The video of the grinning, cackling devotees of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ deliberate cruelty is what we should fear. No signs of empathy or concern, just scornful sarcasm and laughter.
The hypocritical enclaves of self-professed Florida and Texas Christians who want to force victims of rape and incest to bear children did not mind dumping children and families on the street in Massachusetts. Ultimately, a well-oiled Floridian failed to “own’ a group of well-heeled Massachusetts liberals. Gov. DeSantis made sure to call up the propaganda arm of the Republican party—Fox News, for coverage. Much to the governor’s chagrin, the GOP faithful had to explain their cartel-like behavior—to the rest of the media—and watch in horror as the residents of Martha’s Vineyard bought pizzas and gave cash and clothing donations while expeditiously finding housing for the displaced. What they had hoped for while laughing and pointing fingers would be a group of arugula-eating woke folks turning on a group of brown immigrants.
DeSantis’ own words betrayed his real intention. He said that “every community in America should be sharing in the [immigration] burden.” The problem with his statement was that he did not share information about the transport of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Chicago, New York, or other places. Republicans keep accelerating toward Fascism and do not seem to know how to stop it. The long-running immigration problem in America is another car the Republican dog has been chasing. They caught the abortion car and have been trying to extricate themselves from the wheels ever since. Their exploitation of immigrants as a political knife in American politics may only have a few cuts left. What had been symbolism is now GOP policy. They started by revoking section five of the voting rights act in 2013; election denial became an insurrection. Forty years of working on packing the court with theocrats, then overturning a woman’s right to choose, and now setting up a Supreme Court fight for the rights of governors to violate human rights. Once the Fascism ball starts rolling down the hill, it gains momentum.
Fascist symbolism is not dead in the GOP
Donald Trump signaled the most unhinged of his base last week by letting them know that if he is indicted, all bets are off. “But I think if it[indictment] happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before. I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it,” Trump said. This weekend he brought them together to spread a new symbol of hate. I can only guess when the first raised, open palm, tucked thumb salute was angled toward Adolph Hitler; the masses probably ignored it as visual hyperbole. I am sure Jews and other minorities winced but counted on sanity to prevail.
This weekend a group of Trump supporters, with the blessing of their führer, punctuated his latest rally with a raised hand displaying a pointed finger. Sure, it can be dismissed as just a group of angry zealots, and I run the risk of being accused of irrational fear; but we had six million examples of where complacency leads.
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