Yesterday Governor Ron DeSantis proposed re-establishing Florida’s State Guard and some in the media are acting like there’s something very sinister about this.
First, here’s the announcement:
I am proposing more than $100 million for our National Guard, active-duty military and veterans, and to re-establish the Florida State Guard to assist our National Guard in state-specific emergencies.
I am committed to supporting our military and keeping our state safe.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 2, 2021
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 2, 2021
CNN put out a news story with a headline that makes this sound very unusual and menacing:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to reestablish a World War II-era civilian military force that he, not the Pentagon, would control.
DeSantis pitched the idea Thursday as a way to further support the Florida National Guard during emergencies, like hurricanes. The Florida National Guard has also played a vital role during the pandemic in administering Covid-19 tests and distributing vaccines.
But in a nod to the growing tension between Republican states and the Biden administration over the National Guard, DeSantis also said this unit, called the Florida State Guard, would be “not encumbered by the federal government.” He said this force would give him “the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.” DeSantis is proposing bringing it back with a volunteer force of 200 civilians, and he is seeking $3.5 million from the state legislature in startup costs to train and equip them.
Notice how they emphasize that it’s a civilian military force the Pentagon, nor the federal government, would control. SCARRRREEEYYY.
Of course they quote Charlie Crist and other Democrats fearmongering about this:
Democrats in Florida immediately expressed alarm at DeSantis’ announcement. US Rep. Charlie Crist, who is running as a Democrat to challenge the governor in 2022, tweeted, “No Governor should have his own handpicked secret police.”
State Sen. Annette Taddeo, another gubernatorial candidate, wrote on Twitter that DeSantis was a “wannabe dictator trying to make his move for his own vigilante militia like we’ve seen in Cuba.”
Consider this and then check out their 4th paragraph noting that 22 other states these same civilian military forces, including California, New York, and Texas:
States have the power to create defense forces separate from the national guard, though not all of them use it. If Florida moves ahead with DeSantis’ plan to reestablish the civilian force, it would become the 23rd active state guard in the country, DeSantis’ office said in a press release, joining California, Texas and New York. These guards are little-known auxiliary forces with origins dating back to the advent of state militias in the 18th century. While states and the Department of Defense share control of the National Guard, state guards are solely in the power of a governor.
So what’s the big deal? Florida has had one in the past and 22 other states still have them, including large Democrat states like New York and California. Florida is simply doing what nearly half the country is already doing.
It’s just another effort by the media to misinform and demonize DeSantis because he’s the most popular Republican Governor in the country who could be our next president.