Now that Ron DeSantis has officially filed paperwork to run for president over the past several days I put together a list of things he and his fellow Republicans have done in Florida. Unlike Donald Trump in 2016, we have an exact blueprint of what he intends to do on a national scale. He has said his plan plan is to “Make America Florida” let’s be honest about what he really represents. Fascism. Merriam Webster defines fascism as:
a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
And a bit more color from Encyclopedia Britannica
Fascist propagandists also attacked cultural liberalism, claiming that it encouraged moral relativism, godless materialism, and selfish individualism and thereby undermined traditional morality. Anti-Semitic fascists associated liberalism with Jews in particular—indeed, one precursor of Nazism, the political theorist Theodor Fritsch, claimed that to succumb to a liberal idea was to succumb to the Jew within oneself.
Lets not forget that Nazis targeted many groups even prior to The Holocaust in Germany including black people, disabled people, political opponents and of course gay and transgendered people. As I’ll illustrate, it’s not too hard to draw some frightening comparisons.
It’s gone so far that just this past week the NAACP issued travel advisory for Florida, saying the state “has become hostile to Black Americans” and the League of United Latin American Citizens and LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida have done the same.
With some of that background in mind here’s a list of things going on in Florida with relevant bills that have been proposed, already gone into effect, or have been signed and will go into effect soon. I’ve come with receipts, offering relevant sources and direct links to bills where possible.
- They have tried to outright ban Democrats from holding office. In 1933 the Nazi leadership passed the Law against the Founding of New Parties, all other parties were disbanded or dissolved. This one didn’t make the governors desk, but it was attempted and even filed as SB1248.
- A teacher is being investigated for showing a Disney movie in her class because it had gay character. HB1557. Which of course was further expanded just this past week.
- They are making it easier to get a gun allowing concealed carry without any permit. Which means they also ended the training programs required to get a concealed carry permit. Texas did this too. HB543.
- Defunding of diversity programs at Florida colleges. He considers this as discrimination and exclusion. Against who? It’s not too hard to figure it out. HB266.
- Allowing doctors to refuse to provide health care based on moral, ethical, or religious grounds. Are you gay and need emergency medical care? It’s a roll of the dice under this new law. HB1580.
- Removing transgender kids from their parents’ home if they choose to give them gender affirming care. Studies have found transgender youth are far more likely to kill themselves. HB254.
- Elimination of unanimous jury decisions for the death penalty, so only 8 jurors vs 12 are required to sentence someone to death. SB450.
- Banning of books talking about race, the holocaust, slavery and more. Also HB1557.
- Restricting abortions after six weeks, telling women what they can and can’t do with their own bodies. A woman in Florida was forced to carry her baby to term even though doctors knew it would die. The child survived for 99 minutes, gasping for air. HB300.
- Creation of a private police force to go after election crimes, based on baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election HB524.
- Using the levers of government to attack free speech and private business. He even called a special session to get this one done. HB9B.
- A sweeping anti-immigration bill making it a felony for you to drive around with an undocumented immigrant in your car and making it illegal for anyone to employ an undocumented immigrant. (Undocumented immigrants largely pay taxes, by the way - so they can become documented) HB1617.
- Barring of Chinese (and other) Citizens from buying property in Florida. This will of course fuel racial profiling of any Chinese American looking to purchase property. SB264.
The above list isn’t even all-inclusive. This isn’t freedom, this is textbook government overreach and many of the above items can be classified as fascism. It’s bringing government into your medical decisions, telling you what you can and can’t say. Telling you who you you can and can’t be. Making it easier to execute criminals, and excluding the most vulnerable from society. Florida is now the least-free state in the union, and will continue to be so for some time.
This isn’t a state where all citizens are treated equally.
When Governor DeSantis goes around calling Florida the freest state in these United States he means for those who are white - even if he doesn’t say it directly. From his state of the state address:
Florida is a free state. We reject the biomedical security state that curtails liberty, ruins livelihoods and divides society. And we will protect the rights of individuals to live their lives free from the yoke of restrictions and mandates.
What’s the definition of liberty?
the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.
The only way you can reconcile the above statement is if you are straight, white and cisgender. Because as I’ve already gone over above, he and his Republican counterparts in the legislature wish to impose their own narrow outdated, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic worldview. And the only individuals they protect are those who agree to the regimented worldview of a minority of citizens. He is applying oppressive restrictions on Florida citizens way of life. The antithesis of liberty.
This man trails Donald Trump by double digits in early polling, but lets be clear - Trump uses plenty of fascist tactics too, and can be categorized as an authoritarian. So that’s not really a step up. Traditional Republicans are now gone, largely replaced with a hard right movement. They wish to impose a narrow worldview, where people are not free to be who they are. They must fit within the definitions of what the state wants them to be.
If you support this man or worse, you cast a primary ballot for him, you might just be a fascist too.