It seems someone forgot to tell Governor Ron DeSantis that buying is wrong. It also seems that someone forgot to tell him that the only thing harder to fight than city hall is a beloved American institution with an army of the best lawyers money can buy. Despite this, DeSantis keeps doubling down on his fight with Disney.
Thus far, Disney has remained in the shadows. They have been making moves without causing a ruckus. Their position seems to be, “We don’t want to fight, but you’re not going to Railroad us.” DeSantis, on the other hand, seems to be intent on destroying Disney at all costs.
When Disney first opposed the Parental Rights in Education Act, DeSantis had a fit. He vowed to make them pay, yet whenever he thinks he has them cornered…they find a way to circumvent him (see: “No Records Exist” Disney Outsmarts DeSantis AGAIN). Rather than accepting defeat with dignity or even acting like the career politician he is and spinning it (“this was my idea all along”), he has publicly melted down.
His latest temper tantrum involves threatening to build a state prison next to Disney. He’s also done everything he can to thwart the company’s growth (see: DeSantis makes Disney’s 5th theme park illegal). These moves are shockingly anti-business and anti-free speech coming from a Republican.
With rumors swirling that he has his eye on a Presidential bid, one would think he would be a little more politically savvy than he has been. It’s hard to say you’re the best candidate for the GOP when you’re actively flying in the face of two of the party’s major platforms. The President is sworn to uphold the Constitution, including freedom of speech, and bringing down the full force of government on a business for daring to disagree isn’t a good look for someone with their eye on the Oval.
While he could be commended for standing by his convictions in the face of opposition to his Parental Rights in Education Act, his reaction to Disney’s stance on it has been entirely uncalled for. He is behaving like a bully, not like a president. This type of behavior won’t go well for him if he hopes to become Commander in Chief. The American people want someone they can rely on to be level-headed and diplomatic in the face of adversity. He is proving himself to lack both characteristics.
There was a time when I was all for a DeSantis presidency. Now…not so much. When you occupy high political office, you look out for your constituents, not your ego. Having a tantrum that threatens the largest employer in your state isn’t looking out for anyone, not even DeSantis himself, because he is committing political suicide.
Is it too late to right the wrongs he’s done and woo back the would-be voters he has lost due to petulance? Perhaps. Only time will tell, but he’d be foolish not to try. He needs to focus on improving his state and leave behind this silly war he will not win. He needs to remember his ego takes a back seat to keeping the citizens of his state employed. He needs to prove he has the maturity required to occupy the position he currently holds, as well as any future position he has his eye on. His temper tantrums make for an amusing spectacle, but in this arena, the Mouse will always outmaneuver him because he is playing a game he is vastly underqualified for. Entertainment is Disney’s wheelhouse, not his.