Monkey Business in Florida...and Everywhere Else

In the 1952 movie Monkey Business, Carey Grant plays Dr. Barnaby Fulton, a researcher working on an anti-aging treatment that he tries out on himself.  As it turns out, the secret to youth lies not in his pill, but in chemicals accidentally dumped into his water cooler.  Barnaby is transformed back to his teens while his wife, played by Ginger Rogers, becomes a small child.  Since the film also stars Marilyn Monroe as his boss's secretary, one can imagine the hijinks that ensue.

Nowhere does Monkey Business refer to race.  Nor is the phrase "monkeying things up," an expression Ron DeSantis used following his primary victory in the Florida gubernatorial race, defined by Webster's as having anything to do with race.  DeSantis was pointing out that for many years under Republican control, Floridians have enjoyed good governance, and they shouldn't take a chance on "monkeying things up" with a Democrat as governor.

Immediately, DeSantis was accused of racism.  The Miami Herald labeled DeSantis's comment "a racial slur."  Andrew Gillum, surprise winner of the Democrat primary, stated that DeSantis was using the "playbook of Donald Trump," which Florida DNC chair Terrie Rizzo had previously referred to as racial "whistle calls."  Gillum stated that "they [presumably GOP candidates in the mode of Trump] no longer do whistle calls, they are now using full bullhorns."

By an interesting "coincidence," an Associated Press story of 9/1/18 ("Racist calls mock FL's gov candidate") reported that a white supremacist group had been harassing Gillum.  That AP report seems to have been timed to buttress Gillum's claims of racism in Florida.  I'm sure there are a few idiots who make offensive phone calls in any state.  But is that the most important thing one has to report about the Florida gubernatorial race?  What about the ongoing FBI investigation into corruption in Gillum's mayoral administration?  What about Gillum's ties to socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?  What about no platform other than tax and spend – and race?

It's clear that the next six weeks will be about race, race, race in the Florida gubernatorial election, and about racism, sexism, and classism in other races across the country.  Predictably, classism showed up in the Florida Senate race as the Palm Beach Post ran a story critical of Rick Scott's stock portfolio holding of Gilead Sciences, whose cure for hepatitis C costs Medicaid $1,000 a pill.  Never mind that Gov. Scott's investments are in a blind trust and have been since just after his election.  And never mind that Gov. Scott's trust undoubtedly holds hundreds of other stock investments or index funds that hold thousands of stocks.  The implication is that Gov. Scott, who administers Medicaid funds, did something wrong by approving the expensive drug.  What should he have done – allow hundreds of Floridians to die of hepatitis C?

I'm sure this isn't the last of it.  For the left, the real crime is being rich, or white, or male.  Never mind that Bill Nelson is also rich – the difference being that Scott made almost all of his money from hard work in the private sector, while Nelson has spent all but one year of his working life on the government dole.  On a modest government salary, he has somehow managed to amass a net worth (as of 2016) of $3.67 million.  Instead of suggesting that Gov. Scott made money off a stock he didn't even know he owned, maybe the media should be looking into Bill Nelson's finances.

It's obvious that Democrats have nothing to run on except the liberal trifecta of race, class, and sex.  There is no evidence of racism or sexism on the part of GOP candidates in this year's midterm elections – no more so than there is evidence of sexual assault on the part of Judge Kavanaugh.  There is, however, obvious and widespread evidence of racially charged and sexually charged language on the part of liberal Democrats and liberal media.  That is all Democrats have.

That is certainly the case in Florida.  According to Gillum's website, he is running against his GOP opponent, and against Trump, so as to "rebuild the economy."  (Isn't the economy already at an all-time high under President Trump?)  Gillum also speaks of "revitalizing public education," to be paid for with "legalization and taxation of marijuana" (yet Florida public school students already rank first in the nation in a number of key areas).  Also, according to his website, Gillum wants to abolish ICE, and he supports sanctuary cities.  He supports Bernie Sanders's Medicare for All plan, actually stating that it will "lower costs."  (Hasn't Gillum heard about Obamacare?)  He's committed to "addressing our climate change crisis" with the goal of "a completely clean energy economy."  (That's unlikely before the end of the century, if then, but Gillum speaks of achieving it "soon."  Is this honest?)

The ones "monkeying" with the Florida gubernatorial election are Gillum and his supporters.  They're the ones who introduced race into the election, hours after DeSantis's primary victory, and they're the ones making ridiculous Sanders-style promises of free everything.  The Gillum campaign has nothing substantive to run on.  It seems they're counting on race to tip the scales.

Isn't it time for America to move beyond the politics of race, class, and sex to establish the kind of civil society that Americans want?  The only ones fueling the fires of racism are Democrat politicians who want to stir up voters ahead of the midterm election.  These tactics remind one of the worst days of racism in the South, when white candidates would exploit racial fears to drive white voters to the polls.  I can see no difference between those heinous political tactics and those of Democrats today, except that now it is minority voters, along with women and the poor, who are treated like senseless pawns.

It's monkey business everywhere because Democrats in Florida; Washington, D.C.; and elsewhere have nothing to offer except accusations of racism, sexism, and classism.  The truth is that distinctions based on race, class, and sex are less prevalent in America more than anywhere else in the world.  The only ones talking about race, class, and sex are Democrats, and they only do it every two years when elections come up.

Talk about "interference" with elections.  It's not Russians; it's the Democrats who are monkeying with elections by portraying every opponent as a racist, sexist, or rich-guy that we're supposed to hate because he's rich.  I'm sick of race, class, and sex, and I'm tired of seeing Democrat injecting these into every corner of public life.

Unfortunately, it's just getting worse.  Get out and vote them out.  Maybe then they'll be forced to run on real issues.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).

Image: NIMESH DUSRA via Wikimedia Commons.

