Florida Is Not For Freedom

Thomas F Campenni
3 min readAug 22, 2022

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We hear much from Governor DeSantis in regard to the state of freedom in Florida.

His idea of freedom is that if you agree with everything he says and does, then you are free. The same could be said for leaders such as Trump, Erdogan, Orban, Xi, and Putin. No problem if you give unadulterated praise and fealty to your “Dear Leader.”

Freedom and agreement in the concept of modern-day Florida politics is one and the same. You can only be free by adhering 100% to the DeSantis agenda. If for any reason you cannot then it is impossible to be free. Place your logic aside when you enter the Florida zone.

DeSantis didn’t start out that way. He just was smart enough to catch the wave and jump on. Like all good anti-democrats, he took a scintilla of truth and fabricated the rest. It is not a coincidence that he didn’t pick white nationalists to go against. That is his aggrieved base. He learned from Trump, who is the master of marshalling aggrievement and resentment.

It is easy to rail against LGBTQ Americans. A few, as in any movement, were more flamboyant and therefore threatening the supposed manliness of his base. Governor DeSantis could sweep in and protect the good Christian white Americans from the filth of the degenerates.

The same with Blacks, Jews, and immigrants. It is easy to pick out a Black and immigrant in a crowd by skin color or accent. Jews take a bit more discernment to identify but, once done, it is easy to extoll them as non-believers in Jesus and therefore inherently evil. Of course, Jesus was a Jew, but he saw the error of his ways and converted.

“Woke” ideology prevails in the DeSantis kingdom. If I could banish one word from use, it would be Woke. It is as idiotic sounding as Defund the Police which was supposedly the Democrat position last year. Now the governor and his minions are saying that they should defund the FBI and the IRS. “Animal Farm” is alive and well in post “1984” America.

Four years ago, I voted for Ron DeSantis because I thought he was a conservative. I think some of his policies are the right ones. But his rhetoric outweighs the good. He is just another populist anti-democratic mini tyrant who won’t get my vote this time.

His ilk is moving in the direction of not caring about the vote. Little by little, what was once my Republican party has morphed into everything we should despise as Americans. You hear it in their speeches which are full of codewords such as “we are not a democracy but a republic.” That is the preparation for even a further adulteration of the concept of one person, one vote.

DeSantis’ revised civics curriculum should go into the concepts of republic and democracy. The People’s Republic of China is an undemocratic republic. Are we aiming for that level of repression? The U.K., Sweden, and Norway are monarchies and not republics, but they are democracies. The two concepts are not mutually incompatible.

I can debate with a Democrat, and I can cheer for Liz Cheney because they believe in a pluralistic nation. An American should not be defined by his color, ethnic group, or religion. An American is defined by his fealty to the idea of liberty and the acceptance of differing points of view. Freedom is choice…not servitude to a petty tyrant spouting euphemisms.

Nearly 80 years ago, Orwell wrote the definitive tale about what happens when we lose the right to dissent. Napoleon, the pig in Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” goes from liberator to tyrant by using the power of language and his personal Praetorian Guard to remain in power. He ultimately bastardizes a phrase of equality to that of tyranny. “All animals are equal…but some are more equal than others.”

DeSantis has instituted his election police force and his state guard not subject to federalization. He is now getting down to the use of language to finish off his coup. Now that is “Woke.”

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Thomas F Campenni

Currently lives in Stuart Florida and former City Commissioner. His career has been as a commercial real estate owner, broker and manager in New York City.