Sunday, April 24, 2022

Hidden Goals

In June, 2021 public media in Florida reported

More than 100 new laws passed during the 2021 legislative session will hit the books this week, ranging from a record $100 billion state budget to a ban on COVID-19 vaccine “passports” and an expansion of school vouchers.

Also taking effect are two measures from the 2020 session, including a law that will allow college athletes to make money off the field based on their names, images and likenesses.

Most of this year’s new laws take effect Thursday, which also is the start of the state’s 2021-2022 fiscal year. But about 40 bills passed this year have already gone into place, and another 20 will take effect later this year.

The legislation covered these 17 areas:  budget, tax breaks, online tax collections, social media, ballot initiatives, school vouchers, moment of silence, civics education, intellectual freedom, transgender athletes, right to farm, Covid-19 passports, alcohol to go, property insurance, toll roads, gun regulations, and foreign influence.

Those initiatives went into effect fairly promptly. Without a moment's hesitation, this year the Florida Senate and House

passed a bill that would dissolve Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, which essentially allows Disney World to act as its own county, and now, the bill has taken another step forward.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed the bill to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, according to the Associated Press....

The law eliminates the 55-year-old district as well as a few other similar districts in Florida by June of 2023. The districts can be reestablished in the future, though.

The measure eliminates improvement districts created before ratification in November 1968 of the state's constitution. Most were established after 1968 but Reedy Creek was not, and therefore is to be dissolved, according to text of the law- yet not until June 1, 2023.

For those keeping score at home, that wouldn't take place until more than 13 months from now.  The legislation reportedly has improved the standing of Governor DeSantis at home, but he has been a favorite to win re-election nonetheless.

However, it gives Disney, evidently the seat of decadence in the modern world, plenty of time to negotiate with the governor and the legislature. It gives the corporate behemoth a great deal of time to decide to restrict its giving to Republicans or to find an effective means to support actively the presidential candidacy of Ron DeSantis. And in return, the law can be rescinded, possibly replaced by legislation which would further enrich and empower Disney.

Republicans were prompted to cancel the Reedy Creek Improvement District because of Disney's opposition to the "Don't Say Gay" bill, itself an attack upon public schools. But coverage focused almost entirely on the sexual preference aspect because conservatives are well-versed in passing off moral outrage as a cover to divert attention from ulterior motives.  

Diana Reddy, a Doctoral Fellow at the Law, Economics, and Politics Center at UC Berkeley Law, explained in December

Christopher Rufo—who a recent New Yorker article named as the “inventor” of the anti-CRT panic—is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, “a leading voice of free-market ideas.” And while the Manhattan Institute currently devotes an entire section of its website to the “problem” of critical race theory, its education advocacy has long focused on privatized school choice.

Another pundit from the Manhattan Institute, Jason Riley, recently laid out a strategic vision in the Wall Street Journal for how conservatives might use the current crises in public education as a political wedge-issue. Backlash against both critical race theory and COVID-19 restrictions, he claimed, could bring in midterm wins for Republican candidates: “Republicans ought to embrace the opportunity to explain to voters why the best response—to everything from racial propaganda and incompetent education bureaucrats to mask mandates and learning gaps—is more school choice"....

The prolific Christopher Rufo concluded another recent article decrying public education by quoting an anonymous teacher at a Philadelphia elementary school. According to Rufo, this teacher confided that they had “come to realize that no policy hurts African-Americans more than the public school system and the teachers’ union.” 

The media has assumed for almost two years that the opponents of critical race theory are targeting discussion of America's racially damaging past and/or anti-racism training. However, the objective is broader than that, encompassing an effort to eliminate pubic education in favor of profit-based education.

Similarly, Ron DeSantis' perceived urgency about the horrors of Disney anti-wokeism is in large part subterfuge.  The values Disney promotes with opposition to the "Don't Say Gay" bill are such a threat to Floridians that the company must be punished- in another year or so.   While the cultural warfare the GOP seems to be waging plays well with its voter base, their goals are broader and even more dangerous than readily apparent.

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