The feud between the governors continues
On December 5, Governor Gavin Newsom of California unleashed his latest attack in the ongoing war of words between him and Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida. The Democrat Newsom decided to take issue with Gov. DeSantis' recent crack-down on so-called 'woke ideology', in a tweet that included the statement:
"DeSantis' Florida: Where civil rights go to die."
Newsom's choice of words is no accident, and refers to a sentiment often expressed by DeSantis who has repeatedly stated that "Florida is where woke goes to die". Governor DeSantis believes that residents and businesses of the state shouldn't be forced to conform to the whims represented by the so-called 'woke' political ideology.
What is 'woke' ideology?
A recent legal challenge has at least temporarily blocked the implementation of the 'Stop WOKE' act in Florida colleges. The law was signed by DeSantis in July of this year, and prevents the teaching of certain topics including critical race theory. This aligns to the definition of 'woke' recently given by a member of Governor DeSantis team who described the ideology as:
"The belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them.”
In recent weeks there have been various other signs that Gov. DeSantis remains motivated to challenge woke ideology wherever he encounters it.
On December 2 it was reported that DeSantis had approved a recent announcement to push back on woke corporations and CEOs, confirming that $2 billion of state money had been withdrawn from funds operated by investment firm BlackRock Inc, based on their operation of ESG Investment Funds.
There will be some matters that DeSantis can influence - like where the state invests its treasury - and others that it cannot, but which still feel excessively 'woke'. A recent example that may be beyond DeSantis' reach is the announcement by Disney that it will be rebranding the Splash Mountain rides at both its Florida and California theme parks to make it 'more inclusive', while removing imagery and branding from 'The Song of the South' - Br'er Rabbit and all!
The Newsom vs DeSantis feud continues
Earlier this year, Gov. Newsom funded a number of TV adverts on July 4 that attacked DeSantis and claimed that "freedom is under attack in Florida", encouraging Floridians to move to California from the Sunshine State (contrary to a national trend in the opposite direction). DeSantis responded sarcastically and dismissively of Newsom's claims, pointing out that in his view, "California treats its residents like peasants".
Their war of words goes back to DeSantis referring to San Francisco as a "Dumpster Fire" in the aftermath of pandemic lockdowns that were applied throughout the state in recent years.
More recently, DeSantis has attacked Newsom for California having banned certain books from some school classrooms, something that Newsom has taken issue with Florida doing too.
The feud continues
All that seems certain is that there is no love lost between the two governors, and their ongoing feud may yet expand onto the national stage if both turn their sights onto a presidential campaign in 2024. DeSantis seems to be hotly rumored as a favored candidate for the Republican party that is growing tired of Donald Trump. Newsom too, could be building his national profile through focusing his attention on national issues rather than those within his own state.
Time will tell who attacks who, next!
Do you think that Governor Ron DeSantis and Governor Gavin Newsom are both likely to campaign for President of the United States? Should they be more focused on issues in their own state at the moment? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.