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This is the GOP’s future? Governors of Florida and Texas are horrible hypocrites. | READER COMMENTARY

Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis takes to the stage to debate his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Oct. 24, 2022. (Crystal Vander Weit/Associated Press)

Regarding Nicole Russell’s recent commentary, “The ‘red wave’ fizzled, but Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis showed the GOP how to win” (Nov. 11), all I can say is: You’ve got to be kidding!

Russell states, “It’s clear that conservatives should look to [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis and [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott for an explanation of their wins and direction forward.” Both of these right-leaning governors would likely have won anyway, but both Texas and Florida have been heavily gerrymandered to dilute the votes of minorities and the young. Several political pundits have stated that the GOP as a whole would not likely have gained their small majority in the House in the midterm elections were it not for heavy gerrymandering in many Red states.

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Yup, that’s how to do it — cheat, so that the politicians select their voters. Russell continued, “DeSantis and Abbott went all-in on competence and freedom … a winning combination.” Let’s forget about the winter power outages in Texas a few winters ago that killed dozens of Texans due to Mr. Abbott’s competence and let’s just focus on freedom. She continues, “A leader who values competence and liberty equally knows that letting people have freedom of choice … is how people thrive.” Jeez, is Russell blind to irony? Reproductive freedom of choice has been taken from women in both of these states, even in the most dire of circumstances.

Both of these governors have no problem reining in the freedom of LGBTQ+ citizens to live as they wish, and, as the writer says, “shunning liberal indoctrination in schools, refusing to give in to “woke ideas.” This simply means denying the freedom to freely discuss a range of ideas and the full reality of history and life experience (warts and all).

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So much for the freedom of thought. The “Don’t say gay” bill in Florida and the attempt to ban “controversial” (meaning civil-rights or LGBTQ-oriented) books in schools and to limit what teachers can discuss with students, now that’s really embracing freedom. What hypocrisy!

— David Wagenheim, Towson

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