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| Apr 20, 2023

DeSantis’ moves on Disney are despicable 

Al Edwards

Al Edwards / Our Today

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Florida Governor Ron Desantis. (Photo: Tallahassee Democrat)

Disney is a great American entertainment company.

It was formed a century ago bringing joy to children the world over.

The company has morphed into a global conglomerate with many vertical business arms and is now a major force as a content streaming provider.

Since 1971, Florida has been the Home of Walt Disney World. Walt Disney conceived a place where kids and their parents could go and have fun and decided to expand eastward into Florida after beginning in California. Unfortunately, he died in 1966 at the age of 65 from lung cancer.

Mickey Mouse (Photo: Guardian)

Nevertheless, his partner and brother Roy saw to it that his dream came to be and today Disney World sees close to 60 million people a year visiting its theme parks.

Now why would DeSantis want to stomp on that American dream come true? Walt Disney World stands as a testament to family enterprise and all that’s good about America.

DeSantis says that the company is too woke and has set about punishing it for its perceived liberalism.

He has to be careful here. Donald Trump has named him Ron deSanctimonious and he is looking like a joyless fellow here which will not go down well with many Americans. 

If a poll was taken to see if most Americans agree with deSantis’s efforts to squash Disney in Florida, the Governor would come out the loser.

The force is strong in Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Mouse (Photo: Newsweek)

Disney will do what it takes to protect its investment. Disney World brings tourists and generates income for the state. It is short-sighted of DeSantis not to see that and exact retribution on Disney, going about conjuring up punitive machinations.

It has been made clear to Disney that its property in Florida which sits on 25,000 acres will be surrounded by affordable housing and possibly a prison. Then there are demands that it pays exorbitant taxes.

In an effort to survive and continue Walt’s dream the corporate behemoth must shield itself.

David Thompson, a lawyer hired by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board said, “ The bottom line is Disney engaged