05:10:00 pm on
Thursday 18 Jul 2024

Gillum versus Desantis
AJ Robinson

Andrew Gilliam, with son, on primary night; Ron Desantis

Voters in Florida and across the USA have a decision to make this November. What I don’t know is what we’re supposed to decide, exactly. Whatever the target of the decision may be, the result is to be huge, especially in and for Florida.

The Florida race for governor is on.

The recent primaries in Florida set the race for governor. Andrew Gillum is the Democratic candidate. Ron DeSantis is the Republication candidate.

In Florida, we have a clear choice in the race for governor. For that matter, we have a clear choice for the state and the nation. Our candidates for governor could not be more different.

Andrew Gillum is the mayor of Tallahassee and a true progressive. Here are just a few of the things for which he stands. Gillum believes in Climate Change, which is important for in Florida. Miami already floods at high tide! How long are we supposed to ignore this issue?

Under Rick Scott, the current governor of Florida, not only did the Republicans do nothing regarding climate change, the term was unspoken and literally purged from government documents. Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for governor, is one a conspiracy nut that thinks climate concerns form a plot to damage business. Electing him will be more of the same on climate.

Right now, Florida lakes and rivers choke from algae and the red tide is killing the Gulf of Mexico, along southwest Florida. All of this is due to Republicans rolling back environmental rules, slashing the budgets of government agencies and giving the sugar industry a free pass to do as they please. The DeSantis answer to all this is nothing; well, more of the same, I suppose. Gillum says he wants to fight to protect our ecosystem.

Gillum agrees with the vast majority of Americans that we need simple, basic common sense gun control. DeSantis thinks there aren’t enough guns. To keep schools safe, claims DeSantis, arm the teachers.

Education and taxation.

Gillum thinks raising taxes, a small bit, to invest in education is a good idea. He’s radical. He even wants to give teachers a raise. My god, that’s downright revolutionary. Healthcare is a huge issue in Florida.

When it comes to healthcare, Gillum sees expanding Medicaid as a good way to help people in need. Not DeSantis, he has no plan to help anyone. It’s clear he’ll slash existing programmes that help the needy.

DeSantis sees women, minorities and the LGBTQ community as undeserving of protection of their rights. As you might imagine, Gillum holds the exact opposite views. Concerns such as equal pay and fully funding Planned Parenthood are important to Gillum, but not DeSantis.

DeSantis isn’t merely a good Republican; he’s a good little Trumpster. He’s more than willing to “kiss the ring” and fall into lockstep with the Great Orange One. Here’s what truly depresses me: the man has a good chance of winning!

DeSantis is the Republican candidate and there are some people that vote based on one simple fact. That is, does the candidate have an “R” next to his or her name? This is why known child molesters and Neo-Nazis can run as Republicans and actually get votes.

Next, there’s an FBI investigation into a government scandal in Tallahassee. As I understand it, Gillum isn’t involved. That, of course, won’t matter to Fox “News” and the Republicans; countless political advertisements will harp on the scandal.

I’m sad to say race will be an issue. Gillum is Black. In fact, race has already reared its ugly head. In an interview, DeSantis warned Florida not to “Monkey this up” which, as the New York Times reported, many hear as a racist dog whistle.

Many voters are already making excuses for DeSantis, saying it wasn’t a racially motivated comment. It was. I never heard such an expression. The closest “sayings,” I know, talk of throwing a monkey wrench into the works, which means disrupt or cause a problem with a process, or monkeying around, which means to act foolish. Neither is what DeSantis suggested.

Clearly, DeSantis is making an appeal to the racists and bigots of Florida. I’m sad to say that between that, voter suppression, voter apathy and all the mud they’re going to hurl at Gillum, we could be in for yet another Republican in the governor’s mansion.

Voters will have their say.

I hope Gillum is part of the predicted Blue Wave. That, of course, is up to the voters of Florida. So, what say you, people? We have a choice: move forward or fall back, it’s up to you!

Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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