I Left During Nixon's Reign & Stayed During Trump's-- If DeSantis Ever Becomes Prez, Move To Holland
More than most Republican politicians, DeSantis has made a name for himself by restricting and taking away people’s liberties and freedoms. He’s a trend-setter in that field. But that’s also why a plurality of registered voters have an unfavorable opinion of him. 10% of registered voters don’t know who he is or don’t have enough information about him to have an opinion. But 49% have a negative opinion and just 41% have a positive opinion. Only 29% of independent voters have a positive opinion of him.
DeSantis has been in the news this week for firing— probably illegally— an elected Democrat, Monique Worrell, a black woman, as the Orlando area’s prosecutor. It’s the second time he’s done that. She noted yesterday that he’s a “weak dictator” who was removing her for political reasons— which is exactly what he did last year in Tampa, firing state Attorney Andrew Warren. The federal judge who presided over Warren’s suit, Robert Hinkle said it was a state matter, not a federal matter but that “under the Florida Constitution, a governor cannot properly suspend a state attorney just for implementing a reform-prosecutor agenda or based on general dissatisfaction with the state attorney’s performance— for being a reform prosecutor rather than a law-and-order prosecutor. It is not surprising that in this litigation, the Governor has not acknowledged that this was a factor in the suspension. But it plainly was.”
Bordering on ridiculous, but perfectly emblematic of DeSantis’ unrelenting war against freedom, liberty and democracy, was a report yesterday inn People: Florida Students Now Need Parental Permission to Use Nicknames, 'Alternate' Names Under New Ron DeSantis Rule. DeSantis isn’t on his way to being elected president, but he is on his way to being elected the most hated politician in America, presumably his goal.
Florida students will now be required to get their parents' consent before using a nickname in schools, a move that critics say targets the LGBTQ+ community and could extend well beyond.
In an email sent Tuesday morning, parents and guardians of Seminole County students were advised that school districts in the state are now "required to develop a form to obtain parental consent to use any deviation or nickname from the child's legal name in school."
"If you would like for your child to be able to use a name aside from their legal given name on any of our campuses, we will ask for you to complete the consent form titled 'Parental Authorization for Deviation from Student's Legal Name Form.'"
The email cites rule 61-1.0955(8)(m), which was implemented in July and, according to the Florida Department of Education, is meant "to strengthen the rights of parents and safeguard their child’s educational record to ensure the use of the child’s legal name in school or a parent-approved nickname."
Per Fox35 Orlando, a similar memo went out to parents of Orange County students this week, with more expected to follow.
The rule would impact everyone from students who prefer using a shorthand nickname ("Tom" versus "Thomas," for instance), to those who prefer a different name altogether, including transgender students (who have already been the target of numerous pieces of legislation in Florida in recent months).
But even if a transgender student did get permission from their parent to use a different name, teachers would still not be obligated to use that student's preferred pronouns.
Here are half a dozen perfectly descriptive nicknames for governors who have taken the same stands that DeSantis does-- and especially for that current governor of Florida:
Oppressive— because his actions have been burdensome, harsh, unjust and because they have been clearly leading to the suppression of individual rights
Restrictive— because he has enacted policies and laws that limit people's rights and freedoms
Anti-democratic— because he had been undermining democratic processes and principles to limit freedoms
Illiberal— because his political approach opposes liberal principles such as individual rights, democracy and limited government, favoring instead greater centralized control.
Authoritarian— because he has been concentrating power and control in his own hands at the expense of individual freedoms and civil liberties
Autocratic— because he has been exercising unchecked power and making decisions without meaningful input or consent from and countervailing forces—not a legislature, not a judiciary and not the people of Florida
Characters like DeSantis abound throughout American history. John Adams is generally liked by historians (top 15) but a year after he became president he passed the Alien and Sedition Acts which infringed on individual freedoms in a big way, particularly when it came to freedom of speech and press. The Sedition Act made it a crime to publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against the government or its officials and the Federalists (Adams’ party) used the act to persecute Democrat-Republicans (Jefferson’s party), particularly publishers of newspapers that criticized Adams. Credible accusations of despotism, xenophobia and tyranny prevented him from being reelected. Presumably this kind of attitude will prevent DeSantis from being elected din the first place.
But I suspect his model isn’t Adams, but one the Southern governors he appears to be aspiring to imitate, perhaps Orval Faubus (AR), George Wallace (AL), Lester Maddox (GA), Ross Barnett (MS), Huey Long (LA) and, more than anyone, Florida’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction, Claude Kirk, who served from 1967 to 1971. Kirk was best known as the head of Floridians for Nixon and for for his confrontational style, as a cheer-leader for capital punishment and for his virulent racism. He was especially anti-busing and said, memorably that the pro-busing federal judges in New Orleans were “drinking in the French Quarter and reading dirty books.” He signed Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District before Disney World was built. His bullying and abrasiveness lost him his reelection bid by double digits to Democrat Reubin Askew. In 1978 Kirk ran for governor again but as a Democrat and in 1984 he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination and later for the U.S. senate. He flipped back to being a Republican in 1990 when the GOP nominated him to be education commissioner. This is the last most Americans evert heard of his: