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Authored by Katie Spence via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 19 acknowledged “underwhelming performances” by Republicans in the midterm elections and contrasted the losses elsewhere with what he called a “true Republican landslide” in Florida.

“We added four new Republican Congressmen to the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Florida,” DeSantis told attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on Saturday.

We secured supermajorities in the Florida legislature—the most Republicans we have ever had in Florida’s history.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., on Nov. 19, 2022. (Wade Vandervort/AFP via Getty Images)

At a time when Republicans are questioning what happened to the promised midterm elections’ “red wave” and what to do going forward, DeSantis clearly and elegantly stated that in Florida, Republicans are appealing to freedom, fighting against the “woke mind virus,” and implementing common-sense legislation. As a result, Republicans, Independents, and Democrats voted for a red wave in Florida.

We won, by double digits, Miami-Dade County!” DeSantis said of his Republican win in the previously Democrat stronghold.

He added that if Republicans want to win future elections, they must follow his example in Florida.

Blueprint to Win

According to DeSantis, Republicans were successful in Florida’s midterm elections because “Florida really has a blueprint for success.” Specifically, he explained that his “blueprint” includes exercising authentic leadership that doesn’t bend to the shifting whims of society.

“The job of a leader is not to stick your finger in the wind and try to contort yourself to wherever public opinion may be trending at any given moment. No, the job of a leader is to set out a vision. To execute that vision. To show people that it’s the right vision, and to deliver concrete results. And when you do that, the people respond,” DeSantis stated.

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis takes the stage in a packed college gymnasium in rural Columbia County on Nov. 3, 2022, rally attendees spring to their feet, cheering and waving campaign signs. (Nanette Holt/The Epoch Times)

He continued by giving the example that Florida has millions more people than New York, but New York’s budget is “over twice the size of our budget in Florida.” Despite that, DeSantis claimed that when New Yorkers move to Florida, they remark on Florida’s much better roads, services, and infrastructure.

DeSantis added that in Florida, K-12 schools are performing better than in New York, Florida has a record budget surplus—and it does all of that without a state income tax and one of the lowest tax burdens in the country. He said that the government wants people to succeed in Florida, and they adopt legislation to make that possible and attract people to the state.

Plus, DeSantis said, in Florida they don’t let red tape and bureaucracy prevent them from getting the job done.

A Return to Sanity

Expanding on why he thinks Republicans in his state did well in the midterms, DeSantis said Florida “stood out as the free state” over the past few years. He stated that during the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns, his administration refused to “descend into some type of Faucian dystopia” and instead respected people’s rights.

That included refusing to force people to close their businesses, keeping schools open, and standing against vaccine mandates. DeSantis added that those decisions resulted in attacks from the mainstream media and government officials worldwide, but his administration stood firm.

DeSantis went on to say that leadership requires standing against such attacks and said he was happy to take those “arrows” to protect his constituents. He said when people witnessed that, it drew them to Florida because it was a “refuge of sanity.”

As part of that “refuge of sanity,” DeSantis said Florida chose law and order over rioting and disorder. He said that when riots broke out in 2020, he immediately called out the National Guard to quash them. Then he moved to enact legislation protecting the police and their funding and said that anyone who riots in Florida isn’t getting a “slap on the wrist” but instead gets the “inside of a jail cell.”

Businesses are still closed after riots and looting following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., on July 27, 2020. (Meiling Lee/The Epoch Times)

DeSantis added that if any prosecutors try to pick and choose which laws to enforce, he immediately removes them from their posts.

Further, DeSantis said to resounding applause that Florida has chosen “education over indoctrination” and noted that Florida protects parental rights over their children. He said his administration believes parents have a fundamental role in raising their children and, as a result, he’s expanded school scholarships, so parents have more choices in education.

Pointedly, DeSantis stated that schools are not a place for “ideology” and said Florida banned Critical Race Theory in K-12 schools. He added that in Florida, they don’t teach children to hate themselves or each other and instead teach the history of the United States and what it means to “be an American.” The governor said he wouldn’t allow inappropriate content in elementary school, referencing the gender ideology curriculum.

All of this, DeSantis said in conclusion, is his administration’s willingness to stand against the “woke mind virus” that’s destroying society. He said people see the insanity of “woke ideology,” his administration’s appeal and return to common sense, and his “courage to lead,” and that’s why Florida experienced a red wave.

“Guess what? When you stand up for what’s right, when you show people you’re willing to fight for them, they will walk over broken glass barefoot to come vote for you. And that’s exactly what they did for me on Nov. 8 in record numbers,” DeSantis said.

He finished by saying that people respond to “strong leadership,” and if Republicans want to win going forward, they need to remember that to attract voters from across the political sphere.

Lost Red Wave

Before the Nov. 8 election, many political models estimated a red wave of up to 45 House seats because of President Joe Biden’s unpopularity, the struggling economy, and the past precedent of the majority party losing seats in a midterm. That didn’t pan out, however.

Instead, while Republicans managed to eke out a slim majority in the House, they lost at least one seat in the Senate—the Senate runoff results in Georgia could exacerbate that or return the Senate to a 50-50 split. Consequently, the 2022 midterms were considered a decisive win for Biden and his administration.

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