I loved Florida when I was growing up there—back before The Mouse and an influx of new residents had changed the state forever. Moss-hung live oaks, lazy tannin-stained rivers, palmetto thickets—a quietly rural way of life just beyond the city limits. Mild winters, hot, barefoot summers—but not so hot that a big attic fan couldn’t provide relief.
It was idyllic—if you were white and straight. I remember the separate and unequal facilities, the back of the bus, the segregation. And today it seems as if elements in Florida are working hard to re-disenfranchise great swaths of the population.
I hardly recognize today’s Florida. Unchecked growth and a political mindset that I find abhorrent. Now Gov. DeSantis is pushing for a bill that would require all bloggers writing about him to register with the state.
So, although I’m not the sort of big-name political blogger he’s targeting, I feel compelled to get ahead of this proposed legislation and write about DeSantis.
He's not as tacky or crude as The Former Guy but I find his actions and priorities alarming: banning diversity programs at public universities; allowing the carrying concealed weapons without training or permit; expanding school vouchers, to the certain detriment of public education; adding more restrictions on abortion; redrawing congressional districts to favor Republicans—the list goes on . . .
Get government off our back—isn’t this one of the GOP’s watchwords? With DeSantis, government is in the bedroom, the classroom, and the media. Yes, you’re free to carry a gun—just don’t say gay-- or suggest that white people have always enjoyed unfair advantages--or write about DeSantis.
To think he won the recent election handily.
Every day, it seems, we hear reports of some new craziness in Florida. And we're reading about people who have decided to leave the state because they don't want their children to grow up there. I've only been to Florida once in my life, many years ago when I was a young newspaper reporter and accompanied a teachers' group on an educational trip to the space center at Camp Canaveral. That was unforgettable, but the only thing I remember about Florida was that it was even hotter and more humid than home in South Carolina. Now I just think of it as an insane place, threatened by political nuttiness and rapidly rising sea levels, and I can't see any reason why anybody would want to live there.
I can't imagine living in that state. He's become a dictator.
I still have family living there. They aren't affected (yet) by his antics. The conservative bend of our culture is getting to the snapping point, I think and hope.
I remember the Florida you wrote about. I'm still here, experiencing the Florida you're writing about now.
Your remarks about DeSantis and the legislature are accurate - unfortunately. I recently read that DeSantis' message to his followers is "I will give you freedom by taking away the freedom of those you hate and fear." I've also been wondering what happened to the 'less government' crowd as more and more government control is put in place throughout the country.
Are you aware that the currently proposed gun law also allows persons convicted of multiple violent misdemeanors (like domestic violence, simple assault, simple battery, and stalking) to concealed carry? And they can flash that weapon at their prior victim if, in their infinite, completely subjective, wisdom, they "feel" they need to do so 'to protect their safety.' What on earth could go wrong?
Apologies for the long rant, but with this guy and the former guy - and the legislature - it's upsetting to be a Florida resident these days.
Anonymous--I can't even imagine. We left in '75 because of the heat and the exploding population. Back then the politics hadn't gotten so oppressive. Hang in there! I know there are sane Floridians out there. Apparently though, not enough .
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