Open daily news, cue cartoon eyeballs and “awooga” noise, but not in the sexy way. There, now you know the sensation of trying to keep up with the whiplash of proposals in Florida, a state that governor and likely presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has said is “serving strongly as freedom’s linchpin.”
Yes, very free! Pay attention, other states, for you, too, could have all this. Florida is becoming a presidential marketing manual, a model home decked out in builder-grade beige tile and gray vinyl plank flooring (65,758 square miles, heated). Could you see yourself living on this anxious, liberty-drunk peninsula for the foreseeable future? You, too, could wake up each day in the sweet stomach acid haze of vague constitutional legalese and despondent headlines.
So much freedom has been going on lately that following along can feel overwhelming. How to keep track of the many freedoms? Making lists helps, like carrying a notepad around the grocery store so you don’t forget the $12 eggs.
Let’s jot down some recent and potential forthcoming things we are free from:
Books. Specifically books that make students feel uncomfortable in any way, so that their parents need never endure a more complicated discussion than “tendies or nuggies?”
Small liberal arts colleges with a mathematical symbol for a mascot.
Diversity, equity and inclusion programs at universities and fairness and diversity courses for judges.
Tenure for college professors with too many suede elbow patches, a bad sign.
Privacy for menstruating high school athletes or public university students seeking gender-affirming care.
Indoctrination, unless it’s the right kind of indoctrination, then it’s all good.
Anything “easty,” since state universities are going to be grounded in “western traditions” and require classes about “philosophy that has shaped western civilization.” You just know easty when you see it.
Disney’s special taxing district, a hasty freedom dreamed up (a wish your heart makes) last year when the Walt Disney Co. got too woke about LGBTQ people.
Private businesses setting their own rules on masks and vaccines.
Legally elected state attorneys.
Migrants... in other states...
Public records the governor doesn’t feel like letting the public see.
There are still more freedoms left to tackle, though, more liberations to be had. For instance, taking a walk and saying, “Hey, look at that bird.” Many people know that birds are surveillance tools of the government with cameras embedded in their bony eye sockets. Pointing at these birds is not suggested.
The legislature is surely hard at work insuring freedom from cooktops not powered with 100 gallons of pure kerosene, but it should also address any kitchen decorations that don’t feature a fat, white dancing chef.
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And inside that bill, please free us from small, poor English boys saying, “God bless us, every one.” What about Birkenstocks? Speaking in a baby voice to a particularly cute animal? Florida, free us from ear gauges and more than two nose rings at one time.
Please do not free us from the Beyoncé concert, though.
At the end of the day, this is about freedom from anything anti-constitutional. The constitution is very important. Crucial, actually. The constitution tells us that government should be limited.
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