(Miami) ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who openly flirts with a 2024 presidential bid, unveiled a controversial new set of programmatic measures for his state on Tuesday policy for America.
A drastic reduction in access to abortion, a relaxation of gun laws, an offensive against young transgender people… the Republican has pledged to make his state a laboratory for conservative ideas, hoping that they propel him to the White House.
“Florida is at the forefront of the battle for freedom,” he said from the Florida Legislative Gallery just before elected officials begin their parliamentary business.
This 60-day session will largely be devoted to enforcing the Republican governor’s agenda. After which observers expect Ron DeSantis to officially declare his candidacy for 2024.
The conservative governor, a Catholic who embodies traditional authority and values, is seen as Donald Trump’s biggest rival for the Republican nomination. He has made his fight against politicians, companies and professors that he describes as “woke” a trademark.
Clearly, the forty-year-old accuses a group of “elite” of imposing their progressive ideology on a society that refuses it, and has pledged to make his state a bulwark.
The elected officials of the “Sunshine State” will thus look into a text to further restrict the teaching of subjects related to sexual orientation in school. This measure, nicknamed by its opponents “Don’t say gay” (“Don’t talk about gays”), has already been in force for primary school since 2022. It would now be extended to middle school students.
Schools must provide “quality education” and not “political indoctrination” argued Ron DeSantis on Tuesday.
The governor also called for restricting access to treatment for transgender minors, saying that “children should not be guinea pigs for scientific experiments”.
All these texts have a very good chance of being adopted given the enormous influence which the 44-year-old Republican enjoys on his party, which has the majority in both chambers of the Florida Parliament.
“The bills he’s asking us to pass are a series of things we’ve been talking about for a long time, but never had the courage to do,” said Kathleen Passidomo, president of the southeastern state Senate. east of the country, in February.
“We will ensure that his program is adopted,” she assured.
The program in question is not confined to childhood and education: a bill largely relaxing restrictions around the carrying of weapons in his state should also satisfy his ultra-conservative allies.
And he will continue to provide the governor with the media attention that many presidential candidates would dream of.
Ron DeSantis, however, resists the idea of entering the arena prematurely and facing mano-a-mano Donald Trump.
Instead, the former congressman has embarked on a grand tour of the country, anxious to cultivate his political capital beyond the borders of his state.
“We are the number one destination for our fellow Americans seeking a better life,” Ron DeSantis said during his speech on Tuesday.
Over the next few weeks, he will continue to promote his memoir, which attests to the Governor’s eyes on the White House. They are aptly titled “The Courage to Be Free: Florida as a Model for Turning America Around”.
Donald Trump, who is currently leading the race in the polls, has nevertheless started to launch the first salvos in the direction of his possible future rival.
“Florida has been doing well for many years, long before Ron-la-Morale moved there! “, he thus launched Tuesday morning, decking it out with one of his famous nicknames.