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Making Sense of the Desanctimonious Moniker

It seems Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been so shaken by Trump’s name-calling that he is now pronouncing his own name differently. In his YouTube campaign announcement video, he refers to himself as Ron “Dee-Santis,” with an apparently new emphasis on the first syllable “De,” using a long “e” vowel sound that no one has used before. Is he trying to emphasize that he is not Ron “Desanctimonious?” Not so fast, Governor.

One might assume that Donald Trump’s taunts are childish or nonsensical. But there’s a ring of truth to his labeling of DeSantis as “Desanctimonious.” Ironic, isn’t it, that Trump of all people might edify Americans about the English language? Let us examine Trump’s moniker for DeSantis (sometimes abbreviated to “Ron DeSanctus”).  

According to Merriam Webster, “sanctimonious” means “hypocritically pious or devout.” Governor DeSantis is not overly “pious” in the religious sense. He doesn’t flaunt his religion like former Vice President Mike Pence, for example. Yet “sanctimonious” can also have a moral element to it. Merriam Webster gives the example: “a sanctimonious moralist.” This is where the governor might run into some trouble. DeSantis comes off as a little pious and self-righteous in terms of his own political positions and indeed his own political career.

DeSantis’ presidential campaign launch on Twitter demonstrated the problematic elements of his personality (though most of what he said was quite reasonable). In this lengthy appearance, DeSantis only referred to himself in laudatory terms. For example, he emphasized that “I’m going to follow through on what I tell people I’m going to do.” He was so insistent on this point that it came off as more self-congratulatory than reassuring. The incisive Megyn Kelly noted of DeSantis’ glitchy Twitter Space announcement:

“Through all of this, I didn’t laugh or connect with the candidate even once. And this is a guy whose policies–most of them anyway–I support. He didn’t crack a joke at his own expense. He didn’t say something that touched me about America or the troubles we’re going through. He didn’t even tap into the righteous anger so many of us are feeling.”

Kelly here identifies a potential Achilles heel in DeSantis’ candidacy, which Trump himself intuited and labeled with an almost metaphysical precision with “desanctimonious.” DeSantis is confident enough, but his manner is fairly brusque and literal. As Kelly noted, there is a certain humorlessness to DeSantis, which puts him in danger of coming off as sanctimonious.

Former President Trump has suggested that Ron DeSantis seek an “emergency personality transplant” at Walter Reed Medical Hospital. However, when I contacted doctors at Walter Reed, they said that this medical technology is not yet available.

Read More at Daily Caller

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