Living here in ‘ Death Valley’ AKA Florida one can see the results of having a governor like Captain Ron as I label him. One can go back to Weimar Germany circa 1930 when the Nazi Party gained popularity amongst many working stiffs. It seems that it is always anger and disillusionment that gets people off their duffs to follow leaders who come along… many times demagogues and phony populists. Thus, we get Ron DeSantis, bastard son of the Trumpster.
If one goes a little further back in time to 1925, in Tennessee, one can inhale the smog created by the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. Stanley Kramer’s fine film Inherit the Wind ( 1960) captured the essence of it all. The high school teacher arrested for teaching evolution in his classroom was NOT the centerpiece for the film. Kramer and the actual writers of the book that the film was based upon wanted America to understand what really went on during the era of McCarthyism ( late 40s to 1960s, the height of the Cold War). In a nutshell, even before the era of the Fallout Shelter, Americans were taught the mantra ‘ Better Off Dead Than Red’. Us school kids became quite adept at the famous ‘ Duck and Cover ‘ air raid drills as we scurried under our desks . Watch the Kramer film and see just how crazed the masses can become under far right wing Christian extremism.
Well, Captain Ron has forged a new mantle for fascist (Neo Nazi?) behavior. His refusal to allow mandates throughout Florida for proper masking during the height of the Covid pandemic was a beginning of the insanity… yes, insanity! (Ask yourself this: If there was no pandemic and coworkers came into the office coughing and sneezing consistently, wouldn’t you rather see them wearing a facemask along with yourself?). He is a zealous proponent of ‘ personal freedom and liberty’, just not for a municipality which wants to protect its citizens by stifling the unnecessary spreading of germs.
Ok, so that was the tip of the DeSantis iceberg. He then pushed through Florida laws to restrict any teaching of what they call Critical Race Theory and its influence on slavery ( you know, like Blacks are subhuman and deserve to be white man’s slaves) . He then went after transgender kids, blaming the schools for influencing ‘little boys to become girls’ ( not so much the reverse, for peeling away that onion reveals that right wingers are all believers in male hierarchy. He issued an edict, which his lapdog legislature made into law, that all public schools teach our kids about the ‘ Dangers of Communism’. ( Does that mean that we should pass a law to prohibit imports from ‘ Communist China’? Damn, Wal-Mart and Amazon would be out of business). Captain Ron got himself vaccinated, but he continues to give aid and comfort to anti-vaxers and other Q-Anon followers. He keeps a lower profile on a women’s right to choose, because he is the quintessential politician and needs the wealthy suburban mom vote, so he goes for the 15 week ban. He vows that he will make sure that Floridians can carry guns without permits. Welcome to Dodge City, Florida! Funny that even in the Old ‘ Wild’ West many towns, like Dodge, had laws to compel anyone entering into town to check all guns at the Marshall’s or Sheriff’s office. (A few months ago two Florida men, each with a daughter in the car, had a ‘ Road Rage’ . Each shot his gun at the other and both men’s bullets wound up hitting each other’s daughter). Sure feels like ‘ Freedom’ to carry a gun and the ‘ Liberty’ to use it indiscriminately.
If this man ever becomes president, methinks it will be much worse than even when The Trumpster was in office. DeSantis loves to create what this writer and most decent Americans feel are ‘Wicked Laws’. I will leave you with some quotes from the Spencer Tracy character in Inherit the Wind:
“A wicked law destroys everyone it touches: it’s upholders as well as its deifiers”
“For fanaticism and ignorance are forever busy… and need feeding… And soon, with banners flying and with drums beating, we’ll be marching backwards, backwards, through the glorious ages of our 16th century where bigots burned a man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind.”