Opinion: Don’t lose your freedoms  — vote for Ron DeSantis

I don’t go to college with the end goal of paying high taxes when I graduate. Why should you?


Ron DeSantis wants to protect citizens’ rights to bear arms and plans to lower taxes across the state, should he win the election. Photo courtesy of Flickr

Ross Mellman, Opinion Editor

This piece is one of two opinion articles concerning the Nov. 6 election, with the other advocating for governor candidate and Democrat Andrew Gillum. You can read it here

If you do not want sanctuary cities in Florida, if you are sick of giving away too much of your paycheck in taxes, and if you support your right to defend yourself, then Republican Ron DeSantis is the Florida governor candidate for you.


The main difference in platforms between DeSantis and his competitor, Democrat Andrew Gillum, is that DeSantis wants to give you a chance to make your own decisions.


If you want to start a business, you shouldn’t be prevented by high taxes and stiff regulations. If you want to want to obtain a college degree, you shouldn’t have to pay for the competitor sitting next to you to get the same degree. If you’re healthy and you don’t want to pay for an unnecessary health care plan that you won’t use, you shouldn’t be forced to pay for yourself or for anyone else to obtain one.


But Gillum doesn’t want you to have a choice.


DeSantis will safeguard your hard-earned money


There is no such thing as “free” goods and services in this country. Tallahassee Mayor Gillum wants college to be “debt free,” and institute “medicare for all” — but both of those come with a price.


Instead of paying for something for yourself at your own choice, you’ll be forced to pay for everyone else against your will in the form of increased taxes.


Want to pay upfront for your own college career and never pay again once you pay off your own debt? Too bad. Give the government your money to pay for your degree, along with everyone else’s, for the rest of your life.


Want to decrease medical costs by maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle so that you don’t wind up with health problems? Too bad. Give the government your money to buy a health care plan you won’t use and pay for the health care of someone who smokes multiple packs a day while eating chips on the couch.


Want to go to a trade school or start a business without paying for a college degree? Too bad. Give the government your money to pay for your competitor to go to college.


And once the value of an undergraduate degree plummets even further because everyone lacks the personal responsibility to succeed in school, which comes along with paying for your own pursuit of a college degree, they’ll be asking you to pay for everyone to go to graduate school next.


Taxes suck, and I for one do not want to spend my time and effort in college with the end goal of giving nearly half of my income in taxes to a state and government that will waste my hard-earned money.


Unfortunately, people think they have a right to other people’s money these days, and they plan on using the government to take and distribute it to them. People should have the freedom to spend their money on things that will benefit themselves. If they want to donate their money toward other people’s benefit they should also be free to do that.


Being forced by the government to pay for something for everyone else is detrimental to people’s personal freedoms, and it takes away your right to choose what you want to spend your money on.


Anytime a candidate tells you that you will be getting something for free, do not believe them.


DeSantis, on the other hand, wants to lower your taxes and give you more control over where your paycheck goes.


The Republican candidate currently supports the Fair Tax Act, which is a proposed legislation that will lower taxes and end wasteful government spending. If he becomes governor, he promises to veto any legislation that raises taxes in the state.


This stands in stark contrast to Gillum, who has proposed a corporate tax hike of 40 percent. This will make Florida have the highest corporate tax rate in the southeast region and will make the state a less desirable place to start a new business. People often forget that corporations are businesses — and businesses employ people. The last thing we need is our businesses fleeing to other states that will offer lower tax plans.


DeSantis will protect your right to defend yourself


Just as Gillum doesn’t want you to have the choice to decide how you’ll pay for your education or health care, he wants to prevent you from choosing how you can defend yourself or your family.


Gillum wants to play on your emotions to help strike away your Second Amendment right to defend yourself.


This is evidenced in part by the “Gun Safety” page on his campaign website, which reads “No parent should lose sleep wondering if a stray bullet will take their baby that day.”


Does anybody actually go to sleep with that fear, or is this just a ridiculous case of the Democrats using scare tactics to promote gun control?


At the same time, it should be noted that not all Republicans are against all elements of gun control.


Current Florida Governor Rick Scott did the right thing when he raised the age of purchase to 21 years old. As a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, DeSantis voted in favor the Stop School Violence Act of 2018, which provided federal grants to improve school safety against active shooters.


This doesn’t mean that we should then go off the rails and ban many vital elements of the Second Amendment that help keep us safe from criminals who will always be able to obtain weapons through illegal methods.


Gillum’s campaign website promotes “a ban on assault weapons, and large capacity magazines,” yet another way he wants to limit your freedoms.


But DeSantis is aware that placing gun control on law-abiding gun owners will only have the effect of making innocent people defenseless against criminals.


He rightfully said, “We could ban every gun in the world, in America … What do you think that’s going to do to crime? Nothing!”


Desantis will make our communities safer


The Republican candidate stands for the safety of Floridians and supports our law enforcement. Unlike Gillum, he does not support the banning of law enforcement agencies, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement, nor does he support a reduction in our safety in order to appease illegal immigrants.


DeSantis has a proven record of backing law enforcement, as evidenced by his vote in favor or the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, which allows targeted attacks on law enforcement to be deemed a hate crime.


He also voted in favor of the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, which appropriates funds for fighting the opioid crisis.


Meanwhile, Gillum has a proven record of incompetence when it comes to keeping our communities safe.


Last year, under Gillum’s leadership, Tallahassee had the highest crime rate in the entire state of Florida. Yet, even with this horrendous statistic, his website reads “As Governor, Andrew will never back down from common sense solutions to keep our streets, parks, and schools safe from gun violence.”


If Gillum had “common sense solutions” to keep the community safe, then why was the city that he controlled a beacon for crime and murder?


It’s because Gillum is weak on crime and illegal immigration. In July, he pledged to “abolish ICE.” He also wants to turn Florida into a sanctuary region, which would limit the state’s cooperation with federal law enforcement when it comes to detaining illegal immigrants.


This would mean that illegal immigrants who commit crimes in Florida would be allowed back onto the streets, as Gillum would not honor federal detainers rights to keep them in custody.

Gillum has additionally pledged his support to a group called Dream Defenders, a radical anti-law enforcement group whose website states that police are racist and have no place in society.

This is a group who espouses that “police and prisons have no place in justice” and supports diverting funds away from law enforcement agencies.


While Gillum says he has what it takes to keep you safe, his policies and the groups that he supports show that he hasn’t the slightest clue.


DeSantis has my support — and he should have yours too


I believe that America has been the most free country because we are not forced to act in favor of things that go against our core beliefs as individuals.


For the longest time we were not forced to buy things that did not benefit ourselves. We were not told how or in what ways we should or should not be allowed to defend our families.  


Gillum and the Democrats do not want our freedom of choice to continue in the future.


They want to force you to pay for everyone’s education, even if you have already fully paid for your own.


They want to make you buy health care coverage for yourself, and for everyone else, even if you are young and healthy.


They want to tell you how you should be able to defend your family, even if the criminals have better weapons to use against you.


Do not let them tell you how to think or act, and do not let them decide for you what you should or should not pay for.


DeSantis is going to uphold your freedoms, and for that reason, he has my vote and he should have yours too.


Ross Mellman is the opinion editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RossMellman.