Florida, the state I have lived in for 34 years, since 1989, has become a right wing threat under Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis has banned an elective African American Studies Advanced Placement Course in Florida High Schools, claiming it has no educational value.
DeSantis has fired an elected Prosecutor, Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, for publicly disagreeing with the governor’s stand on abortion rights and transgender health care.
DeSantis has cracked down on the Disney Company and its control of its properties in Central Florida, because they disagree with his policies and actions.
DeSantis is planning to promote a policy of guns “open carry”, without any permit or training or licensing, in all public places, which will insure mass murder incidents occurring ever more as happened at the Parkland Florida School Massacre in 2018 and the Orlando Florida “Pulse” Massacre in 2015.
DeSantis is banning books in public schools and libraries, and threatening prosecution for teachers or librarians who defy him. This is censorship, totally against American democratic values, but it will not stop students from inquiry about all kinds of issues, but has the effect of intimidation.
DeSantis has as Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo who is undermining protection for seniors or children or anyone else with the COVID 19 Pandemic, as he works with DeSantis on banning of masks and vaccinations as Florida policy.
DeSantis has fired school board members in several counties, and appointed Republican replacements that are dictating policies and curriculums in local schools.
DeSantis has set out to destroy the New College of Florida, in Sarasota, a liberal university which has received great honors and reputation. He has put a right wing extremist onto its board, and the President of the university has been fired, and the plan is to fire faculty members who do not fit the version of DeSantis regarding what is proper education.
DeSantis has interfered with college professors at Florida state universities, dictating what can be expressed in classes and put into class syllabi, and working to end tenure rights.
DeSantis has banned any protection or safety for gay and transgender children, which will promote suicides, as his puritan view of sexuality permeates the state of Florida.
DeSantis has declared war on empathy, decency, compassion, and is more concerned about so called “guilt” that white students might feel, totally preposterous, and at the same time, having no concern about the effect on students of color.
DeSantis’s war on abortion rights is also taking away a woman’s control over her body, putting Florida into the crosshairs of right wing control by an authoritarian minded man who wants to be President of the United States.
DeSantis also formed a political stunt about immigration, shipping Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, promoting his nativism agenda.
DeSantis has declared war on people of color; science and medicine; education and libraries; gays, lesbians and transgender individuals; women’s rights over their own bodies; elected officials who defy him; corporations who disagree with his views; immigrants; and he has shown no concern about public safety from unstable individuals who will have license to kill innocent citizens with firearms.
DeSantis is promoting intolerance, hatred, division, and destroying the reputation of Florida, at a time when the cost of living is high and housing prices are out of sight; the state is trying to recover from Hurricane Ian; and the public health threat from COVID 19 is still killing Floridians every day.
And since he did not react to recent examples of antisemitism displayed by White Supremacists and Neo Nazis, that is another great concern.
But his lust for power is unchecked, and he must be challenged and stopped, before he becomes an ever greater threat to the nation and the world beyond just the state of Florida.
All decent, humane people must rise up and resist, even as DeSantis had a law passed barring demonstrations that might block traffic, so one can expect the possibility of the use of police forces to crack down on the freedom of assembly.
This is not a time to sit on the sidelines, as what is happening in Florida could become the future of the entire nation, if Ron DeSantis was to go on and to win the Presidential Election of 2024!