Florida: America’s Promised Land

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By Doug Stauffer

In “The Courage to be Free,” Gov. Ron DeSantis delivers a masterful portrayal beginning with his blue-collar upbringing to his journey from Yale and Harvard, through the Navy and Congress, to become the 46th governor of Florida. This gripping narrative offers more than just an insider’s view of his path; it encapsulates the embodiment of a true Reagan Conservative. Despite the political dogmas these Ivy League institutions propagated, he resisted their influence, emerging even more firmly committed to his conservative principles.

His resistance to institutional indoctrination further crystallized his belief in upholding the Rule of Law instead of bending it to fit preferred political narratives, a trend he noted while studying at these institutions.

DeSantis’s book goes far beyond a personal memoir. It’s a blueprint for others looking to resist the prevailing winds of leftist ideologies and navigate the landmines of contemporary American politics. His experiences provide a robust counterargument to the increasingly prevalent view that one must subscribe to liberal ideologies.

DeSantis’s choice to pass on a lucrative career path after earning his law degree from Harvard to take an ensign’s salary in the Navy reflects the depth of his commitment to service and the principles of self-sacrifice. With considerable student debt, he chose service to the country over personal financial gain, becoming a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG).

His tenure in Congress is a study of disciplined commitment to principles over convenience. He slept in his office when the House was in session, maintaining a certain distance from the seductive D.C. culture, avoiding the “Swamp” he had promised to resist. He honored his campaign promises, resisted becoming a part of the professional ruling class that he believed Congress evolved into and upheld his commitment to serve as a citizen legislator.

His commitment to ethical leadership also extended to his finances. He declined the Congressional pension, opted out of the Congressional Health Care plan and stopped trading stocks. This determination was also evident in his opposition to the “Gang of Eight’s” amnesty legislation and his push to hold Congress accountable.

His book is more than just a book; it’s a clarion call for a recommitment to the founding principles of our great nation. In these pages, DeSantis reveals his blueprint for leading the “Great American Comeback,” starting from the shores of the Sunshine State.

His pivotal role in 2015 with eight other members of Congress in forming the House Freedom Caucus has had far-reaching political impacts, including paving the way for Donald Trump’s election to the presidency. This vision of establishing a caucus of the most conservative Republicans exemplifies his strategic acumen and unwavering commitment to the cause of conservatism. As recently demonstrated, the House Freedom Caucus forced robust concessions from Congressman Kevin McCarthy before his installation as House Speaker.

One of the most compelling sections of the book centers on DeSantis’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. His resolute opposition to draconian restrictions, despite severe criticisms and a wave of opposing views, not only held sway but also preserved the freedoms of Floridians and maintained the state’s economy. He resolutely refused the medical authoritarianism perpetrated on the world.

The book isn’t merely a story of DeSantis’s life and career. It’s an insightful critique of the current American political landscape. From his debunking of the “Russian Collusion Delusion” and media’s “Click-First, Facts-Later” ethos to his passionate defense of Trump against unfounded allegations, DeSantis offers a critical examination of the biases and malpractices that have controlled the political landscape for far too long.

“The Courage to be Free” is a testament to his unflinching commitment to conservative principles, steadfast leadership, and enduring resolve to make Florida—and by extension, America—the Promised Land for all its citizens. DeSantis’s leadership exemplifies the art of the possible when politicians dare to stand by their principles and the conviction to serve selflessly. His book does more than tell a story – it delivers a roadmap for those with the vision to “Make America Florida.” We do not know the future, but hope seems brighter after reading this treatise.