Labor writer issues clear warning about DeSantis’ use of Florida as 'giant Fox News campaign ad' for 2024

Labor writer issues clear warning about DeSantis’ use of Florida as 'giant Fox News campaign ad' for 2024
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking in Phoenix in August 2022 (Gage Skidmore)

A labor columnist is warning against giving Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) the space and opportunity to continue his efforts to promote fascism in his state.

In a piece published by "In These Times," Hamilton Nolan highlighted some of DeSantis’ most problematic goals and how he's setting the tone for a 2024 presidential run.

"The entire state of Florida, home to 22 million people, is currently being run as a giant Fox News campaign ad for the Ron DeSantis 2024 presidential campaign," Nolan warned. "As a method of crafting responsible public policy, this approach has a number of drawbacks."

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“Ron DeSantis wants to break the unions and make a temporary advantage permanent,” Nolan wrote.

He went on express concern about the Democratic Party's lack of political muscle in the state and how it could ultimately lead to a grim outcome for the state's residents.

"If the state’s incompetent Democratic Party can’t rally itself to cut through the torrent of performative bulls--t and bigotry, we will soon wake up and find that this whiny, bullet-headed ex-jock has done to Florida’s workers what former Republican Gov. Scott Walker did to Wisconsin’s."

Nolan pointed to the series of events that transpired this week as he wrote, "This week, DeSantis announced that he is proposing legislation designed to decimate the power of Florida’s teachers unions. It would prohibit dues checkoff, making it excruciating for the unions to collect dues, and outlaw teachers doing union work or handing out union materials on the job."

READ MORE: How 'authoritarian' Ron DeSantis has made Florida a 'laboratory of fascist politics': scholar

While it may seem like outnumbered Democrats might be unable to contain DeSantis, Nolan argues otherwise.

"People in Florida of all political persuasions often talk of Ron DeSantis as if he is a formidable juggernaut that Democrats can’t hope to restrain," he wrote. "This is false."

Nolan later added, "He is just as immoral as his rivals, but he lacks the polished presentation of Ted Cruz and the magnetic insanity of Donald Trump. Though, as a rule, I do not make electoral predictions, it would not be surprising to see him crash and burn when faced with a presidential campaign that depends, above all, on charisma. It is easy to imagine him as the latest in a long line of media-hyped red-state governors whose self-importance crashed and sunk against the rocks of a competitive primar."

According to Nolan, the split in the state is "not as wide as it seems."

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"Nor is he some sort of king whose hold on Florida should be taken for granted," Nolan warned. "Florida is, in essence, a 50/50 state that should be extremely competitive in every election."

He concluded with a warning for Democrats and DeSantis-opposing residents in the state.

"Pulling this together requires a strong labor movement, and it requires the Democratic Party helping to build that movement. There is nothing impossible about any of this," he wrote.

"The threat here is bigger than one teachers union, or one state," Nolan continued. "Ron DeSantis intends to make Florida a stepping stone that he will use to walk into the White House and prove that America is still a racist, oppressive nation at heart. Stop him before he gets there. As a native Floridian, I politely call on the Florida Democrats, unions, teachers, and people of all stripes who don’t prefer life in a dystopia: Get your s--t together, before it’s too late."

Read the full column at In These Times.

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