The Daily Commercial-Your Turn: Why don’t I feel free? Gov. DeSantis stopping many of us from saying what we think.

Barbara Hill Guest columnist

So, this is the “freedom state.” Somehow, I must have missed the memo. I do not feel free when many of us are unable to say what we think and do what we believe is right.

This is the (a) “don’t say gay” state; (b) don’t wear a mask and intimidate those who do state; (c) don’t go to rallies state, because you will be threatened by those who do not like the truth — in fact, you might get run over; (d) intimidate teachers in public schools state, because Moms for Liberty says they are “grooming” the children to be gay; (e) don’t get vaccinated state, wait until you are sick and use Regeneron, because Gov. Ron DeSantis’ donor has a financial interest in the company; and (f) don’t believe in climate change state, as DeSantis claimed climate change is “left-wing stuff.”

DeSantis and his GOP lemmings make up all kinds of ridiculous stories about the left because, as we’ve seen with Donald Trump’s big lies, the bigger the lie and the more you say it, the more gullible people will believe it. Add in Steve Bannon and Alex Jones, and you have a trifecta of insanity.

As I’ve said before — and proudly — I am “woke,” meaning I am “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” And I am a liberal, which means I am tolerant, unprejudiced, open-minded and freethinking. I wear those labels proudly. If you are none of these, you might want to question what you do stand for.

I know from his actions where DeSantis stands — after the slaughter of young children in Uvalde, Texas, and ordinary folks like you and me who were shopping for groceries in Buffalo, New York, he said nary a word. Any words of sympathy or empathy from DeSantis? Heck, no. He is busy flying all over the country campaigning for the crazies who believe the big lie.

What I want to share is that DeSantis is a graduate of Harvard Law School and served in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. This suggests to me he is familiar with the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law. So, explain to me why many of the laws he signed are patently in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

This is the same behavior we viewed for four years by Trump. They both seem to think the Constitution is suggestive only — not the law of the land.

DeSantis is against diversity training because he is afraid people might become woke or even racially tolerant. When I worked in a county attorney’s office, we had diversity training every year — all of the government employees did. What I noticed was that the calendars with scantily dressed women disappeared from traffic engineering! So much for brainwashing.

Further, I am extremely concerned with the level of fascism that is running rampant in this country at the highest levels of government. Fascism is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a “political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”

Sound familiar? It should, because this is what Trump and DeSantis want as well as the extremely right-wing GOP legislatures across the country who approved draconian bills negatively affecting the right to vote and even allowing them to throw out election results.

Unfortunately, I no longer feel safe in Florida, nor do I want my children or grandchildren to feel threatened. Because of DeSantis, the history books will be white-washed, and we definitely must beware of DeSantis’ election police and his citizen army.

It is time to stop wasting taxpayer money on defending blatantly unconstitutional and draconian laws. We, the people, are sick of funding the arrogance of the governor and the Legislature. Why do they do it? Using the words of a Florida legislator, “Because we can.” Let’s stop this here and now!


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