There’s a really famous Luis Miguel, one of the best-selling Latino artists of all time with decades of worldwide hits. Then there’s the other Luis Miguel, a politically primitive crackpot, teabagger and fascist who lives in St. Augustine, Florida and is running against a mainstream conservative state Senator, Bobby Payne. Payne was always likely to kick his ass in the Republican primary, but Miguel's chances to pull out an upset on Tuesday plummeted this week.
Mentally deranged, Luis Miguel— the non-singing Trumpist— was permanently banned from Twitter this week after urging violence against American law enforcement, tweeting that Floridians should be able to shoot federal agents on sight. “Under my plan, all Floridians will be able to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF, and all other federal troops on sight. Let freedom ring.” Friday he told Florida Politics that he stands by the proposal, which he says is justified because the IRS has been “weaponized by dissident forces.”
Payne rejected Miguel’s comments.
“The FBI is law enforcement,” the legislator noted, and regardless of how people felt about any enforcement action, including the controversial seizure of documents from Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago, law enforcement should be respected.
Noting he’d never met the “anti-establishment” Miguel, he said candidates like this without a viable resume often are driven to wild statements to get attention, and their primary function is to “divide the party” in Primaries.
Miguel and Payne are in an open Primary in the new HD 20, a district where Republicans dominate registration, but Democrats and no-party voters can vote in this election.
Miguel raised just over $4,000 as a candidate, meaning social media was key to his messaging. Payne raised nearly $140,000 in hard money and has not needed to spend it against his challenger. He had more than $110,000 on hand as of Aug. 5.
Payne was first elected in 2016, and if re-elected this will be his final term in Tallahassee.
On Friday evening, the Florida Democratic Party issued a statement condemning Miguel.
“DeSantis-supporting Republicans are now openly calling for violence against law enforcement and the federal government,” said Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Kobie Christian. “Luis Miguel models himself on the right-wing extremism that Ron DeSantis has used to elevate himself onto the national stage.
“If elected, Miguel is promising to pass legislation encouraging ‘on sight’ shooting of law enforcement officials. Governor DeSantis needs to denounce this plan, this candidate, and the escalating attacks on the men and women of law enforcement who uphold our laws.”
I just have a couple of friends in the area where Miguel is running. One, Joshua Hicks is running for a Jacksonville at-large city council seat. He’s as unhappy about Miguels’ unhinged comments as an sane person would be. “Republican leaders in Florida and across the country,” Hicks told me today, “have created a political environment in which candidates and individuals think this dangerous and potentially deadly rhetoric is acceptable— well, it’s not. It’s harmful to our law encouragement agencies and officers who are only interested in investigating the attempted coup on January 6th and anyone involved in it. They play no favorites and Donald Trump should be judged and held accountable like everyone else. Luis Miguel has disqualified himself from serving, and he should be fully investigated for the threats he made on social media. Unfortunately, political extremists run Florida politics, making Florida a breeding ground for MAGA crazies, especially on the local level. We must defeat Ron DeSantis this November and Donald Trump must be held accountable for his traitorous actions. The future of our country depends on it.” This is Luis Miguel's stated agreement-- his platform, in effect with the voters-- from his website:
I, Luis Miguel, vow in this agreement to you that if I am voted into the Florida House of Representatives by the People of Florida, I will introduce legislation to:
*Apprehend and remove illegal aliens in Florida, eliminate all incentives to illegal migration, mandate E-verify, and establish criminal penalties for those who aid and abet illegals.
*Drain the swamp, shut down the Deep State, and end the influence of seditionists like George Soros, including by sanctioning and prosecuting them.
*Enact terrorist designations for Antifa and other violent organizations in order to dismantle them.
*Further secure our elections, including by having a statewide audit and by outlawing fraud-enabling technologies like Dominion and Smartmatic.
*Prevent COVID-type overreach from ever happening again, including by taking on Big Pharma, banning requirements of ANY vaccine for work or school, and prohibiting forced closures of businesses and churches.
*Restore Parental Rights, including by breaking up the teachers unions and ensuring school choice.
*Protect Florida’s children with criminal penalties for educators and others who push transgenderism, pornography and sexual grooming on minors.
*Preserve our cultural and historical monuments, including those honoring fallen Confederate soldiers.
*Prevent Communist China and other bad actors from owning any stake in Florida’s economy or society.
*Keep corrupt federal agents out of Florida, ban the arrest of D.C. protesters and free Jan. 6 prisoners being held in our state.
*Lift up our small businesses by eliminating the fees, regulations, and taxes stifling their growth.
*Make Florida the leader in manufacturing, agriculture, commerce, and technological innovation.
*Further rein in Big Tech and end the leftist indoctrination on K-12 and college campuses.
*Safeguard the 2nd Amendment with Constitutional Carry.
*Stop the overdevelopment that threatens our way of life.
*Fight back against the illegitimate Biden regime and nullify all unconstitutional laws, executive orders, and court rulings to come out of Washington.
*End human trafficking.
*Unconditionally abolish abortion.
