Commentary

Democracy has its place — and, apparently, it’s not the Florida Capitol

You can’t let any old bunch of weirdo wokesters into the hallowed walls

December 13, 2022 7:00 am

Students protesting on the 5th floor of the Florida Capitol Building. March 3, 2022. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

Determined to keep the Free State of Florida the most incredibly free in the Land of the Free where freedom rings 24/7, Gov. Ron DeSantis is going to stop loud, tacky, possibly gay people from waltzing into his Capitol to “protest.”

This is serious, people.

You can’t let any old bunch of weirdo wokesters into the hallowed beige halls of government, especially during the legislative session. What if they’re rude to a senator? What if they decide to invite themselves into a committee meeting or hang around the House chamber as if they have a right to be there?

What if they talk loud? What if demonstrations disturb the many people who go inside the Capitol to meditate next to the State Seal?

If it’s too noisy, legislators might not be able to hear lobbyists, and then how would they know what to put in their bills?

As everyone knows, our state lawmakers are models of quiet dignity, decorum, and probity and everything that happens in the Capitol is sanctioned by God his own self.

The main worry is that innocent children might see these “protests.”

‘Gratuitous violence, gore’

A proposed new rule initially said: “Because the Capitol Complex is often a destination for children learning about their state government, visual displays, sounds, and other actions that are indecent, including gratuitous violence, gore, and material that arouses prurient interests, are not permitted in any portion of the Capitol Complex that is not a traditional public forum.”

Later, the Florida Department of Management Services clarified that paragraph, saying:

“Because the Capitol Complex is often a destination for children learning about their State government, visual displays, sounds, and other actions that are harmful to minors…, or which include gratuitous violence or gore are not permitted in any portion of the Capitol Complex that is not a traditional public forum.”

DMS would decide which “protests” are indecent, smutty, upsetting, nasty, or just plain rude.

Protesters gather at an anti-abortion rally in the Florida Capitol Building on May 24, 2022. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

The department used to handle janitorial jobs, keeping state buildings painted, and ordering pencils and paper clips. Expertise in procuring office supplies translates seamlessly into skills at ascertaining which groups should be barred from the Capitol on “suspicion of disruption.”

DMS’ crack team of stapler-loaders and wranglers of copy paper will have no trouble dealing with misfits and pointing out malcontents infiltrating the corridors of power with scary pictures of people who got shot or pregnant 12 year-olds.

Anyone who’s spent time in Florida’s 22-story Temple of Conservatism has witnessed unwashed dissenters barge onto the Fourth Floor shouting about reproductive rights. Talking about reproduction makes kids think about babies, which leads them to think about sex, thus compromising their morals.

That’s bad. We don’t want the young folk stirred up.

We’ve seen what happens when they get stirred up. Back in the spring when the sap was rising, a bunch of high schoolers showed up at the Capitol hollering “We say gay!” and suggesting that someone have unsanctioned sex with our governor, deploying a shocking word that starts with an “f” and ends with a “k.”

(They learn that kind of language in government schools.)

Practical considerations

Profanity is, of course, one of the many social ills visited upon us by liberals and perverts, but there are also practical considerations in dealing with disruptive behavior. We can’t have our public servants and their masters at Florida Power and Light, Associated Industries, U.S. Sugar, Florida Crystals, the Florida Homebuilders Association, Big Resort, Big Phosphate, Big Paving, and Big Cow feeling threatened by unkempt 16 year-olds whose parents are probably communists.

See, by “protect the children,” we mean the cute little ones carrying stuffed bunnies. Not these punks. Adults need to ease children into certain uncomfortable topics, such as that stuff in our founding documents that implies people have a right “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a bit strong for our younger future Republican voters!

The free-speech-free-assembly thing is over-rated anyway. If you don’t dress nicely and keep your voice to a whisper in the presence of your government, then that part of the Constitution should not apply to you.

But some people just can’t take a hint. At the Capitol the other day, a gaggle of miscreants showed up to voice their displeasure at the new restrictions on “protests.”

One, an FSU student named Emma Moses, recounted a tale of how she was detained by the Capitol Police and banned from the Capitol during the last legislative session. What did she expect? She was hanging around with a bunch of obviously promiscuous young women with hair dyed green and pink, chanting “My body, my choice!”

This Emma-person was also wearing a clearly obscene t-shirt with “ARTICLE I SECTION 2″ in big letters, a brazen reference to the so-called “privacy clause” in the Florida Constitution.

As if a baby-incubating body isn’t everybody’s business.

With this kind of behavior, she’ll never get into a decent sorority.

Next thing you know, it’ll be the trans types marching down to the Capitol. What if children see a clutch of drag queens? They could march into the rotunda any time, armed with Marxist-atheist fairy tales in which the princess refuses to marry the prince, preferring to open a vegan bakery, which they’ll proceed to read out loud to Mrs. Garcia’s fourth grade class from Condo Pines Elementary.

If our government doesn’t stand in the statehouse door, that is.

Men in false eyelashes

Gov. DeSantis and those courageous DMS Maintenance Support Technicians II and Administrative Assistants I are the only thing holding back the tide of threats to our way of life such as Black Lives Matter or Planned Parenthood or the Manatee Club.

Only they can protect our kids from the shocking sight of men in false eyelashes, wigs, and cocktail dresses promoting childhood literacy.

Our governor and his loyal legislators simply want what’s best for you and your children. Remember that when the lying liberal media tells you that some of our lawmakers might have done some illegal things.

Former state Rep. Joe Harding. Credit: undated file photo, Florida House

Take Rep. Joe Harding, R-Leviticus. He sponsored the landmark “Don’t Say Gay” bill to shield the kids from knowledge of homosexuality, lesbianism, cross-dressing, and that sort of wickedness.

But the Deep State, the very people who see nothing wrong with a two-mommy family, have worked their evil on this righteous man, driving him to resign from the Legislature.

Just because a federal grand jury has indicted him on six counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and lying about it.

It wasn’t even that much money — a mere 150 grand of COVID loan cash.

You know the powerful gay cabal is behind this. Also, Antifa. Feminists. Environmentalists. And the Pro-Choice Industrial Complex. All hell-bent on corrupting the children.

Don’t let your darlings near the news. Don’t let them read the Constitution. Don’t let them register to vote. And keep them away from the Capitol.

This democracy thing is dangerous.

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Diane Roberts
Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee, which probably explains her unhealthy fascination with Florida politics. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books, most recently Dream State, an historical memoir of her Florida family, and Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America. She lives in Tallahassee, except for the times she runs off to Great Britain, desperate for a different government to satirize.

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