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Florida Führer Fires Furious Fill-in

A still image from Brian Covey’s video of empty school library shelves

In Florida these days, everybody knows you must work toward the Führer. Accordingly, the public schools in Jacksonville have dispensed with the services of full-time substitute teacher Brian Covey for posting a 17-second video showing school library bookshelves empty of books due to the dictates of Governor Ron DeSantis, the noted enemy of LGBTQ people, Black people, and wakefulness. DeSantis denounced this as Fake News, and Covey lost his job. Be it known that irking the would-be Next Dictator of the United States is now a firing offense for Florida educators.

This is merely the latest instance in DeSantis’s years-long demonstration of what abuse of power looks like. Some polls show him as front-runner in next year’s Republican presidential primaries. Large and perhaps decisive majorities of Republicans approve of this sort of bullying, of the spectacle of the governor deceiving refugees (from Venezuelan “socialism”!) in order to ship them around the United States like so much human chattel, of his decrees from on high about what teachers may and may not teach and what students may and may not learn. The empty school library shelves, as I have pointed out before, cannot be considered merely an unfortunate byproduct of the attempt to purge books about Black and LGBTQ people; they are the logical extension of the decades-long Republican war on public education, a war in which many Democrats have been sometime allies. The world view espoused by Trump, DeSantis, Greg Abbott, and all the rest of them can only prevail in a society that is deliberately kept ignorant of its own history and the findings of modern science. First it was the theory of evolution they came for, now it’s infectious disease theory and vaccination, perhaps tomorrow they will ban electricity so that we can all live by candlelight like the Founders did, the way the God of Dummkopfs apparently requires.

There was another great modern country deliberately kept ignorant of its history and denied the fruits of modern science when the powers that be deemed them politically undesirable. It was the late, unlamented Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, every word of whose pompous name was an outrageous lie, and its fate was to lose the Cold War and its enormous empire. Its Russian heartland is now ruled by a vengeful secret policeman who has started the biggest and most dangerous shooting war since World War II. This is the kind of fate that the super-patriots of the Republican Party are dragging America toward with their book-burning, ignorance-boasting, hatemongering ways, and it matters not whether their nominal leader in this march of destruction is Trump, DeSantis, or a more smiley face like Glenn Youngkin’s.


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