While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has earned the emphatic praise of many of the nation’s principled conservatives as of late, it’s almost hard to give him credit for doing what should be completely common sense for any elected official.
The Republican governor has kept his state economy alive, he’s protected his citizens’ God-given rights, he’s combated radical indoctrination and he’s told violent rioters and thugs they’re not welcome on his turf.
Now, even just five or 10 years ago it wouldn’t be remarkable for a governor to publicly say you shouldn’t hurt people or damage property while protesting, but in 2021, it’s a distinctly partisan move.
Of course, this is the hard left’s problem, not DeSantis’, and any moral leader should be standing up to these ideological tyrants who claim to be fighting for “justice” yet whose tactics are far more reminiscent of the French Revolution than they are the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.
Last week at a news conference, DeSantis doubled down on his emphatic support of law enforcement, bluntly telling violent rioters to stay off his turf.
“Hey, if you’re in Portland, you think you can come down to Florida and do this?” DeSantis said, addressing the violent mobs that have made Oregon’s biggest city so notorious in recent years.
“Stay out of our state, we don’t want you coming down here causing problems.
“And if anyone does cause these problems, if you try to burn something down, if you try to harm anybody — but particularly a police officer — during one of these violent assemblies, there will be consequences,” the governor also warned.
“They will be swift and they will be severe, and they will be such that people who see that happening will know, that’s not something we want to do going forward.”
Earlier in his comments, he explained the difference between his state and other states when it comes to the mob violence that has become chillingly common in certain localities, particularly places like Portland and Seattle.
“I think if you look around the country, what happens is, like in Portland, these people riot every night, they go, they get their mug shot and then they get put right back on the street to do it again,” DeSantis explained.
“That’s what we don’t want,” he said of Oregon’s apparent revolving door of rioters within its justice system. “What we want to say is, ‘You know, the difference between going out and doing First Amendment stuff, which obviously we all support, it’s part of being American. The minute you harm somebody else, or you harm somebody’s property, or you do those types of things, the only way we’re going to put a stop to it is to have very swift penalties for it.'”
Last month, DeSantis signed an “anti-riot” bill that imposes harsh penalties for people who commit acts of violence during a protest, destroy a historic monument or travel from out of state to participate in a riot. The new bill will no doubt serve as a deterrent against rioting both for Florida residents bent on mischief and out-of-state agitators who mean to cause trouble.
DeSantis even noted during his news conference last week that left-wing agitators are often very well equipped, even mentioning reports of a U-Haul truck full of supplies that had apparently been unloaded at the scene of one protest.
Elected officials in the United States have a responsibility to protect the U.S Constitution against all threats foreign and domestic. In other words, domestic insurgency movements are a threat to free speech and are absolutely not, nor will they ever be, a First Amendment-protected exercise.
Every single governor in the nation should be saying exactly what DeSantis is saying about antifa, Black Lives Matter and any other violent group that too easily conflates terrorism with freedom.
It might be common sense to govern like this, but sadly common sense is no longer common. Is it any wonder that DeSantis’ state is becoming home to so many new residents as they flee disastrous, lawless blue states who are sick of senseless governance?
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.