Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

And far from just a GOP slogan, it’s becoming actual policy.


f Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gets his way, people who merely attend a protest that results in property damage will be prosecuted for felonies. Yelling at someone in a restaurant as part of such a protest will be a criminal offense. And a driver who kills demonstrators with his car will not be liable for their deaths, as long as he is “fleeing for safety from a mob.”

These are just a few of the policies proposed by DeSantis in a package meant to chill dissent and punish those in the streets demanding an end to racist police violence. Republican leaders in the Florida Legislature have promised to file the bill in 2021. By introducing it now, DeSantis clearly hopes to rile up Trump’s base in Florida, one of the most crucial swing states, with fears of black-clad cabals rampaging through their gated communities. But the specifics of the proposal are worth close consideration, because it represents a rising consensus among conservative leaders under Donald Trump: A governing ethos that once boiled down to “troll the libs” is steadily escalating toward “kill the libs.”


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