Homophobia, Racism and Republicans
The battle lines have been drawn and it’s not a pretty sight. The war has begun and will be worsened by the upcoming 2024 election. Each candidate will be asked, and must be ready to say, where they stand on every issue.
A good starting point for today’s post will be the definition of a culture war. It’s a conflict between liberal and conservative groups with diverse cultural ideals, beliefs or philosophies. The personal principles of citizens have always been a profound aspect of American life, but we are now getting into trouble as politicians and “citizen zealots” try to control or manipulate what we feel.
For example, I am a Floridian and it’s possible that one or more of my convictions could be illegal where I live. REALLY! Unfortunately, our overzealous governor believes his moral core is the one all residents of the state should adopt, and Ron DeSantis will use his power, even if unconstitutional, to herd people into his dogma. He’s been arresting, firing and removing anyone who disagrees with him in the slightest, using the arcane stance that “you are either with me or against me.”
The battle cries of the Republican bottom feeders are focused on education, gender identification, freedom of speech, dissent, protest and political affiliations or philosophies. The added fuel is a disdain for the press and disregard of the First Amendment.
Ron DeSantis has made NO effort to engage, canvas or consult those citizens who do not completely agree with him. The man’s administration has total control and power over the state lawmakers, and his vindictiveness has pushed Democrats, most who deeply dislike Florida’s governor, further and further away.
This culture war in Florida is a test run for what DeSantis would probably do with the entire country if he ever becomes president. This should disturb anyone who cares about democracy and America’s role of being the “light on the hill” President Ronald Reagan referred to in his speeches.
We can break down the danger points in several key areas. First, homosexuality is a broad target with branch objectives against trans kids or those who may be suffering from gender dysphoria, which is a term describing the sense of unease caused by a mismatch between one’s biological sex and their gender identity. This dissatisfaction can be intense, leading to depression and anxiety with a harmful impact on daily life. It’s a medical condition, not a political affiliation.
The Florida bathroom controversies could have been solved by installing non-gender specific restrooms in public places, instead the state decided to magnify the problem. It didn’t take long before protective parents and religious evangelists protested by screaming, yelling and disrupting school board meetings. This led the state to take a firm stance against gay and trans kids. Florida claimed they were protecting the children, but they are clearly hurting a certain class of students by belittling them and putting them down. Their actions and laws are saying, “you are not equal.”
This gave the Governor a chance to enact what was loving referred to as the “Don’t say gay” law. DeSantis argued that the act doesn’t contain those words, but any kindergarten to fourth grade teacher can be fired, prosecuted and ruined if they even mention gender in the classroom. I guess a gay teacher will have to remove the classroom picture of his or her family because it doesn’t fit the law’s description of what is NORMAL.
Many well-trained journalists asked the governor to explain the law, but he used that opportunity to launch a concerted tirade against the press. One exchange with a CNN reporter exposed the governor as a bully and malcontent with no desire to set the record straight. He would rather brush off the press and move on. He’s the least cooperative and transparent governor I’ve ever seen.
Then we have those right-wing fanatics who continuously complain about cancel culture, a destructive campaign that hurts people. They use the First Amendment to claim their “side” is not being properly quoted but make no attempt to actually define their aims and attitudes. Their sharp, anti-media comments not only help cast themselves as martyrs but also lower the credibility of those who disagree with the demigod.
Ron DeSantis learned bullying and harassing from former president Donald Trump. The forty-fifth president used an old autocratic trope by referring to the press as “the enemy of the people” The constant berating of journalists is now a MAGA-Republican sport, played by weak and insecure rulers.
One of the most recent proposals in Florida is a law that would fine bloggers who refuse to disclose their sources of information or financial arrangements. This blatant desire to control and censor content creators is highly unamerican and unconstitutional. As a blogger, I would like to send this succinct response to our governor, “GO FUCK YOURSELF!”
From John Oliver, HBO, and CNN
Plain old racism was allowed to stew in our great melting pot before Critical Race Theory (CRT) became white America’s whipping boy at school boards across the South. Most conservative states have now outlawed the teaching of CRT, a cross-disciplinary examination of the way laws, political movements and media shape and are shaped by concepts of race and ethnicity. CRT is taught in some universities, but this curriculum has never been taught in American public schools. This imaginary boogeyman has been quite useful to Republican politicians who use Black history to frighten and manipulate parents. The most appalling aspect of the bans against CRT is promotion of the belief that we must protect the feelings of white students by ignoring the Civil War and history of slavery, in essence it’s a whitewashing of American history.
School curriculums should be based on facts and educational goals, not political authority. When recently appointed schoolboard members openly say that “homosexuality is evil” and express a desire to cleanse the world of people who don’t agree with them is proof that we are in deep trouble. As a writer, I am deeply saddened and angered by the banning and removing of books from public libraries. SHAME ON YOU!
In reality, Ron’s targeted swipes at freedom are directed to a small, vocal percentage of lunatics in the Republican party. His sinister goal is to occupy the White House and change America by throwing out the notion of all men being equal, the foundation of our democracy. If you support a system of government with one person having absolute power, then you are a traitor to American values. No one has come right out and said it, but when Ron DeSantis appoints and anoints those who want to eliminate diversity and equality studies, we are in real trouble. The man must be stopped.
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2 thoughts on “AMERICA’S CULTURE WAR”
You’ve written so extensively on this that I’m sure you’ve come across “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” by Timothy D. Snyder. Your readers should pick it up. It’s short, scary and, unfortunately, relevant, and should become required reading while it’s still possible. You know, casting the American lifescape as a zero sum game was just the first step. The pool of “them” that is bring “us” down is expanding. This is some kind of shell game that, unfortunately, unscrupulous politicians are working to their own advantage. WHY do we think we lose if someone else gains? WHY has the life and times of other people become so personally uncomfortable? If we don’t ask ourselves those questions — and soon — we could be all be offering the Bellamy salute to the governor of Florida. I have no desire to expatriate — but I could think of a few slow boats I’d like to put that turkey on!
If you want to know how to deal with DeSantis, you have to stop thinking of him as politician that wields incredible power and start thinking of him as a megalomanic determined to become the ONLY bad influence on kids. Are his adherents so hapless that they can offer children no insight or alternatives to the life styles they abhor? That’s the biggest insult: You don’t know how to raise your kids unless we remove everything you consider a challenge to your way of life. Parenthood without responsibility. That should leave you a lot more time to pray. And you’ll need it!