As I matured, I began to realize perfection was difficult to achieve and our country failed in many ways.
I came over years to understand the horrors of our racial history and the fact that prejudice still existed.
I saw us enter wars that were unwise and unwinnable at the cost of destroyed lives.
I watched the election of both destructive fools and ineffectual good people.
But I also saw the all too slow but significant advance in dealing with our racial history.
I saw the role of women march forward, again slowly, but with major gains in political office, business, and sports.
I observed how we eventually came to honor our veterans even when they had, through no fault of their own, served during unpopular wars.
I noted how our country had matured in dealing with LGBTQ issues, even to permitting gay marriage.
Surely, there is enough evidence of how we have righted wrong in the past that I could be forgiven for thinking this self-correcting property would continue concerning the wrongs of today instigated by Governor Ron DeSantis.
And major wrongs they are.
Making voting more difficult, especially for those groups most likely to vote Democratic.
Demonizing Black history courses and accusing gays of being groomers.
Criminalizing businesses and school districts for creating mask mandates during Covid.
Empowering conservative groups to ban books in school libraries and classrooms.
Taking over the Florida high school athletic association because of its stand on transgender issues.
Putting conservatives in charge of the board of a small public liberal arts college and blessing the goal of creating a public college devoted to conservative ideas and Christian values.
Threatening public schools, colleges, and universities to make sure they don’t teach anything not in alignment with his philosophy.
Selecting and removing from office county school board members that don’t embrace his views.
Removing from office a state attorney whose actions don’t agree with the governor’s desire.
Passing a rule that prohibits press conferences and protests on capitol grounds unless their message is parallel to that of the governor and their permit is backed by a state agency under allegiance to DeSantis.
And so much more.
Wouldn’t you agree that any reasonable person who looked upon these actions would be repulsed and work to turn the tide away from such dictatorial practices?
I was convinced this was the case. In fact, every time DeSantis acted to further take away our liberties I said, “Good. The more he does, the more people will be repulsed and be motivated to turn against him. It was jusr a matter of time before we threw the bum out.
I have an acquaintance, more a friend whom I will call X. X is a wonderful person, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. X will do anything to help another individual. X is kind. X has a sense of humor. X is well educated. X has worked with disadvantaged kids. X is the type of person I want to keep as a friend. I have deep respect for X.
X has supported Donald Trump in the past and Ron DeSantis in the present. X does not agree with some of their policies but does with most of them.
I avoid talking politics with X. But I was sure that eventually X would figure out that DeSantis is a dangerous man, so I gingerly brought up some of his most egregious actions, specifically the restrictions he has imposed on the basic American right to protest on capitol grounds.
X, to my dismay, agreed with that restriction and indicated that, after all, one could protest somewhere else. When I objected that the capitol belonged to all of us, X informed me that elections have consequences.
I was shocked that this wonderful person could not see the disaster DeSantis is fostering on our state, and the danger he would impose on our nation should he follow his supposed trajectory to the national stage.
I have no intention of altering my relationship with X. X is just too good a person, much better than many whose political philosophy aligns with mine.
But, given the fact that this wonderful person could not be shocked, worried, and angered at what is happening in our state, how could I believe there would be any change on the other side of the political spectrum.
I had been wrong that the American people would eventually right the wrongs.
My hope dissolved.