Florida State Senator Wants To 'Cancel' The Democratic Party, Like They Need His Help
Time for another dumb stunt from Ron DeSantis's Florida, just in time for the last day of Black History Month.
Republican state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, once Florida's Republican Party chair, is sponsoring the "Ultimate Cancel Act," which won't cancel inflation or anything, but it will eliminate any political party that once used slavery as part of its platform.
\u201cAnother ridiculous stunt from a party full of ridiculous performance artists. FL State Senator introduces bill to ban the Democratic Party since it was once for slavery 160+ years ago. https://t.co/LJdGYJ7Dz7\u201d— Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1677608803
The Democratic Party isn't mentioned in the bill specifically, but Ingoglia doesn't bother hiding his true intentions.
“For years now, leftist activists have been trying to ‘cancel’ people and companies for things they have said or done in the past. This includes the removal of statues and memorials, and the renaming of buildings,” he said. “Using this standard, it would be hypocritical not to cancel the Democratic Party itself for the same reason.”
SB 1248 measure would switch Democratic voters to no-party voters. They'd also have the option of choosing another party entirely. Democratic Party registration in Florida has steadily dropped over the years, so this feels like a "kick-them-while-they're-already-down" bill ... so classic Republican Party. Excuse me, I should say this is "classic modern-day Republican Party." As every historian keeps telling these fools, the parties have changed a lot over the years.
Sure, the 1860 Democratic Party platform fiercely supported slavery, and the 1860 Republican platform was anti-slavery. However, Florida itself was the third state to secede from the union and was a key player in the Confederacy. It's not as if every Republican in Florida is a literal Yankee transplant who wants to preserve the union and promote freedom.
The early Republican Party consisted of northern Protestants, factory workers, professionals, businessmen, prosperous farmers, and after the Civil War, former black slaves. Since the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, the Republican Party slowly and suddenly became the party of conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, and insurrectionists. It's a neo-Confederate party that has little connection other than its name with the party of Abraham Lincoln and (my personal hero) Thaddeus Stevens.
Stevens was a true badass. He said, "I wished that I were the owner of every southern slave, that I might cast off the shackles from their limbs, and witness the rapture which would excite them in the first dance of their freedom.” I don't think many MAGA Republicans would consider that a fun Saturday night.
Stevens said during the Civil War, in 1862, "Our object should be not only to end this terrible war now, but to prevent its recurrence. All must admit that slavery is the cause of it. Without slavery, we should this day be a united and happy people."
He also wisely noted, "No Government can be free that does not allow all its citizens to participate in the formation and execution of her laws." Florida is so racially gerrymandered that it borders on a failed state. In truth, Blaise Ingoglia and his fellow party members don't deserve to call themselves Republicans, but I suppose the likes of Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kevin McCarthy — I could go on — have thoroughly tarnished a once noble mantle.
Ingoglia, without a trace of irony, said he hopes his stupid bill will force Democrats to "face their past." Democrats aren't the ones who want to ignore or whitewash history. Republicans might dwell in a romanticized past but they'll eventually have to confront what they've become. It's not pretty.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."