By: Joey Lagana
The impact of language in shaping our perception of events cannot be understated. It influences how we view individuals and their policies, as well as the potential consequences they may have on our country. One such figure who has attracted both praise and criticism is Ron DeSantis. In this article, we will examine some of the key actions and bills signed by DeSantis as the Governor of Florida, aiming to shed light on the debates surrounding his impact on the state and the nation as a whole.
The Critics Speak:
There are several bills signed by DeSantis that have drawn significant criticism from his detractors. Let’s explore some of these measures and the controversies surrounding them.
Protection of Children Bill:
- One bill, known as SB 1438 or the “Protection of Children Bill,” aims to shield children from attending live drag shows in establishments that serve food. Critics argue that this law defines material as “patently offensive” based on prevailing standards within the adult community. The concern lies in whether it restricts artistic expression and limits diversity in the name of protecting children. It is my opinion that performances of drag shows have no place in children’s eyes. If part of the performance is to go against societal norms and be overly flirtatious and sexual to make a point against the establishment then that is fine, just with an appropriate audience. Similar to movies that are rated R, there is just certain content that children of a certain age should not be exposed to because it covers content that they are not ready for and a parent should have a right to expose to them when it seems appropriate.
Gender Affirming Care:
- DeSantis signed a bill into law that would criminalize doctors providing gender-affirming care to minors. Additionally, the law grants an advantage in custody battles to the parent who opposes gender transition. Supporters claim it protects children from irreversible decisions, while opponents argue that it impedes necessary medical care and disregards the autonomy of transgender youth. This is not shocking at all or should necessarily even be a debate: when you are under 18 you do not have control over your body and your life. If you have a good parent, then by law, you are theirs until the day you turn 18 as you are a “minor”. Is that a bad thing… no. You should enjoy your childhood. Let the adults deal with the problems of the world. Do well in school and hangout with your friends, let everyone else figure everything else out. With that said, if you are an individual who believes that they are Trans, consult with a doctor and a therapist. If that still doesn’t work, be patient and wait until the day you are 18 because the hard truth is, you don’t control and own your body. After you are 18, you are on your own, however, understand just as you have your freedom to choose what you want to do, if you have no way of paying for it, your parents have every right to say no.
Critical Race Theory and Inclusion Programs:
- Another bill signed by DeSantis eliminates funding for inclusion programs and gen ed courses at public universities that teach critical race theory (CRT). Conservatives argue that CRT perpetuates division by making white students feel inferior, while progressives believe it fosters a more inclusive and welcoming environment. The debate centers on how education should address systemic racism and its consequences. It is important to me in which we teach theories and other topics that have truth and meaning and not made up headlines based on weak evidence and a con in an attempt to make sense of poor policy and corrupt politicians. If anyone can point to me an institution in the United States that is overtly racist and profits off the ongoing racism in the United States other than BLM and the Democratic Party then maybe my opinion will change but I will never support anything in which is factually inaccurate and made up to be a ponzi scheme.
Restrictions on LGBTQ+ Education:
- The “Don’t Say Gay Expansion” bill expands restrictions on discussions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity in K-12 education. Critics argue that this erases important conversations about LGBTQ+ identities and hinders efforts to create inclusive and supportive learning environments. This is pretty simple and it comes down to personal belief. I don’t think that subject matter and people’s sexual preferences are necessary at school. It is something that is unique to the individual and every single trusting adult is capable of teaching what it means to their kids. The school system has one job and it is to educate the students on basic subjects to become a well rounded individual, not spread their personal beliefs or ideologies.
- DeSantis signed a law allowing concealed carry without a permit in Florida. This measure removes the requirement for firearm safety and training courses. While some view this as a victory for Second Amendment rights, opponents raise concerns about public safety and the lack of training for gun owners. If you look at the individuals likely to buy guns, a lot of their family are familiar with guns. Proper training is likely already understood when purchasing a gun. Training is something we all possess even if you don’t own a firearm, it is called common sense. As far as public safety, it is of my opinion that the correlation to mass shootings and gun violence is directly correlated to how we raise “young men” as they account for nearly 99% of the mass shootings committed. Thirty years ago, mass shootings were not nearly as prevalent as they are today with roughly the same amount and same style of guns possessed. Putting a bigger effort into teaching young men on how to properly use their emotions as well as eliminate elements of bullying will solve a significant amount of the mass shootings seen.
Restrictions on Transgender Community:
- DeSantis has been involved in passing bills that place restrictions on transgender individuals. For example, a law criminalizes the use of bathrooms that do not align with one’s sex at birth and mandates separate facilities in public buildings, educational institutions, and correctional facilities. Critics argue that these measures stigmatize and discriminate against transgender individuals. This should be the case in every single state. It is pretty simple and has everything to do with child safety. If the need to go to the bathroom is that big of a deal, you will go to the proper bathroom otherwise wait until you go home. The main reason is for child safety. Just an example, there is no reason a 50 year old man should be in the bathroom with a 9 year old girl. It is not appropriate and quite frankly not safe.
- DeSantis signed a bill banning most abortions after six weeks of gestation, with limited exceptions for cases that threaten the pregnant person’s life. This law also imposes additional restrictions, such as requiring proof of a restraining order or police report in cases of rape or incest. The contentious nature of abortion rights fuels debates surrounding reproductive freedom and personal autonomy. This boils down to personal belief. The core of the issue is at which point do you believe the baby is a human life. If you believe it is at the point of conception then you will more likely believe all abortion is wrong. If it is later when the baby can survive on its own then your opinion will be vastly different.
The impact of Ron DeSantis as Florida’s Governor has evoked strong reactions from both supporters and critics. The bills he has signed into law have sparked debates on issues ranging from LGBTQ+ rights and education to gun laws and abortion regulations. It is crucial to engage in informed discussions, considering different perspectives and examining the potential consequences of these policies. Only through open dialogue can we navigate the complexities of governance and strive for a society that respects diverse perspectives while upholding fundamental rights and values.