Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the need to “fumigate” the federal bureaucracy during a recent interview, citing the latest “Top Gun” movie to illustrate his point.
DeSantis, appearing on the Aug. 13 episode of the Glenn Beck Show, blasted the Department of Defense for not living up to the standards of the durable Tom Cruise franchise.
“DOD! I take my son to watch “Top Gun: Maverick,” right? And you’re proud of seeing the pilots and all that. Then in real life, what’s the Navy doing? They’re focusing on pronouns and all these other things, this woke garbage, while China’s laughing at us,” DeSantis lamented.
DeSantis said that “10 years ago, if you’d asked (him) about the Department of Education, EPA, IRS,” he would have agreed with Beck about their superfluous nature.
“I would have been right there with you,” DeSantis assured the interviewer.
But that wasn’t the case with the Department of Defense.
“If you had asked me about DOD or the FBI or some of those, you know, I was in the military. I worked with some of these people. I would have said, ‘No, those are good.’ I can’t think of any agency that is performing to the benefit of the American people,” DeSantis added.
DeSantis has used the Top Gun reboot as a refrain at more than one public appearance this year, even before seeing the flick.
“I do want to see it at some point. I think it’s just, you know, it’s like any movie that’s not, like, overwhelmingly woke can actually appeal to normal people,” DeSantis said on June 9.
Later that month, he invoked the movie in contending he doesn’t poll.
“Too many politicians, they get paralyzed by these polls,” he continued. “A leader needs to understand where ‘true north’ is. You know, have you guys seen ‘Top Gun: Maverick‘? The Navy, like, we always know where true north is … these ships are out there, you’ve got these planes landing on the carrier, the jets,” DeSantis said, calling their efforts “really impressive” in remarks to the Boys State Program.
The DeSantis political operation also has pushed tribute merchandise, including black-and-white T-shirts ($30), posters ($25), and koozies (two for $15).
For DeSantis, the brand synergy has offered a convenient narrative hook. DeSantis was a commissioned U.S. Navy JAG Officer deployed in the Global War on Terror as an adviser to a U.S. Navy SEAL Commander in support of the SEAL mission in Iraq, where DeSantis earned a Bronze Star.