The Performative Sadism of Ron DeSantis

Source: The Daily Beast
by David R Lurie

“The GOP — under Donald Trump and perhaps soon under his would-be successor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — is rapidly becoming a party centered upon tormenting and humiliating the vulnerable. In the sway of sadists, the Republicans are testing whether the celebration of cruelty can be the motivating force for a U.S. political party. But this experiment in grounding the GOP’s identity on the veneration of deliberate harm, while obviously immoral, may also be a political error. As social science teaches, many people have a disturbing level of tolerance for the suffering of others, but also don’t like to admit it; and prefer to see themselves as victims …. By contrast, sadists openly relish punishing the vulnerable. It therefore remains questionable whether most Republicans — let alone a majority of voters — are willing to overtly identify themselves as people who enjoy causing torment.” (09/21/22)