DeSantis a "Peril in America’s Democracy," say Florida groups

Toni Koraza
Photo byGage Skidmore

Minority groups and other Florida residents, who often feel bullied by Ron DeSantis, are now issuing a national warning about the dangers to democracy DeSantis may present if he wins the White House.

The Republican governor's announcement that he would run for president in 2024 angered those who have suffered the most from his extreme policies and legislation, including transgender rights activists, immigrant organizations, and civil and voting rights groups.

Florida activists are raising awareness about DeSantis' attack on transgender rights, particularly the so-called "Don't Say Gay" law that forbade discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom and led to a protracted dispute with the state's largest private employer, Disney, offers only a glimpse into his plans for the entire nation.

They claim that DeSantis' "Florida blueprint," which he describes as his vision for the future of the US, is a culture-war bible filled with extreme measures like the newly passed state legislation banning abortions after six weeks, as well as a directive to seek the same minority targets across the country that he pursued in Tallahassee.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) leaders in Florida warned the state of the "active hostility" of DeSantis' policies because they believed that voters were already aware of him.

DeSantis "overplayed his hand" in Florida, which could hurt his chances of winning higher office, said Alex Barrios, co-founder of the Palm Springs-based Hispanic voting rights organization Mi Vecino.

According to Joe Saunders, a Democratic former state congressman, DeSantis' popularity in Florida is unlikely to spread to other states but added that voters should not let their guard down.

"We'll see how the election evolves, but I think sometimes the country, pundits, can give Ron DeSantis just a little bit too much credit," said Saunders.

What do you think about the stark warning from Florida groups?

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