Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) continues to amass criticism from political rivals. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D), who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016, penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg, who's financially invested in the upcoming midterm election, criticized DeSantis, accusing him of ushering in a "woke" effort of "Republican censorship."
Simultaneously criticizing both Democrats and Republicans regarding censorship, Bloomberg argued that "Ron DeSantis' efforts to control educational and corporate speech are no better than the left's."
Democrats have often commented that DeSantis is displaying authoritarian strategies, which garnered disapproval from political figures like California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), who released advertisements in the Sunshine State attracting Floridians to move to the west for more freedoms.
In the op-ed, Bloomberg writes that "Republicans often rightly complain that college campuses are hostile to the free exchange of ideas," saying that "speakers over the past decade have regularly been disinvited, shouted down and even physically attacked by student activists unwilling to entertain different ideas and perspectives." He called these efforts "anathema to a university’s mission and deeply damaging to our nation."
Bloomberg then laments that Republicans are not providing the correct response to the issue, writing that "unfortunately, instead of taking a principled stand for free speech, many Republicans are now saying: 'If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.'"
On social media, Bloomberg shared the article, saying that "colleges that don't expose students to challenging and uncomfortable ideas fail their pupils - and students' ability to debate ideas openly is critical to that."
The free exchange of ideas in classrooms is critical to higher education and democratic society.
A new law in Florida seeks to limit open debate - and the future of the country rests on the commitment of higher-education leaders to defend it. https://t.co/NjPKa6yj0M
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) August 15, 2022