DeSantis’ forgotten 2011 book Dreams From Our Founding Fathers helps us trace the Right’s recent intellectual and political trajectory – and how the Right invokes history to justify radicalization
Reading this, I was thinking about what other countries elevate the supposed vision of their founders to such an extent as the US does. Then it struck me that there's an interesting parallel with Iran where the role of the Supreme Leader and Guardian Council is to defend the post-revolutionary settlement against perceived threats in the way the US conservatives want to use the Supreme Cpurt to rip up anything that contravenes their view of what 1776 was about.
It's amazing how accurate this section becomes when you substitute Trump for Obama: >>It's not enough that his ideology is dangerous and his policies are bad, the Obama we are being presented here is also a deeply unsympathetic figure, a dangerous man, with a personality entirely unfit for the presidency. In a chapter titled “Hubris and Humility,” DeSantis rages against Obama’s arrogance: his “messianic posture” and “personal vanity,” his “egotism,” “hubris,” and “self-centeredness” – all contrasted with “George Washington’s abiding humility.” (p. 249) Obama, DeSantis needs his readers to understand, is exactly the type of political figure the Founders worried so deeply about – he is a demagogue, defined by the DeSantis-Founding Fathers as “a leader who capitalizes on popular prejudices by peddling false claims, by employing questionable rhetorical techniques, or by intentionally sowing divisions among different factions or interests within the body politic.” (p. 252)<<
Of course, in spite of DeSantis' best efforts, Obama was re-elected in 2012, which probably had a lot to do with why his book disappeared without a trace.
Thank you for your service in reading the book and your excellent analysis!
Fascinating. Thank you.
I am also fascinated on how the 1776 project was able to “coherently” argue that Calhoun is the direct descendant of “Liberalism.” It’s like they do not understand what being liberal in American modern day politics means.
For those who are interested, "The Courage to be Free" is available as a used hardcover on Thriftbooks. They have one copy available for $16.89. Personally, I wouldn't waste my money.
“Small government, governmental restraint to guarantee individual liberty and freedom, to keep the state out of people’s private lives, to make sure it doesn’t meddle with private business.”
I wonder if they ever see the hypocrisy in their words.
I bet Disney and women who can’t control their own bodies might have a word or two for Meatball Rob.
Thank you Professor Zimmer for shining a bright light on the blatant hypocrisy that IS Ron DeSantis.
Governor DeSantis, while Harvard “educated” still retains his own insecurities and biases.
His actions as governor loudly demonstrate his fear of free thought and opinions that differ from his own. His establishment of a private police force, his banning of books and interference in education. His attacks on Disney all combine to clearly show his authoritarian leaning.
The irony of Ron DeSantis writing a book about "freedom" isn't lost on me. Fascists always seem bent on conveniently redefining words in such a way to give cover to their direct efforts to the opposite effect.