I know I sound like a broken record (scratched CD, corrupted MP3, whatever), but Steve is 100% right here about the all-out push by every Murdoch outlet to make President DeSantis happen:
Also: We should be boycotting the whole state. Every business. No vacations, no conventions. Not a dime until DeSantis is gone.
— Steve M. (@nomoremister) April 1, 2022
I’m on board with a boycott even though I’d be collateral damage; we have to keep this sociopath out of the Oval Office. But the depressing truth is it’s probably too late for an effective boycott because DeSantis, with the help of Fox News and other far-right propaganda outlets, is successfully creating consent for Republican cultural and economic control through disinformation.
Case in point: DeSantis is currently in a showdown with Disney over the Don’t Say Gay law. When the state operated as a comically corrupt but still functionally capitalist and democratic entity, a right-wing political crank who took on Big Mouse over a culture issue would get squashed like a palmetto bug at a pest control industry picnic. Maybe not this time:
Ingraham: When Republicans get back into power, Apple and Disney have to understand one thing: Everything will be on the table, your copyright/trademark protection, your special status in certain states, and even your corporate structure itself… pic.twitter.com/7kKhPH07Rs
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 2, 2022
What Ingraham is describing here with her trademark lock-jawed, menacing smugness isn’t “choosing where your dollars go,” and it sure as hell isn’t legitimate regulation of industry. It’s fascism.
As Mussolini and others demonstrated, fascists use the power of the state to control businesses by punishing opponents and rewarding supporters. Ingraham justifies it like her fascist forebearers did, by saying it’s necessary to “strengthen the state” or, as Ingraham put it, for “the good of the consumers.”
A mad scientist in the laboratory of fascism that is Florida in 2022, DeSantis has openly asserted control over businesses and public institutions, demagoguing COVID mitigation measures and intimidating schools and businesses that confront racial issues or assert that LGBTQ individuals and families (particularly trans people) are valued members of our communities. He didn’t pioneer these techniques, but he’s deploying them more successfully than any other Republican in America.
The aim is to whitewash history, erase LGBTQ people, and nullify diversity and inclusion initiatives, but Republicans don’t say that. They’re repackaging bigotry as Lee Atwater did a couple of generations ago. Instead, they say, “Stop making white children feel guilty,” and, “Don’t sexualize first-graders.” The fact that businesses like Disney and Apple and teachers were already not doing those things doesn’t matter. The Republican rebranding campaign seems to be working in Florida. It might work nationwide.
I’m not sure what we can do about it, aside from calling bullshit every time the moral panic talking points emerge, supporting non-fascist candidates for public office (i.e., Democrats) and voting fascists out at every opportunity. But make no mistake, fascism is here in America, and it’s wrapped in a knock-off Gadsden flag and has the whiff of a burning cross. And the window for stopping its advance is closing.
PS: About that Van Zant video up top: the NoKo-style tribute to Dear Leader song is accompanied by a montage of images of DeSantis mixing with ordinary citizens, and except for a nano-second glimpse of the back of a security agent’s head, the people are 100% white, which is weird because Florida certainly isn’t. I don’t think that’s an oversight.