by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
An ominous Daily Beast headline from this morning reads: “They Were Loving College. The Ron DeSantis Got Involved.” Here are the opening two paragraphs:
“When Gov. Ron DeSantis and his war on ‘woke’ education took aim at the New College of Florida on Friday, Sam Sharf was surfing with friends an hour down the coast.
“Which is to say the 22-year-old sophomore was blissfully unaware that the small public liberal arts school she attended was the latest target in what could be the governor’s hate-fueled march to a Republican presidential nomination.”
Dun dun dun dunnnnnnn.
The rest of the story, unfortunately, is far less exciting than the attention-grabbing headline and opening salvo. The “latest target” in DeSantis’s “hate-fueled march to the Republican presidential nomination” was the appointment of six new conservative board members at the left-wing Sarasota college, including the prominent anti-critical-race-theory activist Chris Rufo, pending confirmation by the Florida state senate. As the Daily Beast reports, that made at least two students very upset. …
… And . . . that’s it. No, really. The “they” in the “They Were Loving College” is two students, and the “And then Ron DeSantis came along and stole Christmas, tortured puppies, and abolished ice cream and children’s laughter” tone of the opener turns out to be describing the fact that one student disagreed with how “DeSantis and his allies are framing it” and another felt “sad.” (That second point was reiterated by the same student later on in the piece: “It made me really sad,” Sharf said. “But then I began contemplating how, like, we as a student body . . . reject this and try and do our best to fight back and defend our space.”)