Florida GOPers love to talk about creating a positive business climate in the state. Perhaps this is the case for low wage, non-professional jobs, but as time goes on, it becomes clearer, Florida is NOT a destination for higher-wage, professional jobs. Governor DeSantis attacks on “woke corporations,” as well as the open hostility he’s displayed toward science, public health and education norms have turned large numbers of young professionals against the state.
While FOX News viewers ate up the performative DeSantis attacks on Disney, the company retaliated by keeping 2,000 Lake Nona-bound jobs in California, at least for now. This is par for the course for Florida GOPers- Rick Scott killing Charlie Crist’s high speed rail plans drove away engineering jobs while ensuring the economic connectivity of Florida remained backwards for a generation.
Back to the current Governor. DeSantis seems to have a grudge against the Florida, we once knew, the state he grew up in. His goal as Governor, besides promoting his own Presidential ambitions, seems to conduct a vengeance tour to break the state and reshape it along his own personal preferences. This has created a cult of personality around him, fueled by out-of-state interests, conservative media and online agitators.
Many of these interests and personalities have no idea how unique Florida is, and how pushing a template that pleases right-wing national interests doesn’t fit in a state that’s fundamentally very different from the rest of America. This has led to a governorship that’s pitted family member against family member, neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend and parent against teachers/school administrators in our beautiful state. Floridians need to know the truth. DeSantis tenure as Governor not only has not brought enough, new professional jobs to match our population growth, but is also about breaking the Florida many of us grew up in.
In countering DeSantis, Democrats MUST stress a return to normalacy that unites Floridians. This is why the nomination of Charlie Crist, a former GOP Governor was strategically smart. Crist has the bonafides to say to Floridians he has the experience to bring a steady hand back to the helm of the state.