If you’re searching for a document that could succinctly sum up where the Republican party stands today, look no further than the pamphlet unveiled on Monday by Rick Scott.
In dog whistles and codewords, the 31-page agenda outlines what Republicans, according to Scott, should prioritize should they win back Congress. Dubbed the plan to “rescue America,” it plays the hits: a declaration that there are only two genders, a potentially unconstitutional mandate that all kids stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, charter school lust, anti-CRT pontification, bring back the cops hysteria, and the proposal that all federal laws must “sunset” after five years—and then have to be passed again if they’re still in favor of it. Scott also wants to restart the construction of the US-Mexico border wall and name it after, you guessed it, Donald Trump.
“I’ll warn you; this plan is not for the faint of heart,” Scott writes.
But while the Florida Republican and likely 2024 presidential contender attempts to portray his plan as bold, something perhaps mainstream Republicans are too reticent to publicly endorse, the priorities Scott outlines actually fit neatly into the party’s push toward illiberal politics. Just take a look at proposal number 7:
Today’s Democrat Party is trying to rig elections and pack the courts because they have given up on Democracy. They don’t believe they can win based on their ideas, so they want us to game the system and legalize voter fraud to stay in power. In true Orwellian fashion, Democrats refer to their election rigging plans “voting rights.” We won’t allow the radical left to destroy our democracy by institutionalizing dishonesty and fraud.
Yes, according to Scott—who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election—it’s Democrats who are out to steal elections. That, of course, is false. But it goes hand in hand with the very real Republican playbook of disenfranchising voters and attacking voting rights. As for Scott’s pledge to defend the so-called “nuclear family” and end racial politics, that has been right-wing dogma for years. So while Scott’s plan may read like a conservative fever dream, its most chilling feature could be how perfectly normal it is for today’s Republican party.