Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, like many a New York progressive, headed down to the Sunshine State recently.

First she was photographed having a drink with her ginger boyfriend. The youngish lovebirds were having a grand old time, and to that, as a Miami native and a lover of all things 305, I say, good for them. That’s what Miami’s here for, even for the haters.

AOC is a hater, no doubt, what with her DeSantis-bashing and insufferable histrionics, but a moron she is not. She may be a ditz, but like Trump, she has a preternatural understanding of the...

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, like many a New York progressive, headed down to the Sunshine State recently.

First she was photographed having a drink with her ginger boyfriend. The youngish lovebirds were having a grand old time, and to that, as a Miami native and a lover of all things 305, I say, good for them. That’s what Miami’s here for, even for the haters.

AOC is a hater, no doubt, what with her DeSantis-bashing and insufferable histrionics, but a moron she is not. She may be a ditz, but like Trump, she has a preternatural understanding of the social media political ecosystem and how to manipulate it.

That’s why she decided to come to Miami and decided to be photographed, smiling and maskless.

AOC was not caught. The fools have taken the bait and attacked her for her apparent blunder. But her ridiculous response when the picture dropped — that everyone is obsessed with having sex with her — prove that, like Trump during his Twitter heyday, if you go at her, you’ll come off looking like a fool when she performs her ditzy rope-a-dope and drags you into her political dumpster fire of inanity and idiocy. You might even end up trashing the ginger’s unfortunate footwear, à la Steve Cortes.

AOC’s trip to Miami was the ultimate troll job, but it also betrayed a truth that many progressives and long-time Florida haters have sensed but haven’t been able to admit to themselves: Florida, thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis and his understanding of the ascendant Floridian ethos of anti-technocratic Americanism, is no longer the state of “Florida Man.” Instead, it’s where the political ideas and policies that will resist AOC and her progressive-minded ilk are being developed.

Florida is where the battle for the soul of the country is being waged. Now that it is a “serious state” and the antithesis of the bureaucratic dystopia of the blue state, AOC and her fellow progressives will do their best to play up its tropical playground nature while downplaying its newfound position as the great resistor to blue-state technocracy.

The progressive narrative is heavily invested in the idea of “Florida Man” and the red state rube, which is why DeSantis, even though he’s a graduate of elite institutions and has proven himself a formidable political operator, is still framed by Democrats as a bumbling idiot.

Once again, Democrats are betraying their true beliefs when they mock DeSantis — as AOC did on her recent visit. The more they frame him as the Florida Man fool, the more they’re signaling that they believe him to be anything but.

While she was in town, AOC, predictably, was photographed hanging out with drag queens on South Beach, in yet another highly curated and politically savvy photoshoot. Those drag queens, no doubt, are as woke as they are tacky. Yet here was AOC playing to a progressive audience that lives and dies for men in drag, while once again signaling that Florida is a silly, silly place.

If AOC wanted to go full Miami, she should have ditched the ginger with the drag queens and hit up a local joint with some tried-and-true Latinas to twerk the night away. But she’s too Latinx for that, of course.

AOC’s South Florida jaunt also coincided with the left’s ridiculous “DeSantis disappearance” narrative, which is how she was able to spin her maskless misbehavior as a rebuke of the governor who’d gone mysteriously AWOL. Of course, DeSantis wasn’t gone at all, but tending to his cancer-stricken wife. Still, AOC attempted to frame DeSantis as derelict, and Florida as a fancy-free haven for drag queens.

As DeSantis solidifies himself as the face of the GOP and Florida becomes the blueprint for other red states, AOC, and other progressive haters, will keep visiting. They will attempt to make a mockery of a state that is no longer the butt of liberal jokes, but the epicenter of a new Americanism liberated from the clutches of bureaucratic safetyism.

AOC’s trolling expedition ended the only way she surely dreamed it up — she contracted Covid. Her progressive fans didn’t blame her for breaking blue-state mask protocols, but the state of Florida itself for infecting her with the virus. It was big, bad, stupid Florida, where DeSantis personally cooks up his ultra-virulent Florida Man variant, that was to blame for the wilting AOC’s condition.

DeSantis is brewing something highly contagious — the Florida freedom virus. Frustrated blue staters are actively coming down to Florida and contracting it, and such is its potency that it’s infecting Americans thousands of miles away who have never been to Florida.

The new Florida Man is everywhere, and AOC, along with the ginger and the drag queens, can do nothing about it.