The State of Florida has advanced a bill that would restrict the education of sexual orientation to children below third grade “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” LGBT+ activists and Democratic politicians coined it the “Don’t Say ‘Gay’” to mock the bill as something draconian. The tag line has caught on in the media and is drumming up support to oppose the bill.
Noting the success of the powerful – albeit non-factual – slogan, other politicians are looking to coin similar phrases to gather support to fight legislation viewed as extremist.
On January 22, 2019, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the ‘Reproductive Health Act’ that was pushed by New York’s Democratic politicians, which decriminalized abortion up to the moment of birth. Republicans were unable to block the infanticide bill as they did not have a catchy jingle. They are now considering billing it as the “Don’t Say ‘Baby'” law, in an unoriginal copy of the “Don’t Say ‘Gay'” catchphrase.
In Virginia, Republicans introduced a bill to allow children taught in private schools or at home to participate in after-school programs of public schools. Democrats do not want to afford privileges to these students who are disproportionately White, religious, conservative and headed by two parents. For years, they called these bills the “Tim Tebow” bills after the religious football player who was homeschooled and later played in the NFL. As more states are passing these bills (Virginia shot it down), people are forgetting who Tim Tebow is, and more Hispanics are opting for homeschooling (26% of homeschooled students in 2016, up from 9% in 1999), Democrats are worried about society abandoning public school education so are trying to rename the legislation. Current working names are “Robbing Public After School Programs,” “1% School Theft Bill,” “Church’s Cake-And-Eat-It-Too Bill,” “Shloimy Stealing Your Kid’s Saxophone Bill.”
The advertising industry is excited about politicians fighting for public attention all day on every front, albeit worried that the jaundiced press is giving free air time in echoing the taglines of the parties.