This piece isn’t about Disney. But I will use Disney as an example. It’s about what I’ll refer to as Conservative Inc. I don’t mean the Ben Shapiro, Charlie Kirk, version of conservatism. I’m using the term to refer to the big government, establishment Republicans. The guys that call themselves the Bulwark. The Never Trumpers who assure us they are the conscience of conservatism. The folks that called the Tea Party “wacko birds” and consider MAGA supporters to be a bunch of unhinged hooligans. When I use the term Conservative Inc., I mean the guys that go on cruises and pat themselves on the backs for talking down to the masses that expect more than tax cuts from conservatives. In short, it’s the people that have made a business out of calling themselves conservatives, while at the same time enabling leftists to run roughshod over our country.
First, for some background information. Way back in 1967, Florida established the Reedy Creek Improvement District for the Disney Corporation. It exempted Disney from a great deal of state and local government oversight and taxation. It was a crony capitalist deal if there ever was one.
Now fast forward to 2022. The Disney Corporation has decided to fight against Florida’s juvenile anti-sexual grooming bill. The company even piled on by announcing that it would be adding LGBTQ themes to its children’s programming.
Florida took the fight to the next level. It succeeded in passing the anti-grooming law, and then gut-punched Disney by revoking the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
And now, Conservative Inc. Republicans are having an attack of the vapors. Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review wrote:
This escalation represents an ugly and ill-conceived mistake, a blemish on DeSantis’s otherwise mostly excellent gubernatorial record.
Brad Palumbo of National Review and Hannah Cox of the Foundation for Economic Education wrote:
Ayn Rand once said, “The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.”
The implication being that Florida is becoming a totalitarian state for going all “shock and awe” on Disney.
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The consensus among Conservative Inc. seems to be that Florida got its anti-grooming bill passed, it should go back to business as usual. Let bygones be bygones. Don’t let this little spat get in the way of business. No spiking the ball – walk across the field and shake hands with the losing team and commend them for a good game. What complete crap.
Clearly, Conservative Inc. doesn’t understand what crony capitalism is. According to the Oxford Languages dictionary, crony capitalism is
an economic system characterized by close, mutually advantageous relationships between business leaders and government officials.
Disney forgot the “mutually advantageous” part of the arrangement. It broke the deal when it went to war with its “close relationship” partner. Disney Corporation breached the deal, so Florida canceled it altogether – as it should.
Further, to quote Ayn Rand in defense of a crony capitalist deal is intellectually dishonest to the extreme. Anyone who has read Atlas Shrugged knows that Rand believed that crony capitalism would end our society as we know it. But the book is over a thousand pages long, written at a twelfth-grade level. Maybe Brad and Hannah haven’t actually read it.
But my response to Charles, Brad, and Hannah is a bit different than Ayn Rand’s response would likely be. My reaction is: Are you freaking kidding me? A company with unique access to children, is advocating the sexual grooming of 5-year-olds! And these morally bankrupt fools are disturbed by Ron DeSantis’ actions? What Disney is doing is an outright attack on our children. I would advocate it being closed down and shuttered by any legal means available.
Bastions of the Bulwark, like Bill Kristol, are totally fine with judging Trump guilty of inciting insurrection for asking people to peacefully protest the election. By that rationale, Disney is guilty of inciting child abuse. And yet the advice from Conservative Inc. is to leave Disney alone. Don’t let a little thing like sexualizing children get in the way of business – oh, and sign up for one of their cruises so they can lecture us about what real conservatism is.
That pretty much sums up why the old guard of the Republican party is dying and MAGA is ascendant. They’re willing to choose business over morality. In their eyes, the souls of our children and countrymen are secondary to that pursuit. They are morally bankrupt.
Real Conservatives want more. We want our liberties protected. We want our values defended. And we want our leaders held accountable, whether they be political, governmental, business, religious, or social.
By John Green
John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He currently writes at the American Free News Network and The Blue State Conservative. He can be followed on Facebook or reached at email@example.com.
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Featured image by Republican Party (United States), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons