MOSCOW, 27 Dec 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has introduced the first in the United States bill at the state level prohibiting the promotion of the so-called Critical Race Theory (CRT) not only in schools, but also in corporations. Moreover, the future law will enable parents and employees to sue those who violate the ban.
“We will not allow taxpayers’ money to be spent on teaching our children to hate our nation or to hate each other,” said DeSantis with fervour, introducing the bill to the applause of supporters.
This move of Donald Trump’s political ally added fuel to the fire of civil confrontation in America and positioned DeSantis himself as a possible candidate for the US presidency in 2024 from the Republicans if “Big Donald” suddenly leaves the race.
In the name of his initiative – “Stop Woke Act” – the Florida governor used a pun. The abbreviation stands for “Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees” and at the same time appeals to the activists of woke — “awakened”. This is a new political trend in the United States, which means increased attention to “social justice”, as it is understood by liberals, feminists and LGBT activists.
By this, the governor made it clear that he is not limited to banning CRT alone, but challenges the entire “leftist agenda” that has migrated from the media and universities to Capitol Hill. In the eyes of many white Americans, DeSantis, who opposes Washington’s “advanced” initiatives – from gender experiments to forced vaccination, turns into a fighter for their civil rights and for “great America”.
But is the governor of Florida capable of reaching the national level in the coming years and winning there, taking power away from the Democrats?
“Whites are being made scapegoats”
Ronald DeSantis’ war against the conductors of critical racial theory has been going on already for several months. And in this he is not unique: the authorities of Utah and Texas are also trying to ban teaching it in schools. But DeSantis went the furthest — if the “Stop Woke Act” is approved, parents of Florida schoolchildren will be able to sue the school for just the attempt by teachers itself to discuss this “heresy” with students — and then claim money for a lawyer’s fee. And employees of companies registered in the state will be able to do the same.
The descendant of Italian immigrants explains his decision this way: before us is a false doctrine that denigrates the founding fathers and the American Revolution, he says. Under the guise of lectures and training, people are being indoctrinated. Whites are made scapegoats, moreover, with their own money, and children are turned against their parents. Everything is organised by the bureaucracy, university cadres and corporate America in order, DeSantis adds, to impose their absurd views on citizens.
And he is quite adequate in assessing CRT. RUSSTRAT wrote in detail about this product of the intellectual thought of American law professors, so here we will only briefly outline it.
The essence of Critical Race Theory boils down to the idea that race is not a biological given, but a social construct that for centuries consolidated the superiority of whites over non-whites and still permeates all spheres of American life. “You are your race,” the theory goes. Any white person belongs to the exploitative class from birth and is guilty of racism, regardless of personal qualities. Any black person is by definition a victim of oppression and deserves compensation.
Compensation consists in a global redistribution of privileges: from the prohibition of school tests and the falsification of scores for admission to university to the acquittal of black criminals and the liberation of non-whites from labour in the presence of a white person. In its extreme manifestations, CRT implies the collapse of the entire hierarchy based on personal merit and competition.
It should be replaced by a “new justice” — the universal achievement of equal results, not opportunities.
“You’re lying, CRT is not studied in schools!” — numerous opponents in social networks shout to DeSantis. “Then why are you so indignant because of the ban of a non-existent thing?” the supporters of the governor say in response.
In fact, this theory is being promoted in American schools with might and main. In Philadelphia, fifth graders were forced to celebrate “Black Communism” and “liberate Angela Davis”. In San Diego, white teachers were accused of colonising “stolen Indian lands.” In Buffalo, schoolchildren were coerced into watching a movie with dead black children under warnings that “racist police could kill them at any moment”. And in Cupertino, third graders were ordered to “deconstruct their racial identity”.
Things are no better in corporations either — if to take as example the Bank of America manuals saying that the United States is a system of “white supremacy”, or programs for Google employees claiming that all Americans are “brought up as racists”.
It is not surprising that Critical Race Theory, multiplied by the BLM excesses of recent years, terrifies millions of white Americans who do not want to “pay and repent” for the real or imaginary racism of their great-grandfathers. And this rejection is already moving into the political plane. In particular, experts explain the recent victory of Republican Glenn Youngkin in the gubernatorial election in traditionally democratic Virginia by his loud criticism of attempts to introduce CRT in local schools. And numerous opinion polls in the state say the same thing.
But after all, the imposition of CRT is far from being the only Americans’ topic of concern on which the “elephant party” could build an electoral campaigns in 2022, including gubernatorial elections in 36 states. In turn, Ron DeSantis, who will also have to defend the governor’s chair in the coming year, managed to configure his political preferences in such a way that they exactly match the image of the ideal Republican candidate for president of the United States – depressed, even humiliated, but not broken at all and dreaming of revenge in 2024.
The Hero from Jacksonville
The 43-year-old DeSantis is indeed close to the best examples of right-wing US politicians. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, he is a three-time congressman, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, an Iraq War veteran and a father of three children, married to a TV star. His name thundered in 2017, when he spoke out against the continuation of the investigation by US Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller regarding “Russian interference” in Trump’s victorious election. DeSantis built his 2018 campaign in Florida by copying Trump’s “Make America Great Again”, and at critical moments in January 2021 openly supported the losing president.
A supporter of tax cuts and the lifting of bans on firearms, an opponent of illegal migrants, abortion, LGBT and transgender people in women’s sports, DeSantis consistently opposes any “fashionable theories” of Washington: from global warming and the development of renewable energy to a COVID-19 total vaccination campaign.
During the coronavirus pandemic, DeSantis proved himself to be almost the main COVID-dissident among high-ranking Americans, resisting not only vaccination passports and the closure of the state for lockdown, but also wearing masks. In March 2021, amid general pandemic fatigue, this made him the most influential governor in the United States, according to Politico. And in November, Florida became the first American state where, to the delight of corona-skeptics, a fine was introduced (!) for the authorities, companies and hospitals that demand the mandatory vaccination of employees, which the federal authorities insist on. Even the budget of the Sunny State for 2022 was called the “Freedom First Budget” – should be read as: freedom [from Washington’s wishlist] is above all.
Is it any wonder that Ron DeSantis is now considered the favourite of the Republican primaries – provided that they will take place without Trump. Thus, according to a December poll by the authoritative Echelon Insights, a record 30% of supporters of the “elephant party” are ready to support the Florida governor — this is 18% more than the runner-up Mike Pence (in the camp of Democrats, only the current Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris demonstrates about the same result). For comparison, in September, DeSantis’ indicator did not exceed 22%.
Winning the gubernatorial election in 2022 looks like a feasible task for him, and afterwards… Someone is already matching the Floridian and Trump together – if, of course, the “Big Donald” will participate in the 2024 election in general and at the same time will cease to see his colleague as a competitor. And also if a constitutional conflict is resolved, according to which it is better for a potential US President and his Vice President not to be from the same state. And someone even believes that DeSantis will be even the first number from the party.
But neither DeSantis’ strong personal positions, nor his growing electoral base, nor the predicted strengthening of the Republicans’ positions in the coming years guarantee anything, and especially the post of President in 2024. The main drawback of the hero from Jacksonville is that he is too visible, he is known inside out. According to his weaknesses, the Democrats will “work” for the next three years, and at the crucial moment, as everyone already knows, mysterious things can begin to happen with the ballots sent by mail…
Anyway, it is interesting to observe this rising star of big American politics. So far, Ron DeSantis has managed to get out of all the scrapes unscathed — let’s see how he will succeed in 2022…