After ‘subtly’ hinting for months, Republican politician and glorified bin bag Ron DeSantis has officially announced his candidacy for the 2024 US Presidential elections. And while this is an incredibly sad and traumatising moment for many of us, particularly considering the Florida Governor’s heinous political legacy, lots of us were able to take comfort in the fact that DeSantis’ rogue Twitter announcement went monumentally wrong.
According to the BBC, DeSantis had planned to make the announcement through a Twitter livestream yesterday evening on Wednesday 24 May 2023. However, due to some serious technical malfunctions the livestream didn’t begin till 20 minutes after the intended start time.
So, by the time the Governor was prepped and ready to begin his long-winded spiel, hundreds of thousands of Twitter users had already given up and signed off… What a shame.
DeSantis told those four or five remaining viewers: “I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback.” This so-called “comeback” he speaks of appears to consist of a series of horrific anti-LGBTQIA+ and anti-women waves of legislation he has single-handedly spearheaded over the past few years.
While there are too many bills to dive into, let’s quickly run down some of the most shocking decisions DeSantis has been behind since becoming Governor of Florida in 2019.
In April of this year, the right-wing politician approved a ban on abortions after only six weeks of pregnancy. Signing the bill into law, DeSantis stated: “We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” as reported by The Guardian.
Most recently, he signed a bill which enables medical professionals and for-profit insurers to deny patients care based on religious, moral or ethical reasons or beliefs—a crushing piece of legislation which will undoubtedly harm the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals and has been accurately named the ‘Let Them Die’ Act on Twitter.
Oh, and all of this isn’t even touching upon the significant voter suppression laws or irresponsible COVID-19 pandemic policies he’s pushed forward. The list could truly go on and on.
DeSantis is an evil person. He’s built his political career off of erasing the rights of minorities and those who have already been facing mounting discrimination in the US. The Governor has created an atmosphere of fear which focuses on isolating anyone who doesn’t fit into the white/Republican/Christian and Catholic archetype. Things have gotten so hostile in his home state that human rights groups have also begun actively discouraging queer individuals from visiting.
DeSantis is in many ways considered the Republican front-runner, his main opponent being of course former President Donald Trump. While some die-hard MAGA fans might still consider Trump to be the clear winner in this race, DeSantis has cultivated a very loyal community over the past few years, and (as ludacris as this sounds) has been considered more reliable and responsible than the former President.
Trump’s recent court case, in which he was found guilty for the defamation and sexual assault of American columnist E. Jean Carroll, might’ve also damaged his reputation among some of the more moderate Republicans.
From the looks of it, DeSantis and Trump are also not the best of friends. As reported by The Independent, mere hours before the Florida Governor’s Twitter livestream fiasco, Trump took to his personal social media platform TRUTH Social to admonish his rival, resorting to nicknames such as “Ron DeSanctus” and “Rob DeSanctimonious,” and stating that he “desperately needs a personality transplant.”
Now that DeSantis has officially confirmed his candidacy bid, we’re sure to see many more of these classic Trumpism comments over the following months. Either way, it’s safe to say that, as things currently stand, we as a global population are well and truly f*cked.
In what can only be described as the next step in Florida’s crusade to completely erase and demolish the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals, Governor Ron DeSantis has officially signed the ‘Protections of Medical Conscience’ bill.
On Thursday 11 May 2023, DeSantis, who has single-handedly helped to crush the legal and medical protections of queer US citizens, pushed forward a piece of legislation which enables medical professionals and for-profit insurers to deny patients care based on religious, moral or ethical reasons or beliefs.
2023 has already become one of the most insidious years in regards to the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, and this recent bill will only further endanger them. As reported by PinkNews, legitimate concerns have been raised by activists and other medical professionals across the US that Senate Bill 1580 could be used to deny care to queer people, if a healthcare provider holds bigoted views about the community.
According to DeSantis however, the passing of this bill will ensure “medical freedom of speech for physicians by allowing doctors to follow data, not political agendas.” The so-called politician went on to state: “Florida rejects penalising physicians who dissent from the official narrative.”
One Twitter user, who has been publically referring to the bill as the ‘Let Them Die Act’ stated that the legislation was already having a major impact. Alejandra Caraballo alleged that one trans person had died after EMTs refused to treat them after a car accident.
Not only is the bill itself incredibly pointed and seeped with homophobic undertones, it’s also incredibly vague. The idea of a ‘conscience-based objection’ is highly complex and, as so many conservative political footballs are these days, it can and most likely will be used specifically to refuse the medical treatment of trans individuals—a community that has faced ruthless discrimination in the South and across the entire country over the past decade.
The situation has escalated to such a point that human rights group Equality Florida has begun issuing travel advice to any LGBTQIA+ individuals planning on going to the Southern state.
Nadine Smith, Equality Florida’s executive director, stated that as an organisation which works to improve Florida’s reputation for LGBTQIA+ equality, that it was with “great sadness” that they had to issue the travel advisory.
Some of the other scathing bills recently passed in Florida include: the highly controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill which restricts educators from teaching students about sexual orientation and gender issues, with teachers opening themselves up to lawsuits should they fail to comply and the ‘Safety in Private Spaces’ act which would make it a misdemeanour trespassing offence for someone to use certain bathrooms that don’t align with their sex at birth. There have also been a number of anti-drag bills passed in the South.
While activism targeted towards revoking and fighting against this swathe of legislation remains strong, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to break away from DeSantis’ own “official narrative” which is, of course, that the LGBTQIA+ community must be eviscerated. What’s even more concerning is that it looks more likely every single day that the Florida Governor might be the winning Republican candidate for the 2024 Presidential elections…