The Politics of Cruelty

Turning human beings into political pawns.

When you vote for someone, you are supporting their behavior and their attitudes and their policies. I’m not saying that you have to agree 100% with everything they stand for. Who among us has not had to vote for the lesser of two evils at least once in their lifetime? I don’t think there’s a politician alive who has lived up to all of her/his/their campaign promises, so sometimes we live to regret our votes. But never forget that voting is a huge responsibility. If your person wins, you have helped support the impression that the majority of people believe in this person’s platform, despite the fact that, to my everlasting disgust, the majority of us don’t even bother to vote.

In light of that, it stuns me that so many people are willing to support the cruel, the indifferent, the violent and the ignorant by giving them the gift of their vote. Just the other day Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose eye is fixed firmly on becoming president of this country, pulled a heinous act to prove a political point. In a rational world this stunt would definitely backfire on him. But in modern America, it’s anybody’s guess.

To shine a big old light on the great debate about immigration, DeSantis decided he would spend a portion of the 12 million dollars that the state has set aside to transport migrants outside of Florida. (Because we don’t like your kind here.) According to this article in Newsweek, ironically, those funds were provided by federal taxpayers, via Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which DeSantis opposed, and then through the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund, which he also opposed.

What did he spend the money on? Here’s where it gets even more outrageous. He spent that money to charter two planes to take about 50 immigrants to affluent Martha’s Vineyard… from TEXAS. Apparently he couldn’t scare up enough immigrants in Florida on short notice, even though, to hear him tell it, the place is fairly crawling with them.

Not only that, but he had his staff lie to these immigrants in order to coerce them onto the plane. They thought they were being taken to Boston or New York City for jobs and housing. Instead, they were dumped on the tarmac on an island, with no food or money and no clue as to where they were or what to do. They had to find their way into town on their own, and they hadn’t a clue as to what town they were trying to find their way into. And on these lovely chartered planes they weren’t fed, not even the children, and the trip wore on from 6 a.m. to well into the afternoon. They even had two layovers, and yet still no food. Oh, but DeSantis did provide them with a videographer who was able to funnel the footage to Fox News for their extra-special spin.

Naturally, DeSantis hadn’t given the island a head’s up either, so they had nothing in place to attend to these poor people. That was part of the plan. In DeSantis’ cruel, high school prankster mind, these people don’t matter at all. He just thought it would be funny to give entitled liberals a taste of their own medicine with regard to their “lax” attitude about immigration. He thought that a bunch of immigrants, huddled and starving and exposed to the elements, would be great optics to prop up his political stance.

Can you say kidnapping? Can you say human trafficking? Can you say abduction, fraud, and misuse of public funds? Can you say a complete and utter disregard for voluntary and informed consent? Can you say intentional infliction of emotional distress?

These people were treated like monkeys in a political circus. They were piled into planes like so much baggage, and treated as if their lives had no value whatsoever. The Statue of Liberty must be hanging her head in shame. These immigrants were maliciously sent to a place where their circumstances would be notably worse. There are not enough jobs on Martha’s Vineyard to absorb 50 additional people, especially with the onset of winter. There are few services for immigrants there. The housing situation isn’t ideal. That’s what DeSantis knowingly thrust these people into, under false pretenses. There was a great scramble to get these folks relocated.

If DeSantis thinks that this stunt was equivalent to the immigrant issues that Florida experiences, he’s clueless. Yes, there is a worldwide, overwhelming need to come to this country, especially if you seek a better life for your children. Yes, that’s hard for us to process, on the receiving end. But there is at least infrastructure at the normal entrance points. There are trained personnel. There are supplies. I think Martha’s Vineyard did an excellent job of caring for these people under the circumstances, but it wasn’t some lesson. It was a cruel joke. Every state has its challenges. That doesn’t mean they get to dump those challenges on other states. If we keep that up, every state will be an enemy to another, and that does not serve us well as a nation. DeSantis is a national embarrassment. Go ahead and throw your tantrum, but don’t harm others in the process. Go to a padded room or something. That’s where you belong.

Everyone, EVERYONE ON EARTH has a right to try to improve their lives and circumstances. There’s not a single person reading this who wouldn’t try to do the same thing if they had no other choice. Nobody migrates for the hell of it. They do it out of desperation or necessity. Nobody flees their home and loved ones unless their home is a battleground or a wasteland. Taking advantage of these people when they’re at their lowest point is akin to kicking puppies. And then abducting those puppies and leaving them in the middle of nowhere in the hopes that they starve or freeze to death.

I’m sure DeSantis was quite disappointed to discover that the people of Martha’s Vineyard came through for these unfortunate pawns. They provided food, clothing, and a place to stay for every single one of them. Because it’s the right thing to do. It’s what decent people do.

DeSantis thinks that by doing this, he proved some sort of political point. In fact, he only proved that he is heartless, cruel, fiscally irresponsible, emotionally stunted, racist, uneducated, and utterly devoid of compassion. He’s just a tiny fraction of a man. Of course, he’s been proving that for ages. Anyone who votes for this poster child of maliciousness is morally questionable by association.

Is this the type of human you want deciding your fate? Then heaven help us all.

“Dear Mom, We came here to improve our lives, and now we don’t even know where we are. Sorry. Your loving son.”



Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

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