Neo-Nazis demonstrate in Orlando; Ron DeSantis: Investigate “highway protest violations!”

Commentary

Say hello, America, to your next potential President

Thursday, January 27, was International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On Saturday, January 29 and Sunday, January 30, in Orlando Florida, Neo-Nazis demonstrated. 

Now we all know that there are “good people on both sides.” In the spirit of that statement by our ex-President, allow me to detail some of the things these “good people” in Orlando did:

  • Hung a banner from a highway overpass that said, “Vax the Jews” 
  • Hung another with swastikas and the right-wing slogan “Let’s Go Branon[sic]” 
  • Hung a third banner that featured GoyimTV, the video platform for the Goyim Defense League
  • Held flags with swastikas chanting “White Power” and “Heil Hitler” while yelling obscene antisemitic insults at people driving by, and mockingly urging them to call police.

As if these hateful, disgusting anti-Semitic representations of free speech rights weren’t enough, it occurred in Florida with, predictable results; Governor Ron DeSantis couldn’t get up the courage to condemn the demonstrators. 

But wait, doesn’t Florida have one of the biggest Jewish populations in the country? And isn’t it political suicide for DeSantis to not speak out against Neo-Nazis and anti-Semitism?

Yes, Florida, with over 650,000 Jews is only surpassed by New York and California. But those 650,000 represent only 3% of Florida’s population, just slightly more than the national average of 2.4%. And most of those Jews don’t vote for DeSantis anyway.

So, what was his response. 

  • DeSantis press secretary, Christina Pushaw, tweeted, “Do we even know they’re Nazis?”, while suggesting the highway rally was a Democratic stunt.
  • She accused Democratic politicians of linking DeSantis to hate groups writing, “DeSantis has ALWAYS condemned antisemitic attacks & hatred,” and calling attempts to tie the neo-Nazi demonstrations to DeSantis’ policies, “disgusting political smears.”
  • Pushaw attacked activists and Democratic politicians for asking why DeSantis hadn’t condemned the rallies.

Finally at a press event in Palm Beach (Jews represent 15.8% of the Palm Beach County population), DeSantis’s only comment on the Neo-Nazis was to say they should be investigated for protesting on the highway.

Wait, what? His only comment was that there should be an investigation into highway protests?

No, actually, there’s more. DeSantis went on to accuse Democrats of smearing him by using, “a half-dozen malcontents” for “political gain.” Then concluded his remarks by touting his administration’s relationship to Israel.

Wouldn’t you know it? When all else fails for a Republican politician facing a “Jewish issue”, pull out the “Israel card!”

DeSantis is running for reelection in 2022. He’s up by +5 points and +10 points on the two most likely Democratic opponents, former Republican Governor, now Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist and Agricultural Secretary, Nikki Fried, respectively. 

Reports indicate DeSantis’ has $62.6 million cash on hand. Crist has $3.18 million while Fried has $2.51 million. Since elections are all about money (and voter suppression and partisan vote counting), this does not bode well for Democrats. If DeSantis wins, he’ll challenge an increasingly erratic Donald Trump for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination. 

So, get ready America – you’re next!

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

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