Ron DeSantis Bashed His 'Elite' Ivy League Education Saying, 'I Viewed Having Earned Degrees From Yale And Harvard Law School To Be Political Scarlet Letters'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is open about his perspectives, and his recent book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” offers a deep dive into those views. As an alumnus of both Yale University and Harvard Law School, DeSantis provides insights into his educational journey, revealing the influences that shaped his political career and decision-making processes.

His father took immense pride in DeSantis’s admission to Yale, marking it as a significant achievement. But DeSantis harbored reservations about his “elite” education. In his writings, he expressed that he viewed his degrees from esteemed institutions like Yale and Harvard Law as potential stumbling blocks during the GOP primaries.

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His feelings on the matter were evident when he said, “I viewed having earned degrees from Yale and Harvard Law School to be political scarlet letters as far as a GOP primary went.” This stemmed from his belief that grassroots conservatives could be wary of these renowned institutions, associating them with progressive ideologies.

Such views were not merely speculation. DeSantis recalls his initial moments at Yale, describing his feelings of being a “fish out of water.” He was caught off guard by the institution’s liberal environment, emphasizing that he once thought colleges to be neutral grounds.

DeSantis, who grew up in Dunedin, Florida, shared anecdotes of his unique start at Yale, arriving in flip-flops and jean shorts, contrasting sharply with peers from affluent backgrounds and prestigious prep schools.

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Despite the cultural and ideological challenges at Yale, DeSantis persisted and proceeded to pursue his law degree from another Ivy League institution. His experiences at these institutions strengthened his convictions.

“If I could withstand seven years of indoctrination in the Ivy League, then I will be able to survive Washington, D.C., without going native,” he said.

DeSantis’s Ivy League years seem to have been a crucible, reinforcing his beliefs and providing a lens through which to understand his current policies. DeSantis, throughout his tenure, has been vocal about educational reforms, taking positions on what institutions can teach about subjects like race and gender.

It’s not just the Ivy League that influenced DeSantis. His roots play a crucial role in shaping his political persona. Growing up in a town near Tampa, Florida, he attributes much of his ideology to the Rust Belt values instilled in him by his parents, both from blue-collar backgrounds in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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Before DeSantis stepped into the political arena, he wore a different kind of uniform, serving in the U.S. Navy. His military background provided him with discipline and a strong sense of duty.

In launching his 2024 presidential campaign, DeSantis promised to champion a new, expansive conservatism. To understand exactly what that would look like, one only needs to look at Florida.

During this legislative term, the governor and his fellow Republicans waged culture wars everywhere from the classroom to the bathroom to Disney World, making the state a pioneer of some of the most extreme right-wing policies in the U.S.

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