In the 1952 movie Monkey Business, Carey Grant plays Dr. Barnaby Fulton, a researcher working on an anti-aging treatment that he tries out on himself.  As it turns out, the secret to youth lies not in his pill, but in chemicals accidentally dumped into his water cooler.  Barnaby is transformed back to his teens while his wife, played by Ginger Rogers, becomes a small child.  Since the film also stars Marilyn Monroe as his boss's secretary, one can imagine the hijinks that ensue.

Nowhere does Monkey Business refer to race.  Nor is the phrase "monkeying things up," an expression Ron DeSantis used following his primary victory in the Florida gubernatorial race, defined by Webster's as having anything to do with race.  DeSantis was pointing out that for many years under Republican control, Floridians have enjoyed good governance, and they shouldn't take a chance on "monkeying things up" with a Democrat as governor.

Immediately, DeSantis was accused of racism.  The Miami Herald labeled DeSantis's comment "a racial slur."  Andrew Gillum, surprise winner of the Democrat primary, stated that DeSantis was using the "playbook of Donald Trump," which Florida DNC chair Terrie Rizzo had previously referred to as racial "whistle calls."  Gillum stated that "they [presumably GOP candidates in the mode of Trump] no longer do whistle calls, they are now using full bullhorns."

By an interesting "coincidence," an Associated Press story of 9/1/18 ("Racist calls mock FL's gov candidate") reported that a white supremacist group had been harassing Gillum.  That AP report seems to have been timed to buttress Gillum's claims of racism in Florida.  I'm sure there are a few idiots who make offensive phone calls in any state.  But is that the most important thing one has to report about the Florida gubernatorial race?  What about the ongoing FBI investigation into corruption in Gillum's mayoral administration?  What about Gillum's ties to socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?  What about no platform other than tax and spend – and race?

It's clear that the next six weeks will be about race, race, race in the Florida gubernatorial election, and about racism, sexism, and classism in other races across the country.  Predictably, classism showed up in the Florida Senate race as the Palm Beach Post ran a story critical of Rick Scott's stock portfolio holding of Gilead Sciences, whose cure for hepatitis C costs Medicaid $1,000 a pill.  Never mind that Gov. Scott's investments are in a blind trust and have been since just after his election.  And never mind that Gov. Scott's trust undoubtedly holds hundreds of other stock investments or index funds that hold thousands of stocks.  The implication is that Gov. Scott, who administers Medicaid funds, did something wrong by approving the expensive drug.  What should he have done – allow hundreds of Floridians to die of hepatitis C?

I'm sure this isn't the last of it.  For the left, the real crime is being rich, or white, or male.  Never mind that Bill Nelson is also rich – the difference being that Scott made almost all of his money from hard work in the private sector, while Nelson has spent all but one year of his working life on the government dole.  On a modest government salary, he has somehow managed to amass a net worth (as of 2016) of $3.67 million.  Instead of suggesting that Gov. Scott made money off a stock he didn't even know he owned, maybe the media should be looking into Bill Nelson's finances.

It's obvious that Democrats have nothing to run on except the liberal trifecta of race, class, and sex.  There is no evidence of racism or sexism on the part of GOP candidates in this year's midterm elections – no more so than there is evidence of sexual assault on the part of Judge Kavanaugh.  There is, however, obvious and widespread evidence of racially charged and sexually charged language on the part of liberal Democrats and liberal media.  That is all Democrats have.

That is certainly the case in Florida.  According to Gillum's website, he is running against his GOP opponent, and against Trump, so as to "rebuild the economy."  (Isn't the economy already at an all-time high under President Trump?)  Gillum also speaks of "revitalizing public education," to be paid for with "legalization and taxation of marijuana" (yet Florida public school students already rank first in the nation in a number of key areas).  Also, according to his website, Gillum wants to abolish ICE, and he supports sanctuary cities.  He supports Bernie Sanders's Medicare for All plan, actually stating that it will "lower costs."  (Hasn't Gillum heard about Obamacare?)  He's committed to "addressing our climate change crisis" with the goal of "a completely clean energy economy."  (That's unlikely before the end of the century, if then, but Gillum speaks of achieving it "soon."  Is this honest?)

The ones "monkeying" with the Florida gubernatorial election are Gillum and his supporters.  They're the ones who introduced race into the election, hours after DeSantis's primary victory, and they're the ones making ridiculous Sanders-style promises of free everything.  The Gillum campaign has nothing substantive to run on.  It seems they're counting on race to tip the scales.

Isn't it time for America to move beyond the politics of race, class, and sex to establish the kind of civil society that Americans want?  The only ones fueling the fires of racism are Democrat politicians who want to stir up voters ahead of the midterm election.  These tactics remind one of the worst days of racism in the South, when white candidates would exploit racial fears to drive white voters to the polls.  I can see no difference between those heinous political tactics and those of Democrats today, except that now it is minority voters, along with women and the poor, who are treated like senseless pawns.

It's monkey business everywhere because Democrats in Florida; Washington, D.C.; and elsewhere have nothing to offer except accusations of racism, sexism, and classism.  The truth is that distinctions based on race, class, and sex are less prevalent in America more than anywhere else in the world.  The only ones talking about race, class, and sex are Democrats, and they only do it every two years when elections come up.

Talk about "interference" with elections.  It's not Russians; it's the Democrats who are monkeying with elections by portraying every opponent as a racist, sexist, or rich-guy that we're supposed to hate because he's rich.  I'm sick of race, class, and sex, and I'm tired of seeing Democrat injecting these into every corner of public life.

Unfortunately, it's just getting worse.  Get out and vote them out.  Maybe then they'll be forced to run on real issues.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).

Image: NIMESH DUSRA via Wikimedia Commons.