GOP Bill Aims to “Cancel” Florida’s Democratic Party Over Past Pro-Slavery Stance

The Republican lawmaker behind the stunt wants you to know he’s just trolling.

Steve Cannon/ AP

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A Republican lawmaker has filed a bill that, if passed, would, apparently, eliminate Florida’s Democratic Party.

On Tuesday, Florida state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia filed the “Ultimate Cancel Act“—a bill that doesn’t mention the Democrats by name but would require the state’s Division of Elections to “immediately cancel” the filings and official status of any political party whose platform had “previously advocated for, or been in support of, slavery or involuntary servitude.”

Democrats, especially in the South, supported slavery up to and then during the Civil War. The Democrat party backed Jim Crow laws for decades following emancipation. Famously, the so-called “Southern strategy” saw whites in the South, aggrieved by the Civil Rights Movement, courted by the Republican party.

The state Democratic Party would be the only official party currently recognized by the Florida Board of Elections affected by this act, according to Fox News.

“For years now, leftist activists have been trying to ‘cancel’ people and companies for things they have said or done in the past. This includes the removal of statues and memorials, and the renaming of buildings,” Ingoglia said in a statement. “Using this standard, it would be hypocritical not to cancel the Democratic Party itself for the same reason.”

Under this bill, Democratic voters would be automatically reregistered as having “no party affiliation.”  The party itself would have to reregister under a “substantially” different name. In a statement, Florida’s Democrats called the bill a “publicity stunt” and warned that it could disenfranchise nearly 5 million voters, many of them Black. State Sen. Linda Stewart said that in her five years in office she’s never seen a bill like this before and predicts that it won’t survive upcoming the legislative session. 

“First, I don’t think it’s legal,” said Stewart. “But the other thing is that it just goes too far. I do not think that it’s going to go anywhere in the Senate. I know it’ll get assigned committees. If it gets heard by one committee, I’d be surprised if it goes anywhere else, because I can’t imagine anybody thinking that this is a fair treatment of political parties.” Stewart added: “We would no longer be a democracy if we do away with one [of] the major parties.” 

Ingoglia has insisted that he’s just trolling Florida Dems, but this stunt is especially sinister coming from a politician whose party is actively trying to eradicate African-American studies in its schools and suppress its Black voters

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