Ron DeSantis rolling out foreign policy...through Florida policy initiative

AP Photo/John Raoux

Governor Ron DeSantis is definitely running for president. At least my heart and my gut are telling me that.

I could be wrong because I have a bad heart and my intestinal flora are probably messed up, but I am pretty sure I have it right this time.

Today DeSantis rolled out a set of Florida policies that give a broad hint–like really broad–of how he would approach foreign policy. And that policy would be very tough on adversaries of the United States.

In a press conference today he announced a series of initiatives that would inhibit the spread of Chinese Communist Party influence, and the influence of other “countries of interest.”

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced executive action and legislative proposals to address threats posed by the Communist Party of China and other hostile foreign powers in cyberspace, real estate, and academia. These measures will curtail the nefarious intentions of all seven countries on Florida’s list of countries of concern, making it more difficult for China, Cuba, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or Venezuela to engage in espionage or influence operations within Florida’s borders and preventing purchases of agricultural land and lands surrounding military bases by those governments or their agents. Details on today’s announcement can be found here.
DeSantis is taking a hard line on foreign policy. By that I do not mean an aggressive line. He has not put a Ukraine flag on his Twitter feed or anything. But he is signaling that his approach would definitely prioritize American interests over trying to make nice with people who hate our guts.
“From server farms to farmland, the Communist Party of China has been worming its way into our nation’s data storage systems and buying up tracts of land near sensitive national security sites,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “By prohibiting the purchase of lands, state contracts with Chinese technology firms, and the infiltration of CCP-affiliated groups such as Confucius Institutes, Florida is leading the way to protect our nation from international foes.”
You can bet that universities will go crazy over banning Chinese funding for Confucius Institutes. The Chinese funnel zillions of dollars into our academic institutions through these front groups, and lots of people are on that gravy train. Cutting off those dollars means both cutting off some of the incentive to shill for China, but equally it means that some academics will actually have to earn money honestly. They hate that.
The big areas he is focusing on are cybersecurity, prohibiting the purchasing of farmland and land around military bases, and influence operations. All these are common sense, but none of them is a high priority for the current president.
DeSantis is making the case for why he should be the de facto leader of the Republican Party, and in my opinion he is doing a great job of it. I suspect a growing number of Americans feel the same way.
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