DeSantis Demolishes ‘Old-Fashioned’ Republicanism in Op-Ed-‘Surrendered to the Militant Left’
Governor Ron DeSantis is fired up after ending the Walt Disney Corporate Kingdom and punched back against “old-fashioned” republicanism in a new Wall Street Journal op-ed.
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Despite the Florida governor’s soaring popularity, old guard republicans have attacked the governor’s tactics in fighting the left, saying it violates conservative principles of “limited government.” DeSantis’ war against woke capital has drawn fire from current and former governors Chris Sununu, NH, Larry Hogan, MD, and former vice president Mike Pence.
“That was beyond the scope of what I, as a conservative, limited-government Republican, would be prepared to do,” Pence said in an interview last week about DeSantis ending Disney’s self-governing status.
But DeSantis says that Republicans’ unwillingness to use government power is exactly why the country has been surrendered to the left.
“Disney’s special arrangement, which dates to 1967, was an indefensible example of corporate welfare,” DeSantis wrote.
“For more than 50 years, the state of Florida put Disney on a pedestal. That all changed last year, when left-wing activists working at the company’s headquarters in Burbank, Calif., pressured Disney to oppose Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act. The legislation bans classroom instruction on sexuality and gender ideology in kindergarten through third grade and requires that sex instruction in other grades be age-appropriate. Disney executives were seen on videos boasting about the company’s plans to inject sexuality into its programming for children.”
DeSantis continued, saying that while Democrats often complain about corporations’ undue influence in politics, they will often make exceptions for companies that suit their political agenda. “This confirms how much the modern left has jettisoned principle in favor of power.”
After taking a shot at ESG, the “environmental, social, and governance” strategies of corporations that often finance left-wing agenda items, DeSantis called out Republicans’ failure to stop the rise of woke corporatism.
“In this environment, old-guard corporate Republicanism isn’t up to the task at hand. For decades, GOP elected officials have campaigned on free-market principles but governed as corporatists—supporting subsidies, tax breaks and legislative carve-outs to confer special benefits on entrenched corporate interests. But policies that benefit corporate America don’t necessarily serve the interests of America’s people and economy.”
“When corporations try to use their economic power to advance a woke agenda, they become political, and not merely economic, actors. In such an environment, reflexively deferring to big business effectively surrenders the political battlefield to the militant left. Having private companies wield de facto public power isn’t in the best interests of most Americans.”
DeSantis wrote that woke ideology is a form of “cultural Marxism” and called on Republicans to take action and fight back when corporations make “the mistake, as Disney did, of using their economic might to advance a political agenda.” He then signed off his op-ed with his state’s signature rallying cry,
“[W]e are the state where woke goes to die.”
DeSantis’ op-ed comes amid the promotion of his new book, The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival. In the book, the governor calls for the “crippling” of the ESG movement.
“Reining in Big Tech, enforcing antitrust laws, prohibiting discriminatory job training, and crippling the ESG movement are all ways in which the political branches can protect individual freedom from stridently ideological private actor,” he wrote.
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DeSantis’s book tour is the latest in a series of high-profile events aimed at national audiences. He recently visited New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania on a tour to support law enforcement. His outings have fueled speculations over an impending 2024 announcement.
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