AT LONG last someone has had the wit, courage and originality to call out Ron DeSantis.
He is the Florida governor who killed millions of innocents by refusing to lock down again after the success of the first lockdown. (Well, actually, those millions didn’t die, and in fact Florida’s mortality statistics are among the best in the US, but that was sheer luck and it wouldn’t have happened if Florida had enjoyed a decent Democrat representative.)
As the terrible Covid virus, the worst disease ever to ravage humanity, progressed it became obvious that the only hope was for everyone to be injected with a dodgy experimental vaccine. Yet Ron DeSantis refused to make the vaccine compulsory for Floridians. And that was on top of failing to impose even the most minimal of mask-wearing mandates.
Now, can you believe it, there is talk of this same DeSantis running for President. Someone had to call the man out and, thank Heaven, someone has done so. This someone is an American professor turned politician turned journalist named Robert Reich, who has ascended to the giddy heights of writing for the Guardian. His piece dated August 31, 2022, is headed ‘Maybe US-mainstream media should begin using the term “fascism”.’
There! It’s been said! Who could ever have imagined a right-thinking (sorry, I mean left-thinking, of course) American professor-turned-Guardian journalist accusing a leading republican known to support ex-President Donald Trump a fascist?
‘The imagination boggles and grows slack’ (to quote a Guardian journalist of the 1960s, Michael Frayn, who happened to be cursed with a high IQ and for sure the Guardian isn’t going to make a hiring mistake like that again).
But this isn’t empty rhetoric. Mr Reich supports his case by enumerating the DeSantis litany of authoritarianism. He opens with hard-hitting factual data: ‘Last Tuesday I tweeted: “Just wondering if ‘DeSantis’ is now officially a synonym for ‘fascist’.” I was surprised at the outrage my little tweet provoked in right-wing media.’
And who can be surprised by his surprise! Imagine the editors of Fox News or Epoch News waking up on some Wednesday morning and finding that a Guardian writer was accusing a Republican politician of fascism! Undoubtedly they had never heard such language before and never dreamed that such an accusation was possible.
The case Reich presents becomes increasingly damning. ‘DeSantis is the nation’s consummate culture warrior. Lately he has been campaigning on behalf of Republican election-deniers across the country.’
You see? He defends the sorts of stinkers who ask whether stuffing ballot boxes with papers signed by dead Democrats was a valid way of winning an election!
‘In Florida, discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity are now barred in schools.’ One grieves to think about all those innocent Floridian seven-year-olds who will have had their best years wasted not learning which pronouns are most suitable when discussing a lesbian’s divorce from a re-transed-trans cis-male of ambivalent birth-orientation.
‘Florida’s Medicaid regulator is considering denying state-subsidised treatments to transgender people. Its medical board may ban gender-affirming treatment for youths’. This is heartbreaking stuff. Only consider the youths who will grow up unable to regret the damage inflicted on their bodies by having their hormone balance rescued from nature’s provenance or their most intimate parts reconfigured by a team of caring professionals!
The horrors Mr Reich describes go on and on, but I’ll inflict only one further outrage on TCW’s sensitive readers: ‘DeSantis also spews culture-war rhetoric. “We are not going to surrender to woke,” he said last Tuesday. “Florida is the state where woke goes to die”.’
One should learn from one’s enemy. Mr Reich could tastefully employ (not ‘spew’, of course) the same sort of rhetoric to advertise his own future gems. I would suggest, if he’s not too modest: ‘Read the Robert Reich substack where common sense and imagination are already dead.’