- Ingvard Ashby
With all of the energy of a younger sibling upset that their older brother ate the last pork chop at the dinner table, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed an executive order banning all nonessential state travel to California.
Stitt’s decision is in retaliation of the city of San Francisco banning travel to 22 states, including Oklahoma, for what city officials say are “restrictive abortion laws.” The state of California banned travel to Oklahoma in 2018 after Gov. Mary Fallin signed a law allowing private adoption and foster agencies to deny same-sex couples from working with them on religious and moral grounds.
“California and its elected officials over the past few years have banned travel to the State of Oklahoma in an effort to politically threaten and intimidate Oklahomans for their personal values,” Stitt said in a statement. “Enough is enough.”
Projection much, governor? We didn’t know you felt so threatened and intimidated. How often was the state of California visiting Oklahoma anyway? In comparison, Oklahoma is only banning nonessential travel to California. There are plenty of reasons for the state to visit the world’s sixth-largest economy. Oklahoma will still send officials to try to recruit businesses to the Golden State, and state-funded universities will continue to play sports there.
On both sides, these proclamations are political rhetoric with little ramifications. California can smugly signal to its citizens that they’re better than flyover country — as if we’re all a monolith of views — and Oklahoma can make headlines and draw attention away from its standing near the bottom of most quality of life measures in the country and his public fight with Oklahoma’s Native American tribes.
“The governor’s latest decision to ban travel to California is nothing more than attempt to distract from another recent bad decision the governor made, which was to alienate and attack our tribal nations and ask a federal court to shut down our state’s tribal gaming industry,” a joint statement from the tribes said.
According to The Oklahoman, Stitt’s office said the decision was made in advance of the National March for Life — the annual anti-abortion rally in Washington D.C. — which goes to show he cares about babies only when they’re in the womb.