In light of this manifesto, it might be a good time to introduce Umair Haque’s latest: The GOP Is Trump’s Frankenstein Monster Now. “In America, democratic norms have been absolutely shredded," he wrote this week. “It’s normal for local officials to receive death threats, and so many are leaving the job. Teachers are under attack for saying the wrong words, as fundamentalists and fanatics demand books be banned. Intimidation and political street violence are all everyday features of American life. The central idea of social life in a democracy is ceasing to exist— neighbors and colleagues living side by side as citizens, who trust and respect one another. Instead, Americans have begun to genuinely despise each other, though that’s a poor way to put it: it’s more accurate to say that the Trumpists finally took their mask off, after the FBI raid, and told the rest of America that they wanted to declare civil war on it. Trumpism has been spectacularly successful in this regard— in altering America’s norms, and turning it into the kind of society that feels ugly, brutal, backwards, violent. You never know if you meet someone, and you’re just chatting with them, if they’ll come out and say the most reprehensible, bigoted, hateful things, and snicker, because to them, Trumpism made all that not just acceptable, but desirable.
How does a society really collapse? Like this: demagogues scapegoat vulnerable social groups, at the bottom of the ladder of power and money, for the woes of the in-group, the majority, the pure of blood and true of faith— with Big Lies. Rising to power on these Big Lies, demagogues then pervert the very institution that should be defending and protecting and nurturing the Common Wealth— the res publica, the common good, which is what republic really means— and turn them against these scapegoats. The vicious cycle keeps going— and in the midst of all this, the in-group, the majority’s real problems, which have nothing to do with scapegoats, but are about long-standing deficits in systems, in investment— only multiply, creating a need for newer, bigger scapegoats. Bang. The vicious cycle of collapse.
But did you catch the domino effect? Demagogues gain power by breaking one form of opposition— and use it to crush another. Let’s the example of Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s wannabe Goering, the slick, aw-shucks, everyman. He rose to power on the Big Lie that Virginia’s “real” kids were under attack— from who, nobody quite knew— and now Virginia has tip lines to turn in teachers and kids. In other words, Youngkin perverted social norms, rousing terrifying fears of losing their kids in people— and then, gaining power, went from crushing social opposition, to politicizing even the classroom. Would you want to be a teacher in Virginia, where some lunatic can turn you in because they think you’re “making their kid gay,” by having little Johnny read a book? Dominoes: social norms being altered by a demagogue with scapegoating meant Virginia’s systems changed, and it now has a secret police for teachers, if you can imagine that— all of which makes future opposition to neo-fascism that much more unlikely, now that Virginian kids grow up in an atmosphere where they can be “turned in.” That’s the domino effect of social collapse.
…The GOP is ranked by political scientists as closer to fanatical movements like the Taliban than it is to political parties in democracies— it’s something genuinely abhorrent and abnormal. But what is it, really?
It’s every form of lunatic there is, joining hands and linking arms, because they’re all fixated on the same goal. They’ve made a pact, formed a relationship of convenience. Godless neo-Nazis and earnest fundamentalists and greasy oligarchs and fanatical libertarians— they make the strangest of bedfellows, if you think about it. Their relationship of convenience exists because they’ve come together through the common goal of ending democracy and a modern society.
Once that happens, they reason, they can divide up the spoils? You— you theocrats? OK, you take this part, and turn it into the Handmaids’ Tale. You guys? The supremacists and neo-Nazis? OK, you get control over this institution, and that region, and this social norm. You guys, the oligarchs? OK, you can have the water and energy and food systems.
You can see how it all works, a little bit.
So what has the GOP really become, then? Frankenstein’s monster, but for social collapse. Remember how poor Frankenstein was stitched together from corpses? It’s exactly the same thing, and I mean exactly. All of these ideas and movements should be dead— supremacy, fascism, neo-Nazism, theocracy, fundamentalism, medieval libertarianism, Orwellian authoritarianism— and yet, they’ve been stitched together, inhabiting one form, making up one body. And Trump came along as the electrical spark that animated them all and brought them back to life. But not really to life, as in seeking to live. They’re undead, and bent on destruction. Destroying what everyone else values and holds dear, in a terrible, obsessive quest for vengeance and ruin.
The corpse-parts: the failed lunatic ideas of all of humanity’s past, from fascism to authoritarianism to theocracy to supremacy. Stitching them together. The lightning bolt that brought them back to life.
The GOP is Trump’s Frankenstein monster now. And while poor Frankenstein was an object of pity, a metaphor for not just how science goes wrong without morality, but also of how each of us is made of the rest of us, too, in a kind of primal wound of pain — this Frankenstein monster isn’t the stuff of a great novel. It’s just an idiot bent on destruction, a moron shouting at you not to wear a mask, a militant throwing a grenade at Congress, a fundamentalist bullying your kid for being “effeminate,” a soccer mom screaming death threats at the bewildered old lady counting votes. This Frankenstein monster? It’s made of millions of people, seduced by Big Lies, tantalized into an orgy of hate, reduced to nothing but their animal selves…and it’s in the shape of one…giant Donald Trump.