Tampa Bay Times
March 31, 2023
By Dick Batchelor
It’s not too late to embrace true conservatism and let us have the “courage to be free” by making our own decisions.
Dear Gov. DeSantis: Governor, in your book “The Courage To Be Free,” you fan the mantra that “Freedom is worth fighting for.” I agree with you, as I’m sure many Floridians do.
So, why are your Republican-backed proposals in such flagrant violation of that mantra, by taking away basic freedoms for individuals to decide for themselves?
Why do you support passing a law that takes away freedom of the press? As an attorney, you should know such a proposal is unlawful and in direct conflict with a landmark Supreme Court decision (New York Times v. Sullivan) and will not stand up to a guaranteed legal challenge.
Why are you pressuring the Republican-dominated Legislature to make it illegal to have any programs of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the university system? There are full expectations that next year, you and your Republican colleagues will go after corporations with attempts to prohibit even the private sector from having DEI programs.
Then, as part of the race-related theme of your agenda, you are now policing the teaching of African American studies that are historically true but might make someone feel “uncomfortable”?