Lifelong Florida Democrats are rejecting their party’s waking politics and instead supporting Governor Ron DeSantis, according to a report from Bari Weiss’ new media outlet, The Free Press (“FP”).
“DeSantis Democrats” described a variety of reasons, from rising inflation and COVID lockdowns to their party’s intolerance of differing viewpoints and embracing identity politics, as reasons for voting Republican in their state’s November red wave.
These ex-Democrats felt “condescended to” and “let down” by their party’s embrace of progressive politics, the report said.
“You have to have a marquee that’s really diverse, and you don’t do that by calling people with different points of view bad,” said former Democrat Daren Dillinger, 54, an information technology specialist from Jacksonville.
Dillinger felt “nostalgic for the days when you could disagree with your party on a few issues and still call it home,” the report said. While he supported his party on some issues, he disagreed with the Democrats’ language police.
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“He’s had three doses of the Covid vaccine and he’s all for transgender rights, but he’s tired of other progressives looking for all the ways he’s not perfect, the wrong words slipping out of his mouth, the incorrect opinions he expressed,” the report stated.
Dillinger described how he no longer has a political party, but connects with other “disgruntled Democrats” like him in a Facebook group he started.
Another ex-Democrat, Colombian immigrant Carolina Castillo, told the FP she used to be a “progressive activist” who was the “biggest advocate” of the Democratic Party.
Castillo was “angry” after progressives in a group she volunteered for told her to “check her privileges” because she appeared white. Not only that, she didn’t come from an affluent upbringing; her parents were waiters.
“I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I’m Latina – what are you talking about?'” she told the outlet.
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Castillo was also angry when the Biden administration chose to remove the Colombian rebel group FARC from its list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2021.
When Governor DeSantis scolded the White House about the move, it was “like music to Colombians all over Florida who thought the world had gone crazy.”
“Did the White House really not know these were Marxist guerrillas?” she vented to the FP. That decision really “opened” her mind, she acknowledged.
“I was like, ‘No, I’m aligned with Ron DeSantis. I agree with him against these socialist dictators. I’m aligned with him with Covid,” Castillo said.
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But loyal Florida Democrats blamed their base’s poor turnout on Republicans flipping liberal strongholds in the state.
In the midterm elections, the Republicans flipped blue counties that Biden won in 2020, such as Miami-Dade County.
Democrat adviser Even Pérez-Verdia was convinced that someone “with principles” would never defect to the Republican Party. However, she admitted that not only the Democrats who voted for DeSantis were disappointed in their party.
“There’s a lot of denial and they act like it’s just MAGA people,” she told the FP. “There are a lot of people who feel that way.”