Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ political stunt of flying two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard speaks volumes about his cruelty, but so does the story of the people that he doesn’t even shoo away from his rallies: Nazis.
When the far-right-wing student indoctrination group Turning Point USA held their Student Action Summit at Tampa Convention Center in July, DeSantis was one of the keynote speakers, and his Nazi fanbase showed up.
Despite the very bad optics, the organizers didn’t shoo them away, and neither DeSantis nor his spokespeople attempted to distance themselves from these people, who were waving “DeSantis Country” and State of Florida flags side by side with Swastika and SS flags.
It would’ve been a very simple matter for Turning Point USA or DeSantis to send security to go to the Nazis and say “Hey, we appreciate your fandom, but you’re not pushing the kind of message we want to promote.”
It wouldn’t have cost taxpayer dollars to do that, unlike flying two planes of people to Massachusetts. They didn’t even have the decency to let the people at Martha’s Vineyard know that two planeloads of migrants were coming, requiring people there to scramble to set them up with shelter.
The Nazis stayed, because they’re the people DeSantis and company don’t mind staying.
They and their sympathizers are the base now.
That wasn’t even the first time THIS YEAR that DeSantis refused to condemn Nazis
Oh yeah, there was that thing in January, where DeSantis refused to condemn some Nazi demonstrations in Orlando.
You’d think it would be easy and automatic to do that. In my Green Card interview, I reflexively, automatically, and happily denounced the Nazis — something that both DeSantis and the former president* have trouble doing.
The best DeSantis’ office couldn’t even bring themselves to put some distance between them and the Nazis, but try to blame others. DeSantis’ Press Secretary Christina Pushaw tried to put the blame on Democratic “crisis actors” in a tweet she later deleted:
- Rolling Stone: Why Won’t Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Denounce His Neo-Nazi Supporters?
Sen. Rick Scott was the only featured speaker at Turning Point USA’s conference who openly condemned the display of swastikas and other Nazi imagery by a group of pro-DeSantis protestors.
- People: Lawmakers, Jewish Groups Call on Florida Gov. to Denounce Neo-Nazis Waving ‘DeSantis Country’ Flags
Photos taken of the group show them waving posters with anti-Semitic imagery, such as swastikas and Nazi flags, along with the Florida state flag and a poster showing DeSantis’ face.
- Orlando Sentinel: Why won’t DeSantis condemn Tampa neo-Nazi demonstration?
- Creative Loafing: Photos: Neo-Nazis gather outside Turning Point USA summit at Tampa Convention Center
- Florida Politics: Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Press Secretary’s tweet suggests denial of Nazi protest
- Business Insider: Ron DeSantis said his political opponents were trying to ‘smear’ him by asking him to condemn neo-Nazi demonstrators