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Meatball Ron is a nickname for the current Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis given to him by former President Donald Trump to replace the previous nickname of "DeSanctimonious" ahead of the 2024 political season. Meatball Ron quickly took off on Twitter with people creating memes of Ron DeSantis looking like a Meatball, or comparing him to the character Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
On February 12th, 2023, the New York Times ran a story that indicated while talking to others in casual conversation, Donald Trump referred to Ron DeSantis as "Meatball Ron," causing the nickname to enter into the Twittersphere. Later that day, Twitter user @ABHsLaw uploaded an image of Ron DeSantis wearing his White Boots next to an image of the Green M&M saying that Trump should easily beat "#MeatballRon" (shown below).
The nickname quickly began to spread online over the next two days, with both sides of the political aisle using it to take shots at DeSantis. For example, on February 12th, 2023, the Twitter account @_Johnnymaga uploaded a photoshopped image of Ron DeSantis eating a meatball sub with marinara sauce dripping off onto his shirt, getting over 12,000 views in two days (shown below).
On February 13th, 2023, the Twitter user @JohnnyHeatWave uploaded a video of Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force dressed in a pink golf shirt and khakis, with audio from Ron DeSantis being placed on top of it in which DeSantis is talking about his recent challenge to the AP Black History curriculum under the pretense that it was laced with "queer theory" (shown below).
since 'Meatball Ron' is in the news a bit pic.twitter.com/Yz4VnY5nvH
— John Kerr (@JohnnyHeatWave) February 13, 2023
While the term "Meatball Ron" continued to gain steam, not everyone was on board with its usage. A growing sentiment began to emerge that by labeling Ron DeSantis, who's Italian, with the moniker of "meatball" constituted an ethnic slur and was akin to being racially biased against him. This sentiment was echoed in memes, mostly using characters from The Sopranos, such as the one tweeted out by Twitter user @MidnightMitch on February 13th, 2023 (shown below).
 Twitter – JohnnyMaga
 Twitter – JohnnyHeatWave
 Twitter – MidnightMitch
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Feb 14, 2023 at 06:01PM EST
Lake: Shadow Legends Moderator
Feb 14, 2023 at 07:18PM EST
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