A friend convinced me to see the movie “Elvis.” First reluctantly, and then surprisingly, I saw an excellent flick that put a human spin on what I previously had considered to be nothing more than a drugged-up entertainment idol.
A critical part of the film was the reaction of politicians to the pelvis-pumping entertainer.
They faked so much outrage at Pressly’s gyrations that they arrested him and threatened him with lengthy jail terms.
There is nothing like the demented shock a politician can exude when trying to prove his own strict morality.
According to the movie, Pressly had to join the U.S. army to escape that phony outrage and vengeful punishment for wriggling onstage.
And that is the Ron DeSantis connection.
DeSantis is of the same ilk as the oh-so-pure Pressly badgers. He feigns anger at those who would remind us of dark corners in American life.
Yes, this shining city on a hill has warts. Plenty of them.
We have bigots. To deny that fact is to deny the roundness of the world.
And yes, white Americans held black Americans as slaves. And even today, the traffic stop of a black driver sometimes escalates into the driver’s death.
And gay Americans have been, and still are, persecuted. As are emotionally troubled Americans. As are pregnant women.
But rather than exposing a disease as a step toward curing it, DeSantis wants to pretend it doesn’t exist. Not only pretend, he wants to punish anyone who tells the truth. This is how he demonstrates his self-proclaimed moral superiority to naive Trumpers.
Thus, the so-called “don’t say gay” bill makes the tacit, outrageous claim that Americans should pretend perfection, hide imperfections, and punish those who wish to shed light on the darkness.
America has nothing to fear from the truth. We are a great nation, but we are not without flaws.
Facing and acknowledging those imperfections demonstrates strength. Hiding them reveals cowardice and malevolence.
Just as pretending we had no COVID encouraged COVID, pretending we have no criminals encourages criminals.
Pretending we have no bigotry encourages bigotry.
Pretending our elections were rigged encourages anti-voting laws that really do rig elections.
Hiding the truth encourages the lie.
Every decade has its phony “holier than thou” extremist blue-noses. All religions suffer from them.
You saw them smashing liquor bottles during the Prohibition years. You see Sunday “blue laws.”
DeSantis’s denial of bigotry encourages the bigots. His denial of fact encourages the liars.
His denial of logic encourages the nuts. When Puritanical adults outlawed Elvis Pressly’s stage wriggles, they turned him into an idol.
DeSantis gives parents the right to sue teachers and school boards for disclosing uncomfortable truths.
Each parent’s unique personal discomfort provides the basis for punishment.
DeSantis claims that uneducated parents are better able to teach children than are degreed teachers.
If so, why do we have public schools, and why do we educate teachers? Why not simply save money and tell parents to teach their own kids?
Shall we be guided by the lowest common denominator?
If this is the new America, the uncomfortable truth is that we have turned the asylum over to the inmates. The GOP sides with the coup plotters. The Supreme Court sides with gerrymanderers.
DeSantis, indeed the entire GOP, is a mean-spirited, hate-filled, Trumpist bully, sucking up to right-wing bigots with phony moral outrage.
America, you get what you vote for.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
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