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?Full post, including comments