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Florida was already the best state to live in prior to the pandemic due to our beautiful beaches, great weather and low taxes. Now – after witnessing disastrous mismanagement by other states and countries over the past two years – Floridians should stop and reflect this Thanksgiving on just how much better it is to live here rather than in Fauci-worshipping dystopias like New York and Michigan.
Despite what the media may tell you, the true facts are that as we approach Thanksgiving, you are currently residing in a state with the lowest number of COVID cases and deaths in the country.
Meanwhile, liberal havens once lauded for their strict, authoritarian and “science-based” approaches to the virus – such as New Zealand and California – are spiking to some of the worst numbers seen since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s not a horrific Cuomo-nursing home spike, but it’s still pretty bad given that the overwhelming majority of people living in these liberal havens are vaccinated.
Controversial public policies such as mandatory masking, business shutdowns, curfews and school closures have had no discernible effect on the pandemic. At this point any assertion otherwise is absurd, and this should be obvious to anyone who is willing to think for themselves.
Yet common sense and basic concepts – like supply and demand, natural immunity, fundamental human behavior and remedial statistics and economics – were long ago tossed into the ocean below the backlogged container ships off California’s coast.
Even worse the mainstream media continue to cling to falsehoods, and they aren't doing so just to keep you afraid and obedient. They are also doing so to avoid having to admit that they were wrong – and that they are responsible for ruining millions of lives.
Fortunately Gov. Ron DeSantis and our other conservative leaders have maintained normalcy in Florida while the majority of America has been succumbing to tyrannical government overreach. Millions of Floridians have kept their jobs and our tourism has continued to thrive – all while we stay just as safe as people in any other state.
But here's what is even more important: Our state-level politicians have not sacrificed the basic human freedoms and rights that many other politicians elsewhere have trampled upon. For example, Austria is now locking down its unvaccinated citizens and effectively segregating them from the vaccinated. And over the past two years millions of people around the world have lost swaths of freedom that they will never get back.
This has not happened to Floridians because conservatives have kept Florida free. But we have not only kept Florida free – we have also strengthened it significantly.
We strengthened election integrity laws by putting guardrails in place so that Mark Zuckerberg can’t pay off our Supervisor of Elections offices in 2024 as he did in 2020.
We achieved medical freedom for individuals by rejecting President Joe Biden’s mandates; now you cannot be fired over your medical history, your children are allowed to breathe air freely and you cannot be forced to wear masks.
We prevented QR code vaccine passports that would have been required to attend large events.
And you can even take a cruise out of Florida – because we conservatives have kept the ports open!
Also – unlike Los Angeles, Portland, Minnesota and other locations across the country – we managed to come out of the summer of riots without our downtowns burning to the ground. While other places are defunding their police departments, we are strengthening ours and attracting the best officers in the country to move to a state where we actually respect first responders.
In amazing fashion we have kept our budget balanced through an open and functional economy; meanwhile, other states have bankrupted themselves for years to come by imposing shutdowns that ended up chasing away entrepreneurs.
On top of all these conservative accomplishments, you can also add the following:
• We are protecting our Everglades.
• Property values for homes across our state have increased significantly.
• Our teachers are receiving raises.
I’m not the only one who thinks Florida is great; why don’t you just ask one of your new neighbors why they moved here? We’ve added 1.5 million residents since 2016, and we are the No. 1 destination for refugees from liberal states. Each one of them seems just as thankful to be in Florida as would someone coming to our state from communist Cuba or Venezuela.
The absolute best news of all is that Florida is redistricting this year, and there is a great chance that the same wonderful people who kept us free during the pandemic are going to keep this up for the next 10 years!
There is no sign of the Republican Party slowing down in Florida, and we appear to be attracting more and more people who lean conservative to live here. Registered Republicans just surpassed the number of registered Democrats for the first time in Florida’s history. So if you’re a progressive Democrat still reading this piece, it’s time for you to pack up and move to a state that better fits your ideology.
Why? Because we bleed red here now, not purple. And your party is going to take a lot of "Ls" – better known as "losses" – in 2022.
Speaking of "taking Ls," we need to stop everything and be thankful that Democrat candidate Andrew Gillum lost to DeSantis in the 2018 governor's race; if that had not happened, none of the great things we have seen take place would have been possible.
A Gov. Gillum would have surely put Florida on the path to becoming Eastern Portland; instead Florida has become a shining "State Upon a Hill" – and it will be one for the foreseeable future.
So on this Thanksgiving here's my suggestion for all Floridians as we gather around our holiday tables:
Give thanks for having Ron DeSantis as our governor - and also give thanks for the sound conservative policies that are keeping our state free and prosperous.
Jake Hoffman is president of the Tampa Bay Young Republicans. He is the CEO of Invasion Digital Media and host of the weekly internet show "Moderately Outraged."
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Floridians should be thankful for Gov. Ron DeSantis' leadership