NBC News column: DeSantis is a ‘clearer danger than Trump,’ pushing ‘thought control’ like ‘Nazi Germany’
An NBC News opinion column asserted Wednesday that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to ban CRT and protect young children from being taught about gender and sexuality in inappropriate ways in public schools, represents “thought control that has happened” in “Nazi Germany” or “today’s China.”
Written by former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut, the opinion piece, titled “Ron DeSantis has taken Trump’s playbook — and made it much more dangerous,” discussed how the Florida Republican has turned Trump’s “divisive talk into real (and really harmful) action” that mirrors action done in “totalitarian societies.”
Aftergut’s reasoning included a variety of DeSantis’ recent policy decisions including the enactment of the Parental Rights in Education Bill, but he was really focused on the governor’s latest initiative, which Aftergut described as, “censoring math books.”
FLORIDA’S ANTI-CRT LAW IS CHOICE BETWEEN ‘DISCOMFORT OR DEATH,’ MIAMI HERALD OP-ED WRITER ALLEGES
Pretty stylish schoolgirl studying math during her online lesson at home, social distance during quarantine, self-isolation, online education concept
He wrote, “So it’s come to this in Florida: censoring math books. Last Saturday, the state’s education board banned 54 of 132 books submitted for inclusion in public schools’ math curricula.”
He added, “The board said it had decided to reject more than half of the math textbooks submitted because they included ‘prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT.’”
Aftergut snarked, “Were the textbooks’ algebraic equations somehow encoded with secret woke messages, like CRT Trojan horses?” and responded, “I won’t hold my breath for answers.”
A bus for Chesterfield County Public Schools crashed Thursday, injuring five children and two adults, according to local reports.
(Chesterfield County Public Schools)
The state of Florida released several examples from the rejected math textbooks. One described the Implicit Association Test which measures levels of ‘racial prejudice’ while displaying a graph suggesting conservatives are more inclined to be racially biased.
The others made references to race and “social and emotional learning” deemed not fit for the state’s math curriculum by Florida Department of Education. The Department stated it “is continuing to give publishers the opportunity to remediate all deficiencies identified during the review.”
Still, Aftergut claimed, “It’s all part of DeSantis’ bid to politicize education.”
Aftergut added, “Certainly, what’s happening now in Florida looks a lot like the thought control that has happened in totalitarian societies. Whether in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany or today’s China, the banning of books is a central strategy for strongmen. DeSantis has no qualms using that playbook if he thinks it will benefit him politically.”
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DALTON, GEORGIA – JANUARY 04: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at a Republican National Committee Victory Rally at Dalton Regional Airport January 4, 2021 in Dalton, Georgia. President Trump campaigned for the two incumbents, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), for tomorrow’s runoff elections in Georgia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) ______ SANFORD, FL – OCTOBER 12: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis arrives before President Donald J. Trump arrives to speak during a campaign "Make America Great Again Event" at the Orlando Sanford International Airport on Monday, Oct 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Following that, the author argued DeSantis might end up being more popular than Donald Trump for the 2024 election cycle.
“Trump’s popularity may have peaked. Meanwhile, DeSantis’ political star is on the rise,” Aftergut stated.
“DeSantis presents an even clearer present and future danger than Trump does,” he warned.
“Consistently, where Trump has sown divisive messages, DeSantis has added to the harm by turning them into real (state) policy. Putting aside his divisive proposals on race, he’s also attacked the LGBTQ community and engendered a cruel homophobic backlash,” he added, referring to the governor signing the parental rights bill.
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Aftergut also mentioned DeSantis’ push for the “Florida Legislature to punitively repeal Disney World’s right to govern itself on its property in the state,” his success in “voter suppression” and “his push to expand Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ statute while cracking down on protests.”
He concluded, “If he emerges as a national candidate, get ready to fight his brand of demagoguery.”
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.