Has Fried crossed a line or is she correct?
On July 28, Florida's schools were instructed by the state's Education Commissioner - Manny Diaz Jr - to ignore guidance issued by the federal government that schools should resume teaching of gender and sexual identity in classrooms.
The guidelines - known as Title IX - were being reissued by the Biden Administration as a means of attempting to overturn Florida's so-called 'Don't Say Gay' legislation, and the government had threatened to withdraw federal funding for school lunches if schools didn't act upon the guidance.
In response to the decision taken by Florida's state leaders, Nikki Fried - the current Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic challenger for Governor has gone on the offensive on Twitter, lashing out at Governor DeSantis and his Republican colleagues. As she put it:
"It's extremism politics getting in the way of feeding our children. I will not allow Gov. DeSantis or anyone to deny food to hungry kids for any reason."
A history of tension between Fried and DeSantis
The ongoing public feud between Fried and DeSantis is of course nothing new, and it should be expected that in the run up to the 2022 gubernatorial election, the war of words will continue.
There have been many instances where Fried has publicly criticized the governor for what she sees as his failings during his time as governor. She was highly disparaging of his handling of the global pandemic, at one point describing him as unfit to serve:
In relation to his handling of the current cost-of-living crisis she has also stated that "Floridians cannot afford Florida anymore" and has criticized the governor for not taking enough action to help citizens deal with the rising cost of living, or the escalated cost of gasoline (even though it's now decreasing a little).
In January of this year, Fried also sunk to making personal insults towards the governor on Twitter:
"All she does is emote on social media"
The governor too has made derogatory statements about Nikki Fried and has been dismissive of her comments and actions. Given her tendency to air her grievances on social media platforms such as Twitter, the governor was quick to point this out when addressing her tactics and her effectiveness as a politician.
While it may be amusing to witness the pair of them arguing on public forums, it's also a little disappointing given that many Floridians will be looking to both Governor DeSantis and Nikki Fried to address the many issues facing the state at present.
Fried is right to be concerned that the federal government could follow through with its threat to withdraw funding for school lunches for underprivileged kids. Meanwhile, many parents will want for the DeSantis introduced legislation under the Parental Rights in Education law, to stand.
Time will tell how this all plays out.
Do you think it's disappointing that leading politicians often resort to insults and arguments rather than focusing on the issues? Is this just an accepted part of modern politics? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.