Ron DeSantis Takes Aim at California and Promotes His Vision of Americanism

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently took aim at California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library, claiming that Newsom was “very concerned” about what Florida was doing.[0] Recent polls have shown Trump leading DeSantis by 15 points in the Republican primary.[1] In his new book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” DeSantis argues that “the concept of ‘Americanism’ dates to the colonial era” and has been used by individuals across the political spectrum to promote both inclusive and exclusive visions of citizenship.[2]

The state of Florida designed a course to ensure that no high school student be tempted by communism and defined Americanism as “the recognition of the truth that the inherent and fundamental rights of man are derived from God and not from governments, societies, dictators, kings or majorities.”[2] In his book, DeSantis rails against the “legacy media” by which he means The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and so forth.[3] He brands the “national legacy press” as the “pretorian guard of the nation’s failed ruling class” and seconds Trump’s claim that the “fake news media” is the “enemy of the American People.”[3]

DeSantis also expresses his displeasure at his time at Yale University, where he attended as an undergraduate and experienced “unbridled leftism” on campus which pushed him “far to the right.”[4] In his book, DeSantis admits that he was concerned that voters would be suspicious of his “elite” educational background, though his father told The New Yorker last year that his son getting into Yale University was “still the thing I’m most proud of.”[5]

DeSantis has become a polarizing figure in conservative politics and is reported to be eyeing a run at the White House in 2024.[6] Ahead of his visit to California to appear at the Reagan Library, DeSantis has used his blue state trips to contrast them with Florida and present himself as a combatant against the “woke” left.[0] However, DeSantis has yet to publicly announce if he is running for president.[0]

0. “DeSantis cannonballs into America’s deep blue states for war on ‘woke’ ahead of 2024” The Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2023,

1. “DeSantis readies de facto presidential campaign with national book tour” Axios, 28 Feb. 2023,

2. “The Long History of Conservative Indoctrination in Florida Schools” The Nation, 27 Feb. 2023,

3. “The Courage to be Free review: Ron DeSantis bows and scrapes to Trump” The Guardian, 26 Feb. 2023,

4. “Opinion: Ron DeSantis’ new book offers a powerful warning to the US electorate” CNN, 1 Mar. 2023,

5. “DeSantis bashes his Ivy League education in new book” Business Insider, 27 Feb. 2023,

6. “Ron DeSantis calls Yale degree ‘scarlet letter’ in GOP politics” New Haven Register, 2 Mar. 2023,

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