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In a new campaign ad that, in a more rational world, would anger religious conservatives, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is deemed a “fighter” sent by the Christian God to defend the downtrodden.

The ad is based on a speech conservative radio broadcaster Paul Harvey delivered in 1978 called “So God Made a Farmer.” The gist is that God wants someone to do lots of work, impact local government, help his neighbor, go to church, and essentially be a real-life Norman Rockwell character… therefore, God made farmers. Not a bad way to suck up to the audience at a convention for the Future Farmers of America.

The DeSantis team took that script, changed “farmer” to “fighter,” modified the rest of the script accordingly, and painted the conservative culture warrior as if he were some kind of American savior.

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a protector.” So God made a fighter. God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, kiss his family goodbye, travel thousands of miles for no other reason than to serve the people, to save their jobs, their livelihoods, their liberty, their happiness.” So God made a fighter.

God said, “I need someone to be strong, advocate truth in the midst of hysteria. Someone who challenges conventional wisdom and isn’t afraid to defend what he knows to be right and just.” So God made a fighter.

God said, “I need somebody who will take the arrows, stand firm in the wake of unrelenting attacks, look a mother in the eyes and tell her that her child will be in school. She can keep her job, go to church, eat dinner with friends, and hold the hand of an aging parent, taking their breath for the last time.” So God made a fighter.

God said, “I need a family man. A man who would laugh, and then sigh, and then reply with smiling eyes when his daughter says she wants to spend her life doing what dad does.”

So God made a fighter.

The script is bizarre for a number of reasons, the most obvious being that DeSantis paints himself as God’s gift to humanity. If Joe Biden released a similar ad, every white evangelical pastor and FOX anchor would be screaming about blasphemy.

It’s also a ridiculous ad because DeSantis isn’t a fighter. Any fighter worth admiring is someone who isn’t afraid to put his own body or reputation on the line when pushing back against those who are more powerful. DeSantis is a coward who goes after marginalized communities in order to receive praise from within his right-wing echo chamber.

He’s not a fighter. He’s a guy who bullies trans kids, uses taxpayer dollars to add to the suffering of refugees, punishes the Special Olympics for prioritizing safety measures, arrests people for voting even though they were told they could, promotes religious indoctrination in public school classrooms, and attacks Disney for supporting LGBTQ rights.

He’s not a fighter. He’s a professional asshole who represents the epitome of white evangelical Christian and conservative Catholic rage. He’ll use their rhetoric to hurt as many people outside their bubble as possible, all while being hailed as a hero by the people who claim moral superiority over everyone else.

He’s not a fighter. He’s a walking advertisement for why decent humans should ditch the Republican Party and organized religion entirely.

DeSantis doesn’t know how to fight because he has no principles to fight for. All he has is the power of his office, and he’s using that to wage wars against everyone who’s critical of him. Whatever happens with his political career, he’ll never be remembered as a fighter, just a guy who got away with all kinds of dipshittery because the conservative religious zealots in his corner never had the courage to defend the least of these.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.