Why is Florida so awful?

I don’t get it. What is the secret ingredient that makes Florida politics so toxic? The worst stuff seems to emerge from Florida (and Texas, to be fair), and I don’t understand what makes a few Southern states such stewpots of bad ideas.

The latest is Florida’s “don’t say gay” bill.

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which is scheduled for a floor vote in the Florida House today, would create a hostile environment for LGBTQ students. The bill prohibits any discussion of “sexual orientation or gender identity” through the third grade and any discussion “that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students” in other grades. This would prohibit younger students with same-sex parents from discussing their families in class and make it difficult for any student to learn about the Stonewall Riots or Supreme Court cases like Obergefell v. Hodges.

The bill, as it is currently drafted, also requires schools to out LGBTQ students to their parents in most cases. The bill would require schools to “adopt procedures for notifying a student’s parent if there is a change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student.” This would include information school officials learn, through counseling or other programs, about sexual orientation or gender identity.

Let’s keep the kids as ignorant as possible, so they’ll continue to elect stupid representatives like this one. Is that it? Because that bill, as bad as it was, wasn’t evil enough, so the Republicans are amending it.

The original bill, however, has one nod to the well-being of LGBTQ students. It would allow schools to “withhold such information from a parent if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect.”

But now, the sponsor of the bill in the House, Florida Representative Joe Harding (R), has offered an amendment. The proposed amendment would require schools to out LGBTQ students, even in cases where school officials believe it would result in “abuse, abandonment, or neglect.”

The school principal or his or her designee shall develop a plan, using all available governmental resources, to disclose such information within 6 weeks after the decision to withhold such information from the parent. The plan must facilitate disclosure between the student and parent through an open dialogue in a safe, supportive, and judgment-free environment that respects the parent-child relationship and protects the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the student.

I’m impressed with the double-speak. They’re going to safely, supportively, and without judgment protect the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of students by exposing their sexual orientation. Kids are going to die thanks to this bill; others are going to be tormented and bullied and abused. What’s important, though, is that the information about kids be made public, while the information that might make kids better informed is to be withheld.

Joe Harding, by the way, is the hypocrite who campaigned on gun rights and denying women choice. He claims Our most vulnerable citizens – the preborn, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled – deserve the dignity of equal personhood, unless, of course they’re LGBTQ. Then it’s fair to strip them of dignity and equality.


  1. StevoR says

    The heat combiend with humidity?

    The legacy of slavery? The Trump brain rot that has set in and taken hold of so much of its population from what I’ve heard /seen.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    För information straight from a Florida-based progressive, check “Farron Balanced” at Youtube.
    He covers politics from all over the USA but has special knowlwdge of the political dumpster fire that is the Florida GOP.
    The current governor is even worse than the previous one, sacrificing his elderly voters to covid by their tens of thousands on the altar of populism.
    He is like an Aztec death god.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    In numbers the Democratic voters are as many as the Thugparty voters but you know, gerrymandering.
    So Florida is stuck with governor wossname and his merry men.

  4. lakitha tolbert says

    Well, Florida is built on a swamp. Could that have anything to do with the behavior of its elected officials, or just the general brian rot?

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Can you please move the Republicans to the parts of Florida that will disappear in the sea as the level rises?

  6. Larry says

    There must be some sort of quasi-sexual thrill associated with treating children with such hatred and contempt. Otherwise, for the life of me, I simply cannot fathom why these republicans are so frickin’ evil.

  7. PaulBC says

    I wonder if there is something especially toxic about being a destination for people, often fairly affluent, moving away from more liberal states, possibly (though not exclusively) because they disagree with the politics or changing racial demographics–which sounds a lot like the explanation for The Villages, mentioned by Akira MacKenzie@8.

    I have no interest in living in Florida or Texas. To be honest, I’d still probably rather live in either than Alabama or Mississippi but there is something different about the first two. They have more money and more influence, which is what makes them insufferable. Every presidential election seems to involve a lot of nail-biting about Florida’s electoral votes. I really like Bugs Bunny’s idea of sawing Florida right off the map.

  8. R. L. Foster says

    I was stationed in Pensacola when I was in the Navy. It was good duty and very affordable on an enlisted man’s pay. But, that swath of land from Tallahassee to Pensacola is culturally, politically and religiously south Alabama. If that wasn’t a part of Florida it would be a blue state without a doubt. DeSantis would never have been elected governor.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Farron Cousins, the Florida-based progressive Youtuber I mentioned @ 2 is active in both the youtube site “Farron Balanced” and in “Ring of Fire”.
    If there are any major Florida-based political news you can count on him to cover it. I think he is a lawyer.

  10. asclepias says

    I call bullshit on the supposed concern for the disabled. As of 2020, only about 30% of the disabled population who could work was employed (that puts me in the 70% category). Of course, I don’t think he means the disabled who are actually able to advocate for themselves, which would be more of us than this guy appears to think.

  11. robro says

    lakitha tolbert @ #4 is on the right track. I grew up in north Florida. It literally stinks there. The smell of rotting fish guts in the briny water still lingers in my memory. I can evoke it. The paper mills and chemical plants that digest pine pulp release noxious fumes into the air. On particularly hot and humid July days that can be memorable. But, the real killer is the heat and humidity…and it is both. The climate is oppressive much of the year. If you’re outside, you’re bleeding sweat. If you’re inside, you’re in an air conditioned stupor. It’s a sickening place…in my not so humble opinion. Then there’s the redneck cracker culture: a celebration of ignorance, Bible thumping, and racism. Not every one in Florida is like this…I have some good friends there…but it is the predominant mode.