Friday, August 19, 2022


A candidate for state legislature in Florida has gotten himself banned from Twitter -- deservedly, but in all likelihood deliberately. Florida Politics reports:
A Republican candidate for the House from St. Augustine is spending the final days of the Primary campaign suspended from Twitter after advocating violence against the federal government.

Republican Luis Miguel, running against incumbent Rep. Bobby Payne of Palatka in the redrawn House District 20, was suspended from Twitter after a tweet advocating that Floridians should be able to shoot federal agents on sight.

“Under my plan, all Floridians will be able to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF, and all other federal troops on sight,” Miguel tweeted. “Let freedom ring.”

Miguel told Florida Politics Friday the suspension, which is “permanent” per a message he got on his Twitter app, “doesn’t affect (him) at all.” He stands by the proposal, which he says is justified because the IRS has been “weaponized by dissident forces.”

When Miguel says the Twitter ban “doesn’t affect (him) at all,” I think what he really means is that he hopes it will affect his campaign in a positive way. His primary is Tuesday, and as the Florida Politics story notes, he's facing long odds in his effort to beat the incumbent.
Miguel raised just over $4,000 as a candidate, meaning social media was key to his messaging. Payne raised nearly $140,000 in hard money and has not needed to spend it against his challenger. He had more than $110,000 on hand as of Aug. 5.
Threatening U.S. government officials is a felony, although, arguably, an assertion that it should be legal under state law to shoot federal agents is more of a policy statement than a threat. (I don't think even Florida Republicans are ready to embrace this idea, though the notion that federal law enforcement should be unwelcome in the states, or at least should defer to county sheriffs, is increasingly popular on the right, so I won't be surprised to see a serious challenge to the feds' ability to function in at least one or two states that are deep red. Would a GOP-dominated Supreme Court say that was okay? At this point, who knows?)

Miguel's Instagram page is still up, as are a Facebook page and a Facebook group. The message in the tweet that got him banned from Twitter doesn't appear on those pages, but he does call for the arrest and execution of Bill Gates. (Gates's capital crime is supporting legislation Miguel doesn't like.)

He also wants the chairman of the World Economic forum executed:

He says running a drag queen story hour should be punishable by life imprisonment, and he also thinks IRS agents and executives of entertainment companies that produce LGBTQ-positive content should be arrested:

He also says he wants to get rid of the dollar, and "break all ties with Washington," which sounds a lot like secession to me:

Miguel writes for The New American, a magazine published by the John Birch Society. (Yes, they're still around.) In one of his pieces, he says that doctors who perform abortions and women who have them should be charged with murder.

Miguel's LinkedIn page says he's "authored hundreds of SEO-friendly content pieces for clients like eTech360,, DeWalt, and" Unless it's a bizarre, sustained bit of performance art, I think Miguel's "can you believe I'm this extreme?" is also an effort at creating optimized content, right-wing style: He's hoping that taking the most extreme positions imaginable will get him attention and votes without the expenditure of money he doesn't have. It seems not to be working, so I think he tried to up the ante in the week before Election Day by getting himself thrown off Twitter.

I think Miguel is a cynic, but just think about how depraved our culture is if this even seems like a pathway to electoral success. Miguel's main Facebook page has 11,000 followers, none of whom apparently thought it was a problem worth reporting when Miguel called for the execution of Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates. Much of the Republican electorate thinks the most batshit insane right-wing proposals sound perfectly reasonable, and the rest might not agree but don't think they're at all objectionable. That's America in 2022.

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