Florida taught Disney a hard but necessary lesson this month when legislators revoked the company’s special privileges and tax status. That lesson is simple: Corporations do not get to stand in the way of the state’s responsibility to act in the best interests of its citizens, and if they try, there will be consequences.
This likely came as a shock to Disney and others on the Left who are used to conservatives rolling over at the first sign of corporate pressure. But Gov. Ron DeSantis wanted to make a few things clear: the first being that, in the culture war, offense is the best defense. And second, that wokeism has a price.
That message has been received by a number of companies, not just Disney, that are now thinking twice about their roles in the political sphere, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“The No. 1 concern CEOs have is, ‘When should I speak out on public issues?’” said Bill George, the former chairman and CEO of Medtronic PLC and a senior fellow at Harvard Business School. “As one CEO said to me, ‘I want to speak out on social issues, but I don’t want to get involved in politics.’ Which I said under my breath, ‘That’s not possible.’”
Of course, staying silent poses just as much of a risk for many companies because of their ties to the Left. Disney, for example, had no intention of weighing in on Florida’s law restricting sexual and gender identity content in K-3 classrooms until the Left forced it to.
But now leftists aren’t the only ones with teeth. Florida Republicans proved it’s possible to fight back, and if their actions pause the steady march of wokeism for even a moment, they will have been worth it.