Red Imports in the Red States

Governor DeSantis is quite clearly fond of CCP policies and regulations. Many of his GOP fellow travelers are in thrall as well. Ridiculous? To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has signed legislation encouraging students to record and report teachers who espouse views unacceptable to DeSantis and the GOP. Just like CCP - see Monkey See, Monkey Do and more.

He acknowledges higher goals than simply “grow GDP,” now pushing Disney out of a billion dollar Florida investment. CCP apparently taught DeSantis how to do that, with its recent crackdowns on tech, tutoring, and real estate - China’s Economic Needs May Take a Back Seat to Security - The New York Times. The only fundamental truth is power.

DeSantis has worked hard to identify enemies of the people. He takes a hint from CCP and identifies whole industries or groups of people as class enemies - not just Disney. This from the DeSantis May, 2021 law that prohibits censoring of hate speech or fever-swamp lunacy online -

This session, we took action to ensure that ‘We the People’ — real Floridians across the Sunshine State — are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites. Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.

CCP claims the right to speak for “We, the Chinese people” when it actively censors speech. Other than the twist in non-censoring v censoring, one would be hard pressed to distinguish DeSantis’ voice from that of CCP in fostering hatred of the Other. In both cases, GOP and CCP vow they are acting to protect people from the evil outsiders. It is what authoritarian demagogues do.

He seeks to defund or cheapen public education. This is a long-standing GOP goal. My school in Hangzhou – admittedly, a science and engineering school not on par with Tsinghua or Beida – has no majors in history, literature, philosophy, psychology, international relations, logic or communications. Based on DeSantis’ proposals, I think he would approve of such a limited program for Florida schools.

He promotes book banning – not quite as vociferously as does Texas, but nevertheless. From the LA Times -Texas school districts had the highest number of bans in PEN America’s report, with 438 removals. Florida had 357 bans, followed by Missouri, with 315 bans. In Utah and South Carolina, there were more than 100 bans. … A law in Florida, which has more book bans than any state but Texas, requires that books be reviewed by certified media specialists, leading some districts to clear out or hide books in their libraries and classrooms.

Books, particularly those from outside, are heavily vetted before being allowed in Chinese classrooms. I'm not sure if the reviewers are called certified media specialists, but the function is the same.

DeSantis – along with the Republican legislatures in nine other states – has still refused Medicaid expansion, which would provide health care for millions of poor Americans. CCP claims to have improved health care in rural areas across China, but the realities are still that a poor person in Mississippi or Guizhou might just do better trying to get health care in India than in their respective state or province. Other states that haven’t expanded include Wyoming, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Red State legislatures may rant about Deep State overspending, but it remains that most or all them receive more money from Washington than they contribute. Red states are the most dependent on the federal government, which provides from 1/4 to 1/2 of state revenues. Eight of the 10 states most dependent on the federal government traditionally vote Republican. New Mexico (No. 2) is the only state in the top 10 to vote for the Democratic candidate in any of the last six presidential elections. Maine (No. 8), which splits its delegates, has voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the recent elections.

This is not so unlike China, in which six cities are “profitable” and net out sending tax money to Beijing. The other provinces and autonomous regions are net recipients of tax money from Beijing. See this and this.

The anti-gay measures in Florida are of a piece with those of CCP - Being gay in China has gotten harder under Xi Jinping. Until about a two decades ago, there were no gay people in China, per CCP. DeSantis is trying to replicate that now in Florida. “Don’t say gay” might as well have originated in China.

Texas lawmakers want to post the Ten Commandments in every classroom in the state. Now CCP won’t be doing that. But it does require all CCP members – all 100,000,000 of them – to read and be tested on Xi Jinping Thought, which is roughly equivalent.

Hypocrisy in politics is pretty universal. But GOP and CCP consistently establish new low bars. There are so many examples. But one each - the Texas state legislator-Christian pastor who raped his 19-year old intern; and CCP protestations about respecting individual sovereignty of other countries, but then goes about  seeking to influence or threaten politicians in several countries, including the US, Australia, and Canada.

Chinese village elections in the first decade of the century were hailed as precursors to democratic transition. Village elections then became … aahhh… difficult … for Xi Jinping. Those elections have now been sidelined or eliminated as inconsistent with the goals of CCP. Elections now have greater … supervision, let us say, from party central, with the intent of eroding local autonomy. So too, for the GOP.

You’d never get GOP operatives to admit to such bald copying of CCP. After all, you’d hear, they are Communists, and we are Republicans. But perhaps the distinctions are not quite so sharp.

In a parallel move to control election outcomes, the GOP is seeking to go beyond unconscionable gerrymandering of districts to simply cancelling the results of local elections. In 2021 Republican-controlled legislatures passed 24 laws across 14 states to increase their control over how elections are run, stripping secretaries of state of their power and making it easier to overturn results.

Of course you know about the "independent legislature" Supreme Court case in which GOP state legislatures seek the power to overturn national election results for President or Congress in favor of legislatively appointed GOP flunkies. And we experienced plenty of vigilante action to prevent voting or interfere with ballot counting in the 2020 election. If allowed by the Supreme Court, such a development would spell the end of democratic processes in the US and put the US roughly on the same plane of electoral politics as CCP. Plenty of pundits in the US have already outlined how democracies die. We apparently don’t need CCP help, but China is always happy to oblige.

In the largest sense, GOP seeks not a multiparty democracy with the give and take of democratic debate, but totalitarian occupation of the country by its own version of an elite. Just like CCP, as I wrote about in Chinese People Under Occupation.

Anyway, one of the GOP clowns is going to need some stirring music for the entry of the candidate to rallies around the country. I have an idea that might work very well with some changes to the lyrics - The East is Red. It is martial and stirring and in line with recent GOP policy imports. I know – its mostly the American south that is red, but you can’t have everything when you are doing cultural appropriation. The spirit of the song can easily be adapted to Make America Great Again. After all, the song celebrates the people’s great savior. Somebody ought to be able to superimpose the Orange One's face in the video. Would work great!

For any candidate, the song will go well with renditions of USA! USA! USA! The Red States maintain a clear lead over Red China in the number of guns per person, and the use of those to kill people. China is no match for the US in that category. Many GOP representatives sent Christmas cards posing with guns. And Red States lead the way in gun murders. GOP wins!