Home » Woke wins, Ron DeSantis loses

Woke wins, Ron DeSantis loses

Ron DeSantis is what happens when you reboot the series too soon. No one needed Donald Trump 2.0 when the original had no intention of going anywhere. DeSantis was left looking like that weird update of Psycho where the idea was to reproduce every beat of the original, but in color. Not only did DeSantis flop, it was a wonder anyone ever believed he wouldn’t flop.

For the last three years, the media has pounded the DeSantis drum. MSNBC declared him “Trump’s heir to the White House” just weeks after Jan. 6, 2021. CNN gushed over how DeSantis kept Florida “economically booming” by mocking masks, vaccines, and social distancing—at the cost of merely thousands of unnecessary deaths. The Wall Street Journal put it in terms their readers would understand by saying that DeSantis’ “stock was rising.” And most of all, Fox News put DeSantis in front of their cameras almost once a day for months after Trump lost the 2020 election.

DeSantis’ willingness to sacrifice children, adults, and whole industries to feed COVID conspiracy theories may have gotten him his first round of glowing media coverage, but there was really just one issue that formed the core of his campaign, and that was the “war on woke.” Today, there’s some news from the front: Woke won.

As The Guardian reports, DeSantis put all his eggs in that basket, including banning dictionaries for containing words, destroying college education, ending diversity programs, and most of all doing everything possible to harm the LGBTQ+ community. (Basically, everything that’s on Elon Musk’s mind on a daily basis.)

Just like Musk, DeSantis had plenty of fanboys. And if he didn’t have his own billions at hand, DeSantis certainly had plenty of deep-pocket donors who kept him in campaign ads and bus rides. But the DeSantis campaign proved to be the worst investment since a racist, antisemitic, right-wing troll bought Twitter.

As The Guardian notes, DeSantis was supposed to be “Trump without the baggage.” This seemed to mean that DeSantis came with all the prejudice, fascism, and bad policy anyone could possibly want—but his wife can stand to be in the same room with him and he hasn’t openly endorsed sexual assault. Yet.

Steamboat Willie and the War on Woke 

DeSantis played every note on the authoritarian organ, firing a state attorney who dared to prosecute corrupt cops rather than persecuting women, booting local Black officials from office, and appointing a surgeon general who never met a conspiracy theory he doesn’t like. DeSantis gave the strongest possible signals of the kind of government he would run, one in which Black people, immigrants, women, and the LGBTQ+ community would constantly be under the elevated boot heel of white men, and in which teaching science or history would be taboo.  

But somehow, everyone forgot to check and see that the stage was clear before shoving DeSantis under the spotlight.

So now “Desanctamonius” is left to give a hearty Twitter-based endorsement to the man who said he was “overrated, disloyal, and a know-nothing.” The man who accused him of “grooming high school girls with alcohol” when he was a teacher. And who heavily hinted that DeSantis was only making a show out of his woke war because he was secretly gay.

In the end, Ron DeSantis did everything he could to show that he deserved Trump’s blood-stained mantle. He’s racist enough. He’s misogynist enough. He’s irrational enough. He’s just plain hateful enough. He may have fallen short of providing enough Hitler quotes and threats of mass executions, but given time, he surely could have cleared that hurdle.

His biggest problem is that he’s not Trump, and his party is a cult. He might have been Marc Antony, but the praising Caesar part is supposed to wait until after Caesar is dead. He couldn’t bring himself to challenge Trump, and still somehow expected to beat him.

All of which shows that DeSantis isn’t woke. He’s just weak.

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January 2024