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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Florida’s governor is a harbinger of chaos

Tj Favela/The Collegian
Tj Favela/The Collegian
Tj Favela/The Collegian
Tj Favela/The Collegian

Florida’s recent trend of hard-right leaning legislation is worrying for the future of Texas’ and America’s democracy.

The great state of Florida has always been crazy. The tales of the alligator wrestling by the local Florida man of the week are always entertaining, but the headlines from Florida lately haven’t been as funny especially regarding the legislation passed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Under DeSantis’ leadership, the state of Florida has become a beacon of Republican values. In June 2021, it seemed every week there was a new topic that DeSantis was addressing with bills.

He led efforts to ban the teaching of critical race theory, a set of ideas holding that racial bias is inherent in many institutions due to being primarily designed for and implemented by white people, in Florida schools, even though it wasn’t even a part of the curriculum.

Later that year, he instituted the Individual Freedom Act, more commonly known as the Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act, which is a law that gives parents the ability to sue the districts they believe were teaching critical race theory to their children.

This “war on wokeness” is something DeSantis has promoted for the past two years. And with each policy, another group’s rights get run over.

In 2022, DeSantis passed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, or as the headlines called it the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which would prohibit any discussion of gender or orientation in grades kindergarten through third grade. This bill was seen as incredibly harmful by the LGBTQ+ community due to the censoring nature of the bill. How can you have a war on wokeness and then start censoring people?

These bills set frightening precedents. DeSantis is determined to go after whatever groups he believes are a threat to his image of a “perfect America” and is signing bill after bill to ensure that they are kept quiet. He even added an “anti-mob” extension to the stand-your-ground law during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2021 for that exact purpose.

This trend in Republican politics is incredibly worrying considering that Texas is bleeding red itself. DeSantis has emphasized in the past that Texas and subsequently Gov. Greg Abbott partnered with Florida against the “woke” left and said that without the two titans of Republican states that America would be a neo-Marxist dumpster fire.

Because apparently neo-Marxism now is just respecting others’ rights to privacy and living the life they choose rather than the one you believe is correct. Yeah, that sounds right.

Why is there such a push for this extreme legislation? Why is it that Republican lawmakers have taken to restricting other groups based on their own definitions of normal or right? Why is the governor of one of the highest populated states publicly fighting with Disney because they exercised freedom of speech and disagreed with a bill limiting free speech?

There is no reason that a Texan should be worrying about what happens in Florida, but now we have to. Because what if those incredibly restrictive laws pass through the Republican pipeline and make their home here. There is already a law banning abortion, and now there are potential bills banning gender-affirming care. This feels like the worst case of catch-up where the losers are the populations in these states.

The most terrifying thing is imagining what a DeSantis presidency would look like. Thankfully, he hasn’t put in his bid yet, but many speculate that he will and with former President Donald Trump’s historic indictment, DeSantis might be their next nominee.

If he bans everything he sees as “woke” in his own state, then what would he ban nationally? What gives him the authority to define what normal American values are versus the “woke” mentality he’s trying so desperately to fight.

The future of Republican values and the future of Florida are held in the hands of a maniac who has the percentages of the GOP that don’t approve of Trump anymore in his back pocket, and this recent indictment will send even more straight to him on a silver platter. If this country somehow falls into DeSantis’ hands as well, there won’t be fun headlines of crazy Florida men anymore, but a crazy United States dictator focused on eradicating the rights of everyone not like him.

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