News that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ wife has breast cancer inspired an outpouring of well wishes — and some disturbing reactions from members of CNN’s audience.
The political divide in America is deepening – and getting nastier.
DeSantis, a Republican, announced Monday that his wife, Casey DeSantis, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
In a statement, Ron DeSantis referred to his wife as a “true fighter” who has touched “the lives of countless Floridians through her initiatives as First Lady.”
Prominent Republicans, like Fox News host and former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and others responded on Twitter with supportive words for Casey and Ron DeSantis, who are parents to three young children.
My family and I will be praying for @FLCaseyDeSantis & every woman battling breast cancer! Casey is a strong woman and an amazing mother. My heart is with her and her family! ♥️https://t.co/O4ZKt8aaKl
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) October 4, 2021
The CNN report about the announcement, though, drew a number of comments suggesting Casey DeSantis deserved cancer because of her husband’s COVID-19 policies — and conservative Twitter users highlighted some of the ugliest replies.
CNN’s replies to the Casey DeSantis cancer news: pic.twitter.com/EDksCPVNbK
— Jewish Deplorable (@TrumpJew2) October 4, 2021
The popular Libs of Tik Tok Twitter account highlighted similar sentiments from other liberal Twitter users.
The mentally ill just can’t help themselves pic.twitter.com/hOBhIfxlkA
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) October 4, 2021
WHY SO MEAN?
America’s political culture has undeniably gotten more vicious, and the trend has been widely blamed on increasing affective polarization, or animosity between political partisans.
OK, but: As recently outlined by The New York Times columnist
- Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at Dartmouth, told Edsall “we should renew our scrutiny of the role of elites and political systems in fomenting illiberal behavior.”