The left considers Ron DeSantis a fascist, but Gavin Newsom is a hero for doing something similar. In fact, Newsom picked on a company that was trying to avoid a legal dispute, whereas DeSantis defended a popular bill that Disney attacked. Newsom’s attack on Walgreens makes no logical sense; Walgreens was merely trying to comply with all the various laws in different states, which ultimately caused Newsom to go after the company.
DeSantis didn’t make a move until after Disney started lobbying against a Florida parental-rights bill that prohibited public school teachers from discussing sex, sexual orientation, and so-called gender identity with prepubescent kids in kindergarten through third grade; Governor Ron DeSantis decided to call a special session to review Disney World’s “independent special district” status to determine if it was “appropriately serving the public interest.”
The popular parental rights bill, which Democrats and the media dishonestly called “Don’t Say Gay” despite the fact that it never included the term “gay” or prohibited anybody from using it, was approved by both houses and signed by DeSantis. Disney was decisively defeated. In the end, DeSantis signed legislation that essentially removed Disney from the control of over more than 25,000 acres around its theme park and established a new tax district.
Jonathan Chait, a Democrat, said the threat alone demonstrated “What Post-Trump Authoritarianism Looks Like,” MSNBC’s Ja’han Jones remarked that the threats demonstrated that the Republican Party had gone “full authoritarian,” etc. By total authoritarianism, he meant that the Florida legislature had passed the measure and the governor had signed it. It should be noted that Disney has no heavenly or constitutional authority to be a special tax district. Furthermore, DeSantis did not threaten to kick Disney out of the state or refuse to do business with the company. It merely took away a privilege that should not have been granted. A benefit that no other company had in the state. Nowadays, however, the concept of “democracy” is exceedingly changeable.
It is undoubtedly unfashionable to remark that normalizing governmental retaliation against speech is a terrible lack of foresight. Disney should be entitled to adopt any political stance it desires without fear of penalties from the government, just as Jack Phillips, Hobby Lobby, and Chick-fil-A should not have to fear government reprisals for their convictions. If Disney were to advocate teaching kindergarteners about oral sex and celebrating gender dysphoria despite parental objections, the company would almost certainly suffer a severe economic loss.
But, it is also true that one may comprehend why conservatives like DeSantis’s action. The Leftists’ sham outrage about the incident is ludicrous and plainly phony. Never have modern Democrats hesitated to attack and single out firms that do not share their political views. Almost the entirety of the current left’s technocratic economic agenda is to support businesses that create things they like, compel people to purchase those goods and penalize those who do not.
Democrats have never hesitated to attack unfavorable companies based on their profit margins, use corporations to coerce vaccines and unionization, or intimidate Big Tech firms into embracing government speech rules. The Senate committee chair is an outspoken Marxist. So who do they think they’re kidding?
Last week, it was discovered that Walgreens would not offer the abortion pill mifepristone in twenty red states with restrictive abortion laws. The governor of a state whose economic controls seem to resemble an Eastern European “republic” circa 1975, Gavin Newsom, said the pharmaceutical company would face the consequences, and California would no longer do business with it because the company “cowards to extremists” and “endangers the lives of women.”
Walgreens is obviously not in opposition to any California legislation, much less endangering the lives of any women. It is not pushing the state to repeal laws that permit abortion into the ninth month of pregnancy, nor is it adopting a position at odds with the majority of state voters, although it has the right to do so. In other states, Walgreens has opted not to offer abortion medicines, which it has never sold in the past. It does not do so on ethical grounds; it attempts to avoid a legal dispute.
As they have previously, many Democrats applauded Newsom’s threat because they have no qualms about pressuring or harming businesses. Some Democrats disagree that it is authoritarian, and they are just upset that they no longer hold a monopoly on the practice.
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