be subcontracted out to bureaucratic elites, whether burrowed in federal agencies in Washington, D.C. or in places like Davos, Switzerland,” DeSantis said.
That might have been a slight at Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who spent $44,117 of taxpayer money on her European trip to Davos to speak at the World Economic Forum panel about “The Return of Manufacturing.”
Whitmer’s administration has given $3 million of taxpayer money to groups aligned with the WEF, including the U.S. Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, with an additional $3 million of matching county funds.
Dubbing the current climate the Progressive Era, DeSantis said people have entrusted “experts” to determine public policy..
“How did that work out during COVID?” DeSantis said in another jab toward Whitmer, who enacted the longest and most restrictive COVID rules in the Midwest.
DeSantis visited Michigan as Democrats dominate the Legislature and, flexing their political muscle, repealed right-to-work, repealed a 1931 law criminalizing abortion, and reinstated the prevailing wage.
The Republican governor acknowledged he’ll sign legislation within a few weeks to eliminate all Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs from the University of Florida.
“I think DEI is division, exclusion, and indoctrination, and that has no place in our public institutions,” DeSantis said.
The Center Square has reported that the current annual taxpayer expense for the University of Michigan’s DEI department is more than $18.1 million.