Ted Cruz’s new faux-outrage is about something he insists is proof that “Democrats are trying to control every aspect of your life,” as he recently told Fox News. Not only is Cruz’s claim laughably bogus, but his own Republican Party should win an award not only for trying to control people’s lives but for doing it in unusual and offensive ways.
The incident that sparked Cruz’s supposed ire is a nothingburger. If you listen to Cruz’s ranting, you would think the Biden administration just signed an executive order restricting the number of beers Americans are allowed to drink. Instead, what happened was George Koob, the Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, suggested in an interview that the U.S. recommendations for alcohol consumption could become more limited.
Currently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans” recommend against limiting daily intake of alcohol to no more than two drinks per day. Koob expressed his belief that the Guidelines’ next revision would, if anything, lower this amount, possibly to two drinks per week, which is currently Canada’s recommendation.
Not only was Koob speculating about revisions that are a couple of years away, but the Guidelines are merely recommendations based on current health research. They are not law, as Cruz apparently would like us to believe. In fact, the Guidelines make clear that “individuals ultimately decide what and how much to consume” and that many factors “strongly influence their choices.”
In the meantime, the Florida State Board of Education changed its administrative code (Rule 6A-1.0955(8)(m)) last month to require every school board in the state to adopt a policy and consent form for “parents to specify the use of any deviation from their child’s legal name in school.” School districts have rushed to comply with the revised rule, which took effect on August 22. It means every Thomas, Kimberly, and Robert now needs their parents to formally tell the district that it is okay for teachers to call them Tom, Kim, and Rob, respectively.
The rule change is part of a broader campaign by the DeSantis administration that targets LGBTQ+ students while threatening teachers with their jobs. This requirement—not just a recommendation—is not the most hateful action we have seen under the DeSantis regime. However, it is an example of how Republicans are doing what Cruz accuses Democrats of, and in ridiculous ways. Republicans can’t control our lives if they are voted out of office.