Florida governor is like Donald Trump with brains

Ron DeSantis knows exactly how to heat up a room. He strings together the keywords: "Faucism", "establishment in Washington", "woke gender ideology" and "critical race theory". He says a radical left-wing doctrine is spreading - in schools, in universities, in media houses and also in "Big Tech", the technology companies on the West Coast. Again and again the speech of the governor of Florida interrupted by loud applause.

Majid Sattar

Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.

Throughout the day, the participants of the "National Conservatism Conference" in a suburb of Miami heard the lectures of self-declared conservative masterminds. The appearance of the heater DeSantis is the highlight of the conference. He is the standard-bearer of the Republicans in the American Kulturkampf.

Florida, he says, is the "citadel of liberty." The states are the “laboratories of democracy”. The phrase comes from a former constitutional judge who said federal competition keeps states jockeying for the best ideas. Of course, DeSantis does not see the Sunshine State as a laboratory for socio-political experiments and large-scale educational policy experiments, but as a libertarian pioneer – and as an antithesis California. That is over-regulated and overpriced and has capitulated to homelessness and crime.

Trump senses competition

DeSantis' track record can be viewed as a campaign speech for November's gubernatorial election, though he does flirtation with broader ambitions. On stage that evening he is introduced as the "future president". And he doesn't feel compelled to deny that. The conference, organized by the Edmund Burke Foundation, is a gathering of the intellectual vanguard of the New Right. Most of them are white men. They want to defend "national independence" - not only against authoritarian imperialists like China and Russia, but also against "liberal imperialism" and "globalism".

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