I really don’t like Ron DeSantis. It’s not just his painfully awkward TFG impression or his incredibly awful policy ideas. Mostly it’s his phony mulish stupidity and his unrelenting negativity. He’s a black hole who radiates unhappiness. I started really thinking about this when I saw this tweet:
I’m not the target audience, obviously, but DeSantis whole vibe is so pinched and humorless I really do wonder how it fares on a larger stage.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 18, 2023
“Pinched” is very apt (“humorless” is a given since he’s a Republican).
The first thing I thought of was the Burgermeister Meisterburger from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”—remember him?
The second thing I thought was that it’s not difficult to figure out who DeSantis’ audience is: it’s miserable people. MAGArats are deeply unhappy people. And I don ’t mean that they are depressed (although they may be) or melancholy. They’re unhappy that they are not the sole focus for the world anymore and they want every reference to that eradicated.
DeSantis is their perfect candidate. Don’t like learning about America’s being founded on racism? Ban teaching of AP African American History:
Florida has blocked the College Board from testing a pilot Advanced Placement African American Studies (APAAS) curriculum in the state under Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE” Act. According to a letter obtained by National Review, Florida’s Department of Education’s Office of Articulation said the curriculum “is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”
It’s a nihilist mindset obsessed with erasing and destroying instead of renewing and expanding. Don’t like trans people? Pretend they don’t exist. Don’t like people of color voting? Scare them into staying home. Don’t like migrants who are people of color? Dehumanize them and scare them into staying away.
Everything DeSantis does to further his white supremacist vision is done in the most dour fashion imaginable. Here he is, a wildly popular governor who is leading in some presidential polling, and everything about him smells sour. He’s the gloomiest villain since Annie Wilkes.
Resentment and unhappiness motivate the new extremist Republican Party. Because there is no way these wingers can ever be happy—short of genocide—their only shot at happiness is making the rest of us as miserable as they are, and I’m afraid it’s working.
I think The Smiths have got the rest of this: