Fourth of July has always felt a bit of an odd holiday to me. Especially in the years when it falls within the week. I spent most of this past Wednesday reminding myself that it was in fact Wednesday, not Monday. On the plus side, this week felt really short.

Not that we did anything grand for the 4th. Mostly watched a lot of TV and tried to avoid crisping in the summer sun. I’m sure we confounded the founding fathers by not purchasing a car, mattress, television, or other item being hawked as part of the holiday. Or by not grilling hot dogs, drinking beer, and shooting off fireworks.

But in 1776, I don’t imagine Ben Franklin, Samuel Adams, or the other colonists were concerned about future Americans having the opportunity to get 60% off goods at Crate & Barrel. Everyone was instead worried about the tyranny of King George.

Ironic that nearly 250 years later, while we’re busy celebrating freedom, citizens across the US are once again experiencing tyranny. Not from another country, but from our elected representatives. We’ve spent the first six months of this year watching politician after politician and legislature after legislature express their own idea of freedom.

Freedom to discriminate against the queer community.

Freedom to force sexual assault survivors to give birth to their assailant’s progeny.

Freedom to dictate what people are allowed to read.

Freedom to decide which parts of history are acceptable to learn.

Freedom to tell parents that legislators know better than medical professionals what constitutes appropriate care for their children.

For the people affected, that doesn’t feel like freedom. That’s tyranny tied up in unsound public policy and political philosophy. Thirty years ago, it came packaged as “family values.” This time we are being treated to the idea of parental rights, except politicians leave off the important part. Parental rights are for some parents – the ones who want to impose their views on other parents.

That’s not freedom. Just ask Florida.

Ron DeSantis has spent this year grinding every marginalized community into the ground in pursuit not of good government for all, but good government for some. Namely the ones he hopes will elect him. Meanwhile, he continues to tout how free Florida is. Except a lot of citizens would disagree.

I would like to hope on the 4th next year we’ll have a bit more to celebrate. But given we will be in the middle of a presidential campaign, I expect we will see more tyranny masquerading as good public policy. Policies that will make America as free as Florida.

At least for the right kind of people.