‘Less fortitude, More attitude’: Matt Gaetz leans even further into White nationalist rhetoric
Screencap via America's Voice News.

'Let’s not prove our valor by enduring pain. I’d like to start dishing it out.'

It’s evident to just about anyone that salacious accusations against Panhandle Republican Matt Gaetz won’t tarnish his reputation with the hard-right base. That may be, in part, because of a willingness to cheer on the most prominent White nationalist voices, something Gaetz made as clear as ever during a speech this weekend in Arizona.

As a featured guest at the Turning Point US AmericaFest, the Congressman walked on stage surrounded by pyrotechnics and heavy metal soundtrack. While there, he dismissed any pretense of statesmanship

During his speech, Gaetz espoused more extreme rhetoric, a mix of pandemic era economic anxiety and conspiracy theories asserting (baselessly) that Joe Biden stole the 2020 election from Donald Trump.

“We live in a world today where the left has seized unconstitutional power through mandates,” Gaetz said, “driving people from their jobs, destroying the American dollar, shattering our economy, stealing elections.”

Then the Congressman leaned straight into racial animus.

“They openly campaign for racial reparations and bigoted policies that target White people,” Gaetz declared. “Let’s not prove our valor by enduring pain. I’d like to start dishing it out. Less fortitude, more attitude.”

This foray deeper into extremism on the far right comes as federal investigators in Central Florida continue to collect information from former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, a Gaetz associate who already pleaded guilty to a charge of sex trafficking a minor.

Accusations had dogged Gaetz most of the year that he too could face charges regarding trafficking a woman before she turned 18 across state lines for the purposes of sex.

But while institutions like cable news initially blanched at continuing to offer the firebrand a national spotlight, he has found embrace among groups like TPUSA, led by part-time Longboat Key resident Charlie Kirk and famed for evoking emotion among young conservatives on college campuses.

It’s unclear if the fanboy enthusiasm for Gaetz will insulate him in any way from criminal charges. Notably, Gaetz maintains he never had sex as an adult with a minor and blames the accusations on an attempted extortion plot against his wealthy Panhandle family.

Stephen Alford of Fort Walton Beach was indicted and accused of trying to defraud a victim of $25 million.

Despite that, Gaetz managed to maintain a level of political prominence. He recently spoke at a Sarasota rally for former President Donald Trump (despite some politicians being unwilling to share the stage) and garnered huge applause. The same enthusiasm greeted the Congressman at TPUSA.

The fervor among supporters appears to grow as Gaetz embraces further extremism, including arguing for leniency and better jail conditions for those convicted or awaiting charges for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Gaetz also tweeted that Fox News host Tucker Carlson was “correct” about replacement theory, a belief by White nationalists that White men are being replaced in society by immigrants and minorities. The idea gained particular prominence when White nationalists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting, “Jews will not replace us.”

But Gaetz denies race is a part of his message.

“The Left/Media think of replacement solely on race/ethnicity terms. I don’t at all,” he tweeted in September. “Democrats failed the voters who relied on them to run their states/cities. Now they are importing new voters. That is my argument. Those reading more into it are projecting their own bias.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Alex

    December 20, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    DeDumbass is doing everything he can to erase any evidence of their old friendship.


  • PeterH

    December 20, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    In preparation for his planned civil war …..Matt Gaetz needs to keep in mind three things:
    1. The US military will not be on his side.
    2. The USA is a member of NATO.
    3. The American government does not negotiate with terrorist.

    • Ron Ogden

      December 21, 2021 at 1:39 pm

      The USA is a member of NATO
      You flaky old loon, are you honestly conjuring the Belgian army marching up Pennsylvania avenue to rescue Brandon?

      • PeterH

        December 21, 2021 at 2:41 pm

        Democracy will be preserved ….. NATO WILL NEVER SIDE WITH TRUMPSTER INSURRECTIONIST!

        • Ron Ogden

          December 21, 2021 at 8:33 pm

          I guess you are.

      • Huck

        December 25, 2021 at 4:57 pm

        I’d welcome NATO like Trumpsters would welcome Russian troops. All successful insurgencies require help from outside nations states. Keep your orange blob in a box, abide the rule of law, and it won’t be an issue.

  • Ocean Joe

    December 23, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Before Matt can participate in a civil war, lead from behind, etc., he will need to deal with the William Barr originated investigation of whether or not he engaged in transporting underage girls to Nassau for some r&r. But in the meantime, spouting crazy things is a great way to distract everyone.
    And Ron…don’t mess with the Belgians.

Comments are closed.


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