In his campaign to run for president, Gov. DeSantis is pulling out all the stops to make Florida an independent country.
His latest assault on democracy is an effort to create a civilian military force that would only be answerable to him, not the Pentagon or the president.
Attacking the federal government has been a mainstay in DeSantis's campaign. From resisting COVID-19 legislation to suppressing voters, he has established a hard right-wing cadre of supporters in the Sunshine State.
Yesterday, DeSantis pitched the idea as a way to support the Florida National Guard during emergencies, like hurricanes.
DeSantis is calling the proposed militia unit the Florida State Guard. He bragged that they would "not be encumbered by the federal government" and would only be answerable to him.
In other words, DeSantis would have his own vigilante force to enforce his draconian laws and to defy the government with.
Spurred by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's directive warning that National Guard members who refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus will have their pay withheld and barred from training, DeSantis introduced the plan to have his own personal militia force.
States do have the power to create defense forces separate from the national guard, though not all of them use it.
The Florida State Guard was created in 1941 during World War II as a temporary force to fill the void left behind when the Florida National Guard was deployed to assist in the U.S. combat efforts.
It was disbanded after the war ended.
The reason his plan to create his own secret police force - and they would be just that under him - lies in his insatiable lust for power.
By making Florida a bastion for extremists, DeSantis hopes to capture the votes to get re-elected next year, and eventually to run for the presidency.
His present goal is to make Florida a republic that defies governmental oversight, and caters to conspiracy-loving lunatics who will support his political efforts.
It remains to be seen if Florida taxpayers are ready to fork out millions to satisfy DeSantis's private army.