Because leftists can’t compete in the arena of ideas, they often resort to sloganeering and flat-out lying — but Gov. Ron DeSantis is not a man who will yield to such tactics.
On Monday, the Florida Republican chastised a reporter and accused him of “pushing false narratives” when he asked about legislation described by its opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
DeSantis was speaking with reporters at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City when Evan Donovan, a reporter and anchor at WFLA-TV in Tampa, raised the issue.
“JUST NOW: I asked @GovRonDeSantis if he supported HB 1557, the legislation critics call the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill,” Donovan tweeted Monday.
— Evan Donovan (@EvanDonovan) March 7, 2022
In the clip he shared, Donovan queried the governor using the words of left-wing journalists, pundits and politicians who have intentionally mischaracterized state House and Senate companion Parental Rights in Education bills.
Among other things, the Republican-led effort aims to restore parental power surrounding the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity to children in kindergarten through the third grade.
Because it’s a commonsense approach that protects young children from the predations of adults intent on warping young minds, it has leftists apoplectic and frantically groping for a way to impugn it.
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But rather than accepting the argument on detractors’ terms, DeSantis held Donovan’s feet to the fire when the reporter based his question on “what critics call the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.”
“Does it say that in the bill?” DeSantis shot back at Donovan’s question. “Does it say that in the bill?” the governor pressed.
“I’m asking you to tell me what’s in the bill because you are pushing false narratives,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what critics say.”
“Well, it says, it bans classroom instruction on sexual identity and gender orientation,” the reporter responded.
“For who? For grades pre-K through 3,” DeSantis pointed out.
“So 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, 7-year-olds, and the idea that you wouldn’t be honest about that and tell people what it actually says, it’s why people don’t trust people like you because you peddle false narratives,” the governor told Donovan, sparking spontaneous applause from the audience.
“And so we disabuse you of those narratives,” DeSantis continued. “And we’re going to make sure that parents are able to send their kid to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into their school curriculum.”
Indeed, the House’s version, HB 1557 says, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
This isn’t some kind of gag order or draconian crackdown against those afflicted with same-sex attraction or gender confusion, but rather an attempt to legislate what used to be called simply discretion.
But Donovan already knows all of this based on his report last week disputing the narrative of HB 1557 and indicating how this legislation is an affirmation of previously understood parental rights.
“NEW: Florida House Bill 1557, the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, will be heard on the Senate floor MONDAY,” the anchor tweeted Friday. “Wanna know what it *actually* says? Here’s a 2-minute explainer that covers it all,” he said of the accompanying clip.
NEW: Florida House Bill 1557, the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, will be heard on the Senate floor MONDAY.
Wanna know what it *actually* says?
— Evan Donovan (@EvanDonovan) March 4, 2022
Donovan pointed out in that report that the legislation would force schools to implement procedures that “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.”
It would give parents the right to know what is happening to their children at school, including disclosing health care services rendered and making students’ complete records available to parents.
Despite the left’s claims, this no doubt is meant to prevent children from being groomed by these trusted adults into thinking that a boy can become a girl and vice versa while their parents are kept in the dark about all of it.
DeSantis was correct to argue that using the left’s “Don’t Say Gay” moniker undermined the question — and this fearless honesty is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the governor.
Like former President Donald Trump, DeSantis has repeatedly broken with conventional conservative wisdom to shatter these narratives and confront the people who perpetuate fallacies.
In fact, the governor is fresh from the fight against his critics when he told students in an event at the University of South Florida to take off their masks if they wanted and dispense with “COVID theater” — advice that had leftists media frantically searching for their smelling salts so as not to faint.
And this is the same governor who wasn’t afraid to mock the most revered Dr. Anthony Fauci by making an ad using his many flip-flops throughout the COVID-19 pandemic about whether or not to mask.
DeSantis also savagely ridiculed White House press secretary Jen Psaki for her out-of-touch advice to disaffected Democrats to have a drink when they don’t get their way.
Like Trump, the governor has no patience for fake news and the people who make it — and that’s precisely what his objection to the “Don’t Say Gay” label is all about.
Protecting schoolchildren from perverts is still a popular concept in America, so the only thing that leftists can do to argue with anti-grooming legislation is to twist the narrative enough to make it seem unpalatable.
These tactics used to work until Trump demonstrated how to annihilate these people and their false narratives by fearlessly calling them on it — and now it appears with DeSantis, the student has overtaken the master.