Florida governor and absolute horror-show of a human being Ron DeSantis is seeking the Republican nomination for president. It’s going poorly: According to FiveThirtyEight’s running average of national polls, DeSantis has dropped from roughly 40 percent support in January to just over 14 percent support today; at this rate he is less likely to overtake presumptive nominee Donald Trump than he is to be overtaken by the extremely humongous forehead of Vivek Ramaswamy.
DeSantis’s political struggles are not hard to understand: He is a far less convincing proponent of the vile and destructive MAGA platform for which Donald Trump is the standard-bearer and godhead; his appeal as a subject of flattering candidate profiles has always rested on the idea that he is somehow a more polished and competent politician than Trump, a view which manages to catastrophically misunderstand precisely what it is that has made Trump appealing to right-wing voters in the first place. Perhaps no person in the entire world is hoping more desperately than DeSantis that one of Trump’s many ongoing court cases will send the big man to prison, or otherwise somehow disqualify him for office. It’s the only chance DeSantis has left. MAGA chuds want Trump; they do not particularly want DeSantis’s “we have Trump at home” routine, some sweaty bozo who is dumber and far less charismatic, and who eats pudding with his fingers.
DeSantis is also a lot shorter than Trump. As a person who is not tall, it seems to me that this is not something that should matter in American politics, but it does. Trump stands a robust if oddly proportioned and disturbingly leaning 6-foot-3, which has always made it easy for his most fervent supporters to imagine and also to illustrate dramatic scenes of a hulking, larger-than-life Trump punching liberals into hell. Right-wing voters are anxious that this other fellow—who could potentially backslide into the nomination if Trump’s legal troubles amount to anything approaching real consequences [snort]—may not be tall enough for a starring role in their weirdly erotic fantasies of an avenging champion. Type “ron desa” into a Google search bar and “Ron DeSantis height” is a top result. This is a matter of some urgency among the electorate.
That Google search will tell you that DeSantis is listed at 5-foot-9, which would make him roughly average for an American man. This six-inch height deficit would put DeSantis at a distinct disadvantage when guarding Trump in the post, or attempting to dislodge him from the A-gap in the running game; it also has the potential to present a striking visual disparity if these two men eventually share a debate stage. Again, none of this should matter in American politics, it’s just that we live in a profoundly fucked-up place.
But is DeSantis 5-foot-9? There is a theory gathering attention, about DeSantis’s height, having to do with the governor’s habit of standing and moving weirdly while wearing insanely fucked-up looking footwear. The theory, as articulated by Infinite Scroll’s Jeremiah Johnson, suggests that DeSantis’s “shoes look so weird” all the time because they are in fact constructed to hide four-inch heels. From the outside they look, well, not normal, but not like high heels. If you were to open them up, goes the theory, you would see that the heel is raised such that DeSantis is forced to stand and walk on his toes, with the whole contraption hidden inside the sturdy leather of a heavy-duty boot.
Let’s consult the visual evidence. Here is a photo of DeSantis looking almost normal:
There’s something going on with the heel of that left shoe. The back of the shoe appears to extend beyond the sole, giving the foot a weird scooping shape, suggestive of a ladle. Perhaps this could just be DeSantis standing awkwardly. The man is certainly a weird stander. It’s dark down there behind the lectern and hard to tell what’s going on, but the point is that if you look very closely at this photo, your eye will be drawn to a weirdness in the foot region. That becomes a theme.
Here is an image of DeSantis walking across a stage. You cannot miss the weirdness of the back foot in this one. What is going on there?
To fully appreciate the weirdness of this leg position, I invite you to stand up and take one full stride forward with your left leg, shifting your weight forward until it is forward of your back leg. Where is your back heel? It is lifted off the ground. Now, press your back heel to the floor. Feel that sweet calf stretch? Feels good. Unfortunately, this is not how normal human walking works. Something strange is happening inside that boot. It’s as if DeSantis has the legs of a wren.
Here is another image. Where the hell is Ron DeSantis’s left, forward knee in this photo?
There is an important examination to be done of the relative proportions of the main bones of DeSantis’s legs, which we will get to in a moment. But first, more alarming images from this short walk onto the stage at the July Christians United for Israel Summit:
You cannot miss the weirdness of whatever is going on below DeSantis’s knees. There are simply more angles than are allowed in an anatomically standard human leg. But this also brings us to the matter of bone length. I am informed by the National Institutes of Health that the femur is the longest bone in the human body. I am further informed by the Cleveland Clinic that the average human femur is 18 inches, a solid four inches longer than the second-longest bone in the human body, which is the fibula. What is going on here?
It is possible that DeSantis has the lower leg proportions of Gollum, as they are both slimy bottom-feeding cave monsters. But taken together with the evident extra angles of DeSantis’s lower legs, the length problem starts to suggest either a supremely fucked-up anatomy, or some very painful interior shoe geometry. Do not subject your ankles and feet to the hellish requirements of whatever this shoe wants to accomplish:
Next, there is the matter of DeSantis’s shoes always appearing exaggeratedly curled in the toes, in the style of a jester. Put a little bell on the end of these guys and you’ve got yourself a shoe fit for a Christmas elf. For each of these next few images, ask yourself: Where are DeSantis’s toes in this image? And how did they get there?
Truly, where are DeSantis’s right toes in this next image? They cannot possibly be inside the toe of the boot, right? Not unless his toes are very thin and flat, and as long as his fingers, like pale-colored lightly smushed breakfast sausage links. I do not like to think about that.
Doesn’t this seem like a much likelier way to interpret what is going on inside of those alarmingly misshapen shoes?
That Ron DeSantis might be a very short man should not be what convinces anyone to vote for someone else. Nor really should the fact that he might be succumbing to deranged societal standards and wearing painful and outrageously ugly shoes in order to appear taller than he is. But I certainly do not mind the thought of DeSantis enduring extreme foot discomfort as he grimly tap-dances his way to a devastating and humiliating primary loss. May all of his little piggies fall off one by one.