Should Ron DeSantis buy some empathy if he wants to be president?

Due to the death of democracy and the success of fascism, the Tyrant of Tallahassee continues to govern Florida. What if Ron DeSantis wants to be El Presidente? I’m not sure that he can do it unless he changes some of his harsh ways. The majority of Americans are indifferent to whether a politician is senile and incompetent so long as he/she/ze/they appears to possess “empathy.” The peasantry thinks that a politician who feigns concern for the peasants will implement policies that help the peasants (central planning always favored over the market, therefore, because only central plans carry explicit intentions).

Ron DeSantis has been highly competent, e.g., supervising the response to Hurricane Ian so that the barrier island bridges were restored within weeks and electric power, which he’d been working on for years, bounced back even sooner. But he can also be kind of mean, which is the opposite of empathy. I cringed when he talked about looters being shot. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ focus on ‘looting’ causes outrage” (Orlando Weekly):

We go through this with every storm. Nobody wants your waterlogged electronics and soggy couch.

“We want to make sure we maintain law and order,” said DeSantis, before floating the idea that thieves are taking boats into damaged areas to steal from flooded homes. “You can have people bringing boats into some of these islands… I would not want to chance that if I were you, given we’re a Second Amendment state.”

Wouldn’t it have been sufficient for him to say, only if asked, “Florida has a lot of great police departments and a tradition of public order. Also, there are plenty of armed citizens.”? As the article cited above notes, there aren’t a lot of great looting opportunities in flooded neighborhoods.

We also have the debacle of a government that can’t figure out who is eligible to vote and therefore must rely on what potentially confused residents say. Ron DeSantis could express empathy for those who couldn’t figure out whether they were entitled to vote instead of prosecuting them. See “Florida voter has election fraud charges touted by DeSantis dismissed” (ABC):

A Florida man had his election fraud charges dismissed on Friday, making him the first of 20 people who Gov. Ron DeSantis announced had been charged with voter fraud in August, to beat his case.

Robert Lee Wood, who faced one count of making a false affirmation on a voter application, and one count of voting as an unqualified elector, had his charges dismissed on the grounds that the prosecutor lacked appropriate jurisdiction.

Wood was facing up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines and fees, for allegedly illegally voting in the 2020 election.

When the charges were announced on Aug. 18, DeSantis said at a press conference that local prosecutors had been “loath” to take up election fraud cases.

“Now we have the ability with the attorney general and statewide prosecutor to bring those [cases] on behalf of the state of Florida,” he said.

But a judge found on Friday that the statewide prosecutor did not have jurisdiction over one case in Miami. Statewide prosecutors, which are an extension of the Attorney General’s office, are prosecuting all of the election fraud cases that were brought in August.

That includes Wood, who was charged with second-degree murder in 1991. Wood registered to vote in 2020 after being approached by a voter rights advocate at a grocery store. Wood claimed he did not fill out the form, rather he just signed it, according to the affidavit of arrest filled out by an FDLE agent.

The form includes a section which asks the applicant to either verify that they are not a felon, or if so, to declare that their right to vote had been restored.

Voter rights advocates say that provision is especially confusing because of the passage of Amendment 4 to the Florida Constitution in 2018, which restored all felons their rights to vote except for those convicted of sex felonies or murder charges.

Later, another condition was added requiring voters with felonies to pay off their fines and fees before having their rights restored.

In a state of 22 million people, prosecuting 20 people for improperly voting is unlikely to change any election outcome, even if hundreds more are motivated to read the fine print. So, in my view, all that the prosecutions do is make DeSantis appear to lack empathy. Convicted murderers might not be “the best people” as Donald Trump would put it and maybe we don’t want them voting (though I would rather exclude those who’ve had their student loans forgiven and haven’t yet worked for at least 8 years and let convicted felons vote! Convicted felons at least know a lot about prison and criminal justice system) but we can still express empathy towards them.

I don’t think that DeSantis can become president if he continues on this track. The migrant flights to sanctuary states and cities can work because they show true empathy for the migrants (wanting to see them loved and cared for by “In this house we believe…” signers in Maskachusetts, for example). But some of the stuff that DeSantis says and does seems gratuitously mean and/or could be improved hugely by a change in tone.

Maybe DeSantis can just buy some empathy with his $300,000 in net worth?

From NBAA, Empathia, Inc.:

Readers: What do you think? Who is a fan of what Ron DeSantis does, but thinks he is losing potential votes by the way he expresses himself?

8 thoughts on “Should Ron DeSantis buy some empathy if he wants to be president?

  1. > “The majority of Americans are indifferent to whether a politician is senile and incompetent so long as he/she/ze/they appears to possess “empathy.”

    That’s only partially correct. The second prerequisite is, of course “authenticity.” [Which Allan Bloom discussed in his books with some depth.] The question is: Does Ron DeSantis also possess enough “authenticity” to accompany his “empathy?”

    Talking about looters being shot and prosecuting 20 people for voter fraud, however, dovetails nicely with the “Death of Democracy and the Success of Fascism” – at least by some interpretations. So DeSantis is (at least) dichotomous: He may lack empathy and need to buy/borrow/beg some, but he’s definitely Authentic!

  2. He would be the 1st sub millionaire president in today’s money. The only thing more disappointing than being a republican candidate in today’s liberal voting conservative times is being an A’s fan.

  3. I don’t know about this — Gov Ron won Florida in a landslide and I don’t know that there are any facts indicating that Floridians are more or less empathetic than the rest of us. I would also imagine that his opponent was suitably oleaginous but nonetheless was decimated. I am quite dubious that outside of the media yakking, Americans really care about this stuff.

  4. I’d think by now an average middle class voter is more than fed enough with “empathy” towards various “minorities”, sexual deviants, criminals and other assorted bums. A politician who comes through as competent and somewhat honest is a very welcome change to white taxpayers who never had felt any governmental “empathy” towards them.

  5. If the felons would pledge to vote Republican they would not be prosecuted. Restoration of voting is a political contest, with Republicans scared sh*tless of any citizen initiative.
    Now that they have a ruby-red state, maybe the legislature will have the courage to do whatever they please and let the chips fall wherever. Very bad optics to be afraid of the voters who are electing them over and over.
    Regarding DeSantis, he has to keep Trumping until Trump is definitely over, then he can smile and cuddle his family while keeping a steely eye and stern voice on TV. Too early to call whether he can sell that dance in a presidential election.

  6. What do you think? I don’t think Ron DeSantis is that great. I would only vote for him if Trump endorsed him. Who is a fan of what Ron DeSantis does, but thinks he is losing potential votes by the way he expresses himself? I am not a Ron DeSantis fan but I also don’t think he is losing potential voted by the way he expresses himself.

  7. You pointed out how much more visually appealing his opponent was during their debate; Ron would do well to read your blog and lose a few lbs and smile a little more. But his policies are terrific and perhaps that could be enough. I hope so. I also hope he stops responding to Trump and simply ignores Trump and any “reporter” who asks for his response to Trump’s goading comments. Although he might even attract some Trump disciples if he gave credit to Trump for those policy successes that Trump had (but failed to run on in 2020). Then Ron would be the bigger man. He could shock and confuse the MSM reporters by showing a little empathy for Trump all the while ignoring Trump’s taunts.

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