The political stunt by Florida’s Republican governor using children and adults as human props has been embraced by the diehard extremist base. While he does it to bolster his own political standing as he looks at the White House with lust, he does it for them, too. We’re talking about a base that doesn’t care that millions of its tax dollars are being wasted on this, because the pain it causes to migrants (as well as their advocates) is more than the pain it’s causing to their wallets. Craven birds of a feather flock together.
Some of the very smart political pundits and mainstream outlets that have previously fawned over DeSantis might also try to convince us that this is yet another oh-so-savvy move from the Florida man. But the fact is that more Americans oppose this stunt than support it, polling shows. It’s not even overwhelmingly popular among Republicans.
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Reuters reports that polling conducted with firm Ipsos reveals that slightly more than half of Republicans support their party’s political campaigns moving recently arrived migrants to “blue” areas, with 29% in opposition. “Sixteen percent of Democrats supported the practice, and 55% were opposed,” Reuters said. “Overall, 29% of Americans supported the practice and 40% opposed.”
Nearly half of respondents also said they believed that Republican leaders were engaged in human trafficking. “Forty-five percent of respondents in the Reuters/Ipsos poll—including 63% of Democrats and 31% of Republicans—said state leaders transporting migrants were committing illegal migrant trafficking,” the polling said.
Numerous reports into DeSantis’ stunt, in particular, have noted how a “Perla”—or possibly a number of women named “Perla”—used false promises and lies to lure migrants onto flights. Jose trekked on foot from Venezuela to the U.S., telling The Washington Post that he passed by the bodies of migrants who had died attempting the same journey. In San Antonio, he believed a blond-haired woman who approached him and said she could help him reach family friends in Philadelphia. She “promised food, jobs, and transportation.”
But migrants were given conflicting information about exactly where they were going once they arrived at the airport. They would end up being unceremoniously dumped in Martha’s Vineyard. Once DeSantis got the video footage and headlines he desired, Perla was gone. “I don’t like the way they treated us,” Jose told The Washington Post. “We’re human beings.”
The polling certainly shows that some Americans are perfectly comfortable with the deplorable shit Florida and Texas (from where DeSantis ripped this idea) are pulling. They may even love it. DeSantis is campaigning to win them in a GOP primary, possibly in a race against the insurrectionist former president. But the polling also shows a GOP base is not exactly unified around this stunt, and it could definitely backfire in a general, should he make it that far.
“People like Ron DeSantis try to divide us and appeal to the worst aspects of humanity by turning us against each other and picking on the vulnerable,” tweeted Florida organizer Thomas Kennedy, a frequent target of DeSantis’ fascistic tactics. “In the end it won’t work because the majority of people are good and want the best for their fellow humans.”
While DeSantis has grabbed the headlines, Abbott has been more damaging by transporting far more migrants than the Florida man, more than 10,000 as of earlier this month to areas including Chicago. He’s been just as big of an asshole, with Illinois officials describing Abbott’s office as “wholly uncooperative.” Abbott also wants chaos and cruelty, shipping people like animals with no concern if there’s anything waiting for them. Meanwhile, these same Republicans lie and call themselves pro-life. Bullshit.
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