Ron DeSanti’s Inaugural Speech: “In Florida, the Awakened Die!”

Mr. Chief Justice, Members of Cabinet and Fellow Citizens:

From the Space Coast to the Suncoast, from St. Johns to St. Lucie, from the streets of Hialeah to the Speedways of Daytona, from Okeechobee to Micanopy.

Freedom lives here in our great Sunshine State of Florida!

It lives in the courage of those who patrol the streets and keep our communities safe, it lives in the hard work of those who work long hours to earn a living and raise their families, it lives in the commitment of those who teach our children , it lives in the determination of those who grow our food, it lives in the wisdom of our seniors, it lives in the dreams of historic numbers of families who have moved here thousands of miles away because they love Florida as the land of freedom and Freedom saw the land of reason.

In recent years, when so many states in our country have been putting down their citizens, we in Florida have raised our people up.

When other states sent their people’s freedom to the garbage heap, Florida stood strong as the pivot of freedom.

When the world was going insane—when common sense suddenly became an uncommon virtue—Florida was a haven of sanity, a citadel of freedom for our fellow Americans and even for people around the world.

As captain of the ship of state, we choose to navigate the stormy seas of freedom rather than cower in the tranquil docks of despotism.

We are under attack, we take blows, but we weather the storm, we stand firm, and we do what is right.

As the book of Psalms reminds us, ‘I will not be afraid if tens of thousands attack me on every side.’

We have refused to use polls and put our fingers in the wind – leaders don’t follow, they lead.

We have formulated a vision for a free and prosperous state.

We have realized this vision through perseverance and hard work.

We have had favorable results.

And now we’re here today because the people of Florida have validated our efforts in record time.

Florida shows that results matter. We lead not by mere words but by actions.

Four years ago we promised to pursue a bold agenda. We did just that and we got results:

We said we’d make Florida lightly taxed, properly regulated, and conservatively spent—and we delivered.

We promised that we would embark on major education reforms – and we delivered.

We said we would end judicial activism by appointing jurists who understand that a judge’s real role is to apply the written law, not legislate from the bench—and we have delivered.

We promised to usher in a new era of stewardship of Florida’s natural resources by advancing water quality and Everglades restoration efforts—and we delivered.

We said we would stand up for law and order and support the men and women of law enforcement – and we delivered.

We promised to fix deficiencies in Florida’s electoral administration and hold unruly officials accountable — and we delivered.

We said we would support Hurricane Michael-hit areas of Northwest Florida — and we delivered.

And when Hurricane Ian hit last year, the state coordinated a massive mobilization of responders, provided the fastest power restoration ever and even quickly rebuilt vital bridges that had been destroyed by the storm. We have stood by the people of Southwest Florida and will continue to do so in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Because of this and other efforts, Florida leads the nation:

We are number 1 in this United States in terms of net immigration

Florida is the #1 fastest growing state

We are the No. 1 for start-ups

Florida is number 1 in tourism

We are number 1 in economic freedom

Florida is #1 for freedom of education

And we’re #1 in parental involvement in education

Florida is also #1 in public higher education

This is a record we can all be proud of.

And we’re far from done:

Florida has run a record budget surplus and we need to pass record tax breaks, especially for Florida families struggling with inflation.

We must ensure that school systems are responsive to parents and students, not partisan interest groups, and we must ensure that our colleges are focused on academic excellence and the pursuit of truth, not the imposition of a trendy ideology.

Florida must always be a great place to raise a family — we will enact more family-friendly policies to make it easier to raise children, and we will defend our children from those who try to rape them of their innocence.

We will always remain a law and order state, we will always support law enforcement, and we will always oppose soft crime policies that endanger our communities.

Florida is now in a golden era for preserving our precious natural resources. Our momentum is strong and we will finish what we started – we will leave Florida to God better than we found it!

We promise that and much more.

It is often said that our federal constitutional system – with fifty states free to pursue their own unique policies – is a laboratory of democracy.

Well, these last few years have witnessed a major test in government philosophies as many jurisdictions have taken a very different path than we have here in the state of Florida.

The policies pursued by these states have prompted a mass exodus of prolific Americans from those jurisdictions — with Florida serving as the most desirable destination, a promised land of sanity.

Many of these cities and states have embraced a fashionable ideology at the expense of enduring principles.

They have harmed public safety by coddling criminals and attacking law enforcement.

They have imposed undue burdens on taxpayers to fund unfathomable public spending.

They have harmed education by subordinating the interests of students and parents to partisan interest groups.

They have imposed medical authoritarianism under the guise of pandemic mandates and restrictions that lack any scientific basis.

This bizarre but pervasive ideology that permeates these policies purports to act in the name of justice for the marginalized, but disapproves of American institutions, rejects merit and achievement, and advocates identity essentialism.

We reject this awakened ideology.

We are looking for normality, not philosophical madness!

We will not allow reality, facts and truth to become optional.

We will never surrender to the awakened mob.

Florida is where awake dies!

Now Florida’s success has been complicated by the faltering federal institute in Washington, DC

The federal government has unleashed an inflationary spending spree that has left our nation weaker and our citizens poorer, it has imposed pandemic restrictions and mandates – based more on ideology and politics than sound science – and this has eroded liberty and inhibited commerce.

It has ruthlessly enabled open borders: it has flouted the rule of law, allowed massive amounts of drugs to contaminate our states, imported criminal aliens, and greenlit the flow of millions of illegal aliens into our country, affecting communities and taxpayers across the country burdened country.

It has instituted energy policies that have crippled our country’s domestic production, increasing energy costs for our citizens and undermining our country’s energy security and, in turn, our national security.

It exercises its authority through a sprawling, unaccountable and contactless bureaucracy that does not act on our behalf, but instead towers over us and imposes its will on us.

The results of this were predictably dismal.

This leaves many pessimistic about the future of the country. Some say failure is inevitable.

Florida is positive proof that we, the people, are not doomed.

Decline is a choice. success is achievable. And it’s worth fighting for freedom.

Fighting for freedom is not easy now because the threats to freedom are more complex and pervasive than in the past – the threats can come from entrenched DC bureaucrats, jet-setters in Davos, and corporations with public power.

But we have to fight.

We are committed to our founding creed that our rights are not granted by the courtesy of the state, but are bestowed by the hand of the Almighty.

We reject the idea that self-government can be bestowed on technocratic elites who reduce people to mere data points.

We insist on the restoration of well-established constitutional principles so that government by, by and for the people does not disappear from this earth.

Florida is leading the way in preserving what our country’s father called the “sacred fire of liberty.”

It is the fire that burned in Independence Hall as 56 men pledged their lives, wealth and sacred honor to found a new nation, begotten in freedom.

It is the fire that burned in a Gettysburg cemetery as the nation’s first Republican president promised that nation a “new birth of liberty.”

It’s the fire that burned among the boys who stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate a continent and preserve freedom for the world.

It is the fire that fulfilled a young preacher’s dream, broadcast on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, that the Declaration of Independence said what it meant and meant what it said: All men are created equal.

It’s the fire that prompted a determined president to stand up in Berlin and declare to “tear down that wall,” stare down the communists, and win the Cold War.

It is our responsibility here in Florida to carry that torch.

We don’t run away from that responsibility; we welcome it.

We’ll be on guard.

We will stand firm in the faith.

We will be brave.

We will be strong!

And we thank God and are proud to be citizens of the great Free State of Florida! Ron DeSanti’s Inaugural Speech: “In Florida, the Awakened Die!”

Bradford Betz

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