The Day After: A Few Thoughts on Florida’s Loss to a Trump Stooge

Like many Floridians who firmly reject Trump and everything he stands for, I watched in horror last night as Andrew Gillum lost to a racist buffoon, and Bill Nelson lost to our previous GOP walking nightmare, Rick Scott. I felt the same punch to the gut I did seeing Trump win in 2016.

For the past two years both on social media and in my city I have argued with fellow democrats as to why we keep losing. Being a progressive, I felt that Gillum embracing Bernie Sander’s platform was the right strategy and had some real hope for my state in a very long time. After Gillum won the primary and started dialing back his language on Medicare for All, like so many of my fellow progressives I felt a bit discouraged. And while I still planned on voting for him, the passion to constantly volunteer was not there. I donated and made phone calls, but I did not do as much as I planned after his language shifted.

Today, the Gillum autopsy has already started. The progressives are pointing fingers at Gillum’s supposed embrace of Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, his weak language on Medicare for All after the primary, and centrist dems are pointing to racism and Florida being a state full of idiots.

I think there’s merit in both arguments. Yes, Florida did go to Obama twice, and yes we did just vote to give voting rights back to nonviolent felons who’ve served their time, a measure that will undoubtedly boost the African American dem vote. But overall, Florida like the rest of America at this point seems to be more racist than any of us could have imagined.

And this isn’t just a Florida problem, this is an America problem. Trump is from New York, there were Republican governors and senators elected all over the north east last night, and uptick in racist crime fueled by Trump era rhetoric plagues our entire nation.

I’m clearly not telling informed people anything they don’t know, but there is one thing I’d like to add to the conversation that I feel is being widely overlooked today: the media’s coverage of the gubernatorial race in Florida.

Like MSNBC and CNN who claim to be neutral or even liberal, the fix is in for anyone who can see through the constant propaganda. Panel after panel on CNN and MSNBC said over and over again last week that Trump should talk about how great the economy is, not about the caravan. Corporate pundits are once again working overtime to destroy the progressive movement. 60% of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency, and the jobs created under Obama and Trump are largely part time and minimum wage. But to hear them speak you’d think we all have healthcare, a retirement plan, and make 60K a year. They equate the stock market doing well with all Americans doing well and it’s not only a lie, it’s journalistic malpractice. The truth is most wages have fallen, but you don’t hear anyone on cable news address this a week before the midterms. Why is that?

But that’s just the cable pundits. If that wasn’t bad enough, local stations in Florida who are supposed to be neutral, did not so subtle hit jobs on Gillum for months. Consider the clip below:

An ABC affiliate in Tampa in a minute plus report included Trump saying Gillum would destroy Florida and then followed it with DeSantis claiming he could work with Trump while Gillum would do nothing but obstruct.

But, no worries. It was totally fair, they then showed Gillum visiting an area hit by the hurricane and did zero fact checking on the lies Trump spewed about him. You know, totally non-biased media and in no way favoring DeSantis by stirring up fear in anyone who watched this propaganda laden Fox news worthy garbage clip.

Our media has spent decades selling us out, being controlled by corporations, and the Trump presidency and continued gains by republicans and corporate dems are the inevitable result. Need more proof? In one of Chuck Todd’s latest MSNBC clips he talks about the presidential candidates who will likely challenge Trump in 2020. He mentions Biden, Booker, Harris, Warren, hell, he even mentions Bloomberg. Oddly, he fails to mention Bernie Sanders. And this isn’t just MSNBC. CNN did a poll two weeks ago that claimed Jo Biden is the top choice for Dems. One problem, they only asked people over 45 who make over 50k a year. The fix is in, folks.

Our media is complicit, guilty, and should be constantly taken to task for their bias. We’re all aware of them showing Trump’s empty podium rather than an actual Sander’s event in 2016, and let’s be clear, it continues today and will continue through the 2020 race. We have to be smarter, to look to other news sources, and steer clear of most corporate media. Our future depends on it.

So today and the weeks that follow while we tear each other apart on why Gillum lost, don’t forget to give a big thanks to corporate media. Let’s be crystal clear, the pundits on MSNBC and CNN who kept telling Trump last week he should run on how great the economy is are not your friends. And maybe instead of continuing to be angry at each other, we can work to elect real progressives and turn off the corporate news pundits owned by the oligarchs.

If anything, at least it’s a step in the right direction.