For a guy from a party whose members talk a lot about so-called “Western Civilization”, Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini (Republican member of the Florida House of Respresentatives, representing Lake County, just west of Orlando) seems happy to talk about it while knowing very little about it.
The dumbest tweet of the day
If Socrates was out philosophizing in American society today, he would be cancelled real quick
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) May 20, 2021
His understanding of who Socrates was doesn’t seem to be any deeper that of Bill S. Preston and Theodore “Ted” Logan…
…and it’s quite likely that he doesn’t know that Socrates was, in fact, “cancelled”.
WHAT?! Socrates was cancelled?
Yup, and it was all written up by his student, whose name you should also have heard of: Plato.
In his philosophizing, Socrates was a social and moral critic of his native Athens (in his time, your allegiance was to a city, not a nation), arguing against the city’s sociopolitical status quo and its “might makes right” ethos.
As a result, he was tried and sentenced to death for the crimes of:
- Corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens, and
- Impiety, or more accurately, “not believing in the gods of the state”.
For his sentence, he was made to drink hemlock.
Well, that’s a really obscure historical footnote, right?
In case you think this is an obscure historical footnote, let me assure you that IT IS NOT. Socrates is pretty much the grandaddy of Western philosophy. His life, and especially his death, are a core part of the Western canon.
In fact, the story of Socrates’ “cancellation” is at least well-known enough for Steve Martin to have turned it into a skit in his 1980 TV special, Comedy is Not Funny (which may seem like a typical Adult Swim routine to today’s audiences, but was mind-blowingly weird back then):
Okay, okay. So an ignorant-pretending-to-be-erudite tweet is the one dumb public thing that Rep. Sabatini did, right?
- There’s the “KYLE RITTENHOUSE FOR CONGRESS” tweet,
- his push to open Florida up — in April 2020, when we had the second highest COVID-19 death toll
- his siding with the January 6th insurrectionists,
- his public defence of Matt Gaetz,
- and his receiving $7,500 in legal fees from Joel Greenberg, the former tax collector of Florida’s Seminole County, who was recently indicted on 33 charges, including 33 criminal counts, including theft, stalking, sex trafficking, cryptocurrency fraud, and Small Business Administration loan fraud.
Also, in his most recent financial disclosure, he claimed a net worth of $-111,000. That’s right: NEGATIVE one hundred and eleven thousand dollars. I suspect some seriously creative accounting: