Friday, November 26, 2021

One Such Person

Florida governor Ron DeSantis holds degrees from Yale and Harvard law. That's supposed to signal intelligence and competence. It does not. DeSantis is vehemently opposed to any COVID 19 protocols. Florida school superintendent Carlee Simon writes in The Washington Post:

After months of harassing school districts, including mine, over our covid-19 protocols, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the Florida Legislature have just passed a new law that blocks schools from requiring masks for students and quarantines for students and staff who appear asymptomatic. The governor even called a special legislative session to get this and other bills targeting covid-19 measures passed — although he conveniently waited until the delta-driven covid surge of the late summer and early fall had subsided in the state.

Of course, the outcome of the session was never in any doubt. DeSantis and other state leaders vehemently opposed mask mandates and quarantine protocols even as positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths from covid skyrocketed in Florida during the first few weeks of school. They fought school districts that required them tooth and nail, even withholding our funding because we did what was necessary to protect students and staff during a public health crisis.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the governor insists that masks are ineffective and even harmful. To bolster his viewpoint, he fast-tracked the appointment of Joseph Ladapo — an anti-vaccine, anti-mask, hydroxychloroquine-promoting doctor apparently focused on undermining rather than protecting public health — as the state’s surgeon general.

Their nonscientific and nonsensical agenda is now enshrined in Florida law. From here on out, school districts cannot require masks no matter what happens in the future.

There's a lot of that going around these days -- monumental stupidity in the face of overwhelming evidence:

Never mind that covid cases are rising in half of the states and that experts are warning of a potential winter spike. If another surge comes to Florida, schools will have been hamstrung by state leaders more concerned about appeasing their governor and his political base than promoting the health and well-being of their constituents.

How to explain it? Obviously, it has nothing to do with the standard measures of intelligence. But it has everything to do with the will to power. Some of us will do anything to grasp the brass ring. DeSantis is one such person.

Image: The New Yorker


The Disaffected Lib said...

De Santis is a screaming sociopath. Law firms usually have a couple (or more) in the ranks of their senior partners.

Intelligent people totally devoid of conscience can be amazingly successful. They crave power and often care less about approval or popularity. They're the stuff of war criminals.

Ted Cruz has the same dysfunction.

Owen Gray said...

Both men are Harvard-trained lawyers, Mound. Somewhere along the way, they missed something.

Toby said...

So why doesn't "will to power" work the other way? Can't a power hungry Yahoo coerce people to do what's best for their health? I know this sounds a bit stupid but I wonder if there isn't something malicious in DeSantis' method, that he knows that his policy is damaging. What does he gain by it? Considering this is Florida, I wonder if the whole point is to further damage the poor and particularly African-Americans. Is this all about race?

Owen Gray said...

It probably isn't true for lots of other places, Toby. But, in the United States, everything seems to come back to race. It's the American original sin.

Anonymous said...

Mound hit the nail on the head. The combination of antisocial personality disorder, as it's now called, machiavellianism and narcissism form a dark triad of traits often found in political and business leaders. Trump, Harper, DeSantis, BoJo all have it in spades.

The workplace has accustomed people to accepting such leaders. As Mound points out, there's usually a few in the senior management ranks. Problems start when they're allowed to take control. It's amazing how people in authority, especially other leaders and the media, are unwilling to call these people out for the harms they cause. As a result, public tolerance for their bad behaviour seems to be growing.


Owen Gray said...

It amazes me, Cap, how we look the other way when our leaders do what we were taught in kindergarten was intolerable.

Anonymous said...

Certainly educated beyond their intelligence. So how do you think they made it in the first place? Money? Stupid is, as Stupid does. Anyong

Owen Gray said...

It probably had something to do with knowing the "right" people, Anyong.