'Divisiveness. Anger.' Top FL newspaper warns what DeSantis would do 'to the whole country'
The editorial board of one of the largest newspapers in Florida, the Miami Herald, on Tuesday published a scathing indictment of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, warning should he become president, “Imagine what he would do if he exported his vision to the whole country.”
“Under Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida has used the power of government to assault the freedoms of anyone he and his supporters consider different,” the Herald’s Editorial Board writes. “Black people, gay and trans people and immigrants have all felt the unmistakable hostility of the state. In his pursuit of a far-right record that could outstrip Donald Trump’s, DeSantis has systematically — during five years in office, with a lockstep Republican Legislature — turned Florida into an unwelcoming place for many.
They add, “voters across the country only have to look at Florida to understand what he’s pushing. Divisiveness. Anger. Marginalization of anyone who might not be white, Christian, straight or whose family doesn’t go back generations in the United States.”
They warn of “DeSantis’ well-documented attacks on the rights of trans and LGBTQ people. The best known of those policies is his parental-rights law, known as ‘Don’t say gay,’ banning the teaching of gender identity or sexual orientation in public schools and threatening teachers with a felony charge if they do. He’s also backed laws to make gender-affirming care illegal and exercised control over which pronouns students use and even which bathrooms.”
Pointing to DeSantis’ response to Disney’s opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” law, the Herald writes he “will use the power (and money) of the state to try to crush those who disagree with him.”
And calling the Florida Governor “the same leader who refused to condemn neo-Nazi demonstrators in Florida for years,” the Editorial Board slams “DeSantis’ actions toward Black people,” including his “2021 ‘anti-riot’ bill [that] masqueraded as an attempt to keep public order but was actually aimed at squelching Black Lives Matter marches in the wake of the George Floyd murder.”
“It’s no wonder DeSantis was booed when he showed up to speak in Jacksonville about the shooting of three Black people by a killer with swastikas on his gun,” they write. “All things considered, booing seems like a rather restrained response.”
The paper also warns of DeSantis’ anti-immigrant policies: “Immigrants seeking refuge here are among DeSantis’ favorite targets. There were those infamous migrant flights starting last year, when he used Florida tax dollars to fly asylum seekers from the border to “blue” places like Martha’s Vineyard. He has pledged to support an end to birthright citizenship, something generally believed to be unconstitutional.”
They note that “Key businesses like construction and agriculture have started losing workers. And as Hurricane Idalia made landfall last week, the new law raised fears that immigrants and their families wouldn’t seek shelter from the life-threatening storm.
Also Tuesday the Herald’s Editorial Board published: “Florida’s new immigration law isn’t just cruel. It’s an awakening to our hypocrisy.”
Read the full editorial here.