Photo: Marco Bello/Reuters

Gov. Ron DeSantis proposes Florida State Guard

December 3, 2021

~ 4 minutes read

On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “announced more than $100 million in funding proposals to support Florida’s National Guard and establish the Florida State Guard, a civilian volunteer force that will assist the National Guard in state-specific emergencies.”
What else is each side focusing on?
  • DeSantis is trying to create a private personal militia under his control.
  • He wants the force to be outside of federal control.
  • The Florida State Guard has been defunct since World War II.
  • The proposed force is only 200 people who will be unarmed.
  • It will exist to help out in emergencies, such as hurricanes.
  • 22 states already have such a force, including liberal states like New York and California.
The Narrative

DeSantis is trying to build a taxpayer-funded personal militia — a move reminiscent of authoritarian leaders abroad. 

This is a frightening move by a leader who has already shown authoritarian tendencies and a transparent attempt to expand his power.

Nothing about this is authoritarian.

DeSantis merely wants to replicate what already exists in many states — an unarmed force that he can direct to help out in emergencies. 

The liberal media is covering this like it’s the end of the world, when it’s actually commonplace and harmless.

How could a reasonable person come to think this?
  • Skepticism and distrust of a governor who doesn’t share the left’s values.
  • DeSantis has implemented many policies the left doesn’t approve of.
  • Shared values with and trust in Gov. DeSantis based on his prior actions.
  • Distrust of the media, who the right sees as biased in favor of the left.

What else is the left focusing on?

  • DeSantis is trying to create a private personal militia under his control.
  • He wants the force to be outside of federal control.
  • The Florida State Guard has been defunct since World War II.

 

The narrative: DeSantis is trying to build a taxpayer-funded personal militia — a move reminiscent of authoritarian leaders abroad. 

This is a frightening move by a leader who has already shown authoritarian tendencies and a transparent attempt to expand his power.

 

How could a reasonable person come to think this?

  • Skepticism and distrust of a governor who doesn’t share the left’s values.
  • DeSantis has implemented many policies the left doesn’t approve of.

What else is the right focusing on?

  • The proposed force is only 200 people who will be unarmed.
  • It will exist to help out in emergencies, such as hurricanes.
  • 22 states already have such a force, including liberal states like New York and California.

The narrative: Nothing about this is authoritarian.

DeSantis merely wants to replicate what already exists in many states — an unarmed force that he can direct to help out in emergencies. 

The liberal media is covering this like it’s the end of the world, when it’s actually commonplace and harmless.

How could a reasonable person come to think this?

  • Shared values with and trust in Gov. DeSantis based on his prior actions.
  • Distrust of the media, who the right sees as biased in favor of the left.

Many of our opinions are formed upon our gut instinct on new information — in this case, the instinct tends to follow our prior view of Governor DeSantis. 

The Florida Governor has made many high-profile, divisive policy decisions in the past couple of years, including decisions on more lax COVID-19 policies and banning critical race theory in classrooms. This means that some will instinctively see him as an ally, while others instinctively see him as an existential threat.

Notable Amplifiers

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