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Florida’s Gen Z Congressman Says DeSantis Is Engaged in ‘Fascism’

Florida’s Gen Z Congressman Says DeSantis Is Engaged in ‘Fascism’

Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost and Gov. Ron DeSantis

The youngest member of Congress, who hails from Florida, calls out that state’s governor’s targeting of the LGBTQ+ community as fascist.


With all the grievance-based legislating that has gone on in Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Florida, one Democratic rising star who represents parts of the state in Congress has had enough, and he’s calling the Republican’s activities out as “fascism.”

In a Sunday CNNNewsroom With Jim Acosta interview, U.S. Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost, the Florida Democrat and Generation Z’s first congressman, criticized the governor for supporting legislation that negatively impacts Black and trans people. Frost spoke with The Advocate on Monday evening to discuss his weekend appearance.

“What we see coming from Tallahassee is scary,” Frost says. “It’s an abuse of power. And when you look at the definition of what fascism is — far-right ideology, usually with a head figure, an authoritarian figure using their power to essentially suppress opposition, suppress people who are critical — when you look at what DeSantis is doing right now, it is the book definition of fascism.”

In Florida, DeSantis has aimed at the LGBTQ+ community with full force.

“This is what we’re up against in Florida right now. And it’s hard to keep track of because it seems like there’s a new victim. There’s a new bill every day,” Frost said on CNN.

“He’s talking about targeting queer students, targeting LGBTQ+ kids. It’s not just the broader community. He’s going for the kids.”

A new Republican proposal is making its way through the Florida Senate that would give the state “emergency jurisdiction” over children receiving or “at risk of receiving” gender-affirming care.

“It’s important when we’re seeing dangerous actions from politicians to be able to define exactly what is going on in a way that is truthful, makes sense, and also does a good job of explaining the stakes,” Frost tells The Advocate.

According to Senate Bill 254, introduced Friday by state Sen. Clay Yarborough, the courts could take emergency custody of children under the same laws protecting them against domestic violence and abuse.

“They talk about freedom. They talk about liberty, yet they want to kidnap children,” Frost says. “They want to state to seize children for loving who they want to love and being who they want to be.”

Frost, whose district includes Walt Disney World’s western half, says DeSantis is scapegoating vulnerable communities for his administration’s failures instead of improving matters.

Republicans have introduced a spate of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in GOP-controlled legislatures nationwide.

“But we have to call it for what it is. He is abusing his power and using the state to target political opponents and political enemies. And there’s a word for that, and it’s fascism,” he told Acosta. “And We have to be honest about it.”

While the term is often tossed around improperly, Frost says he knows what it means, and that’s why he’s using it.

He has vowed that he would not stop.

“I’ve had people tell me to stop using the word fascist in talking about Gov DeSantis and what’s going on in Florida. I won’t stop. This is what’s going on. I won’t tone down my language when we are actively being oppressed. This is my home,” he tweeted.

Frost tells The Advocate that Republican obsession with drag queens is another outgrowth of fascism within the governor’s governing philosophy.

He says that Plaza Live, an Orlando event space, is one example of the governor interfering with a city-owned entity.

“They had a drag show in December. DeSantis doesn’t like drag shows, so he made an example of them, and now he’s moving to revoke their liquor license,” Frost says.

The Democratic freshman says he will continue highlighting Republican ills as they present themselves.

“I need people to understand that Florida’s problem now can become the country’s problem in a year, and everyone should know that,” Frost says. “We should all be battle-hardened and ready to take our values to the plate for queer folks, for trans folks, for Black folks, for immigrants, for poor working-class Americans who will suffer the most from these culture wars.”

DeSantis’s targeting of transgender kids, Black people, and other marginalized communities is a bit that the opportunistic politician is perpetrating because it’s polling well for Republicans.

“That’s more than a culture war,” he says. “It’s not just a talking point. This is real legislation that will end up resulting in harm and, in many cases, death.”
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