Yesterday, Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy for President on Twitter; it didn’t go well due to “technical difficulties.” Something about his butchered announcement is telling. Yet what creeps me out about him isn't his botched announcement with Elon Musk or even his record in Florida, which is bad enough, but rather his record in the U.S. military.
As a JAG (military lawyer), he seems to have facilitated torture at Gitmo (the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba) and assassinations by Special Forces teams in Iraq. He was also fond of posing like a combat officer in desert camo holding an assault rifle. I doubt DeSantis was ever truly in harm's way (same with me, by the way, but I never posed like a commando), but he loves to strike a pose. He even made a campaign commercial based on Tom Cruise’s “Maverick” in which DeSantis, of course, is the “Top Gun” of Florida.
Meanwhile, speaking of image-making, according to the New York Times his wife Casey is cultivating a Jackie Kennedy-like image with her fashion choices (as a former TV news anchor, she knows the power of positive visuals). If image is everything, as those old camera commercials claimed, Ron DeSantis is burnishing his as a warrior-dad, which, I suppose, is better than the reality of a Harvard-trained power-hungry lawyer with no scruples.
There is something "off" about DeSantis, something inauthentic and dishonest, even more so than the typical politician. Call it a gut feeling.
But, moving past my “gut,” there’s the stunt DeSantis pulled in shipping immigrants seeking asylum in Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. People are just pawns in his political power game. Again, not that unusual for an ambitious pol, but that doesn’t mean I want this charlatan to have his finger on the nuclear button.
I see him as a proto-Greg Stillson (from Stephen King's "The Dead Zone"). A dangerous man. Strange as it may sound, Donald Trump strikes me as more authentic and less dangerous than DeSantis. Which, by the way, is no endorsement of Trump.
Update (6/2/23): I wouldn’t trust DeSantis because he dresses his boy like a miniature politician. I’m only half-joking. Seriously, why campaign with your kids? I’d want to keep them at home, away from the spotlights, crowds, and cameras.
One of the best comments I've heard on DeSantis is that he really doesn't like the voters. It tends to come across in how, as you note, inauthentic he seems.
Great observation about the Dead Zone vibe, Bill. I have to agree. And yeah, the guy IS just plain creepy. Like a Pod Person.