DeSantis Says “Don’t Enter Me” Florida Tag Warns Out-of-State Cars

DeSantis Says "Don't Enter Me" Florida Tag Warns Out-of-State Cars

It’s hard to keep up with Florida’s official enemies list.

Just when you think we’re running out, Governor Ron DeSantis comes up with a new imaginary villain. It’s impressive.

Move over college professors, “wakeful” corporations, tech companies, trans kids, “corporate media” types, and historians of racial injustice.

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There’s a new kid on the block: people coming to Florida in “out-of-state cars.”

New record targets out-of-state tourists

Seriously. America’s pickiest governor has a message for you.

“The free state of Florida has a new pre-order license plate that benefits the Florida Veterans Foundation and sends a clear message to out-of-state cars, ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ of Florida,” DeSantis tweeted.

Little did I know that “out of state” cars needed a clear message — except that about 20 percent of drivers in Florida don’t have auto insurance, and the state is second in the nation when it comes to motorists killing pedestrians.

The message that you are not allowed to enter seems strange. Isn’t that what tourists do? Finally, they park their cars and literally walk through Florida until it’s time to go, trailing dollars in their wake.

I thought that must be a good thing.

The newly proposed state specialty badge features a coiled rattlesnake first depicted in the Gadsden flag, a historic American flag waved in protest against government tyranny.

Today, that colonial-era relic has been co-opted as a popular symbol for U.S. Capitol insurgents, right-wing militia groups, QAnon lunatics, and Koch-funded tax protesters.

It serves as a valuable tool for the rest of us to identify the laughers in our midst. So for that reason, I’m all for giving people the option to put it on their state license plates.

(And good news: For one lucky “Don’t tread on me” motorist, the “DUM AZZ” personalized license plate is still available from state.)

Florida’s confusing “don’t tread on me” message to tourists

It’s beyond amusing to discover that out-of-state cars have somehow been added to Florida’s naughty list.

After all, aren’t those out-of-state cars filled with out-of-state tourists whose presence in our state during the pandemic has been a point of pride for DeSantis, and apparently worth all the needless loss of life among Florida’s? old and vulnerable residents.

Way to take one for the team, the grannies of Florida!

The state is spending $50 million this year to promote out-of-state tourism through Visit Florida. DeSantis announced that Florida welcomed 34.1 million domestic visitors during its peak winter season this year.

Economists originally predicted that Florida tourism would not fully recover until 2024, but quarter after quarter, despite the Biden administration’s utter failure to contain inflation and the country’s supply chain problems, visitor numbers in Florida continue to decline. breaking records and defying conventional wisdom,” DeSantis said. in a prepared statement.

“Florida’s tourism industry is kicking off 2022 with incredible strength, proving that freedom-first policies will always win, especially when fighting the inept economic policies coming out of DC”

Oops, that post contained a complete mistake in mentioning that the allegedly obstructive federal government gave Florida $30 million in stimulus money that the state used this year to promote tourism.

It’s an understandable omission. That’s because the federal government is one of DeSantis’ cartoon villains.

I know. It’s confusing.

So many enemies, so little time. As for this new group, I think we like tourists, although apparently some of them should be warned not to ‘kick’ us while they are here.

It’s a mixed message at best.

At first I didn’t understand why a self-respecting veteran group would even want the message “Don’t tread on me” on their license plate. It is currently more of a cousin of the Confederate flag.

Florida veterans have different license plate options

But maybe it’s because veteran greetings in Florida is a busy landscape, with the state already offering eight different license plates that appeal to military veterans. There are individual special plates for all branches of service – the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Army, the Air Force and the Coast Guard.

There is also a Foreign Legion specialty board, another “Support Our Troops” sign, and a general “Florida Salutes Veterans” sign.

The trick to getting a new special license plate is getting enough pre-orders from motorists before they go into production.

So in this case, 3,000 Florida drivers will have to pay for the new plate before it becomes viable. I suspect the real audience for the “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate won’t be the real veterans, who already have better options.

The new board will call upon Florida’s prodigious supply of Meal Team Six commandos, and your average Florida hothead, who’s angry, armed, and looking for an excuse to perform.

So, if you are an out-of-state visitor reading this, don’t be offended. This is just typical Florida stuff. It’s just DeSantis sowing department again.

You’re just the last target.

I recommend making it a valuable learning opportunity: consider it another friendly reminder that you’ve entered a state largely “free” of reason and brimming with foolish, contrived belligerence.


Frank Cerabino is a columnist at Palm Beach Mail, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at [email protected] Support our journalism. Register today.