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'Truly an authoritarian personality': NYU professor pounces after DeSantis suggests students shouldn't have access to their phones during class


'It is not the phones, people,' Ruth Ben-Ghiat also tweeted.

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

During remarks on Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that he believes a school district would be within its rights to require kids to stow their phones somewhere like a "cubby" so that they are not distracted during class — he suggested that kids could use their phones during recess.

"He is so dangerous in every way. Truly an authoritarian personality," New York University professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat tweeted in response to a clip of DeSantis' remarks.

Her tweet raised eyebrows.

"He is dangerous because he thinks students shouldn't be on their phones in class?" Tim Meads of the Daily Wire tweeted.

"When I saw this tweet I braced myself for a ghastly example of DeSantis’s authoritarianism. Instead I heard a governor say school kids should put their cell phones in a cubby during class," Jewish Institute for Liberal Values founder David Bernstein tweeted.

"Apparently, teachers controlling their own classrooms is now authoritarianism," Dan McLaughlin of National Review tweeted.

In another tweet, Ben-Ghiat added, "It is not the phones, people. It is the arrogance of a man who wants to control everyone and everything: businesses, students, other poiticians. He wants to dictate what you learn and read, how you train your employees, and much more."

DeSantis, who won a second term last year during the Sunshine State's gubernatorial contest, is widely viewed as a figure who could potentially mount a 2024 White House bid.

While DeSantis has not announced plans to pursue the presidency, former President Donald Trump announced last year that he is running for president once again.

Ben-Ghiat has claimed that "the goal of #Strongmen like Trump is to make Americans be their very worst selves so his garbage (lying corruption violence) becomes the norm in politics, making the advent of authoritarian rule much easier."

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