American Democracy needs Charlie Crist to beat Ron DeSantis and become Governor of the State of Florida. I’m convinced this is a critical race, on many levels. Maybe I’ve learned the wrong lessons from reading Betty Cracker; I’ll accept that.
This started with me pondering how Jim Crow developed. How Southern states, in the US, used terror attacks and “we all hate Negros” and “Brother versus Brother!” and the sheer exhaustion of our Civil War’s aftermath to break what goodwill existed for equality. From that lens? DeSantis terrifies me.
For example, here’s one of many key issues:
DeSantis has taken over all three branches of government in Florida. There is nobody in the state willing and able to hold him accountable. The Miami Herald editorial board calls it “unchecked one-man rule.”
Trump is a Trumpist. But DeSantis is a fascist. (Emphasis Mine — MD)
I see in him the capacity to build a modern Jim Crow system of perpetually abusive and fascist governance. No “Gilead” babble, this time. Just straight-up “here’s how we abuse people to hold power“ in our modern era. And yes, that’s different from using a mess of ad hoc asshole attacks for petty gains.
What gives me hope? We, as a Country, are in a position to break the back of that effort. At least, for a time.
DeSantis is not smart. Yet neither were most of the architects of Jim Crow. Like them, DeSantis is fairly methodical. He’s also clearly ruthless, and beyond any norms of morality or empathy. He’s also patient, willing to play a somewhat long game.
I’ve worked for a “patient racist,” briefly, in Strom Thurmond. I never want to fight one in the White House — and neither do you, I’m sure.
Worse: Abbot and others wish they were like DeSantis, I suspect. DeSantis emboldens the rest of these assholes, even more than they already are! His ambitions — and the support he’s getting for them — are where my opinion that he needs stopping now comes from.
Stopping DeSantis’ rise now sends the strongest possible signal, next to controlling all of Congress, that America is rejecting even warmed-over Trumpism. It’s a rejection that even the worst of the bothsiderism-addicted media cannot ignore. It allows us some small space to work on breaking apart the normalization of fascism he’s driving, right now, in our national media and elsewhere.
And his defeat signals other states, can cool their eagerness to follow down this dark road.
Now, I’ll close by saying the fight doesn’t stop there. Nixon rose back, as did…others. DeSantis losing will actually inflame some elements. Others will be eager to climb to power over his presumed political corpse. I don’t pretend this one act will Save Democracy.
But it’s a hell of a lot easier to keep ’em down, than to stop them once they get real fame and power.
(NOTE: I know Trump’s an issue, yet he’s an issue we talk a lot about. I’m concerned about who we aren’t looking hard enough at right now. Cool?)