'Orwellian' DeSantis is just as bad as Trump — and we need to keep an eye on him: conservative pundit
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and President Donald Trump (Photo: White House)

Some pundits have joked that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is the "smart" version of Donald Trump. In her Monday column, Washington Post reporter Jennifer Rubin explained he's just as extreme, if not more so, because he's enacted far-right policies.

Her first example is the "Stop WOKE Act," where DeSantis has used the government to attack teachers, women, people of color and LGBTQ people by claiming that children are in danger. Rubin called it DeSantis' "Orwellian scheme" trying to muzzle discussions of race, racism, sexism and homophobia.

"That opinion — as well as other rulings against his attempts to inhibit dissent — makes clear that DeSantis is just as willing as Trump to embrace the GOP’s authoritarian element and use state power to punish his enemies," said Rubin.

U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker wrote in his recent ruling, “The law officially bans professors from expressing disfavored viewpoints in university classrooms while permitting unfettered expression of the opposite viewpoints.”

He continued, writing, “Defendants argue that, under this Act, professors enjoy ‘academic freedom’ so long as they express only those viewpoints of which the State approves.”

"That is the essence of authoritarianism. DeSantis’s willingness to back such a monstrous violation of free expression should send up warning flags about his commitment to uphold the Constitution," she said.

"DeSantis’s contempt for dissent and his crackdown on critics should not be discounted. This is the profile of a constitutional ignoramus, a bully and a strongman. Voters should be forewarned," Rubin closed.

Read the full column here.