Florida Rep Maxwell Alejandro Frost, the first Gen Z member of Congress, is mincing no words when it comes to Gov Ron DeSantis. On CNN, he called out the Florida governor’s recent attacks on the Black and trans communities as “fascism.” “It’s just a problem for Florida now, sure,” Frost warned. “But in a few years, it can be a problem for the nation.”
Throughout his term, Gov Ron DeSantis has made a name for himself—not so much for governing but for waging a culture war against minorities his base doesn’t like. Last year, he signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law, restricting any mention of LGBTQ+ topics in schools and giving parents the right to sue teachers over perceived infringement. The bill quickly spawned a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that adopt near identical language.
Since then he has attacked gender-affirming healthcare for minors, trafficked legal migrant asylum seekers across the country, and more recently has made it his mission to gut AP African American studies in Florida schools. For Frost, the implications of DeSantis’s war on marginalized communities is clear as day.
Appearing on CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta, Frost discussed how Democrats should deal with the threat that DeSantis poses. “We take that on by number one being bold in our messaging and calling it out for what it is,” he said, describing DeSantis’s policies as “scapegoating vulnerable communities due to his failures.”
“This is what we’re up against in Florida right now and it’s hard to keep track of because it seems like there’s a new victim, there’s a new bill every day,” he continued.
“But we have to call it for what it is: He is abusing his power and using the state to target political opponents and political enemies. And there’s a word for that, and it’s fascism, and we have to be honest about it.”
Some commentators have characterized DeSantis’s policies as cynical political stunts or strategy intended to play to the MAGA base and bolster his presidential chances. But Frost pointed out that these efforts have real victims, no matter what their goals may be. “We need everybody to pay attention and talk about how he’s targeting trans folks, targeting not just Black history, but Black people in general, which is American history, and targeting marginalized communities across this entire state,” he said.
DeSantis’s landslide reelection as governor in 2022 has made him a likely contender to become the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nominee. With that in mind, Frost is urging those who oppose the governor’s policies to stand against him now.
“I need people to understand that Florida’s problem now can become the country’s problem in a year, and everyone should know that,” he recently told The Advocate. “We should all be battle-hardened and ready to take our values to the plate for queer folks, for trans folks, for Black folks, for immigrants, for poor working-class Americans who will suffer the most from these culture wars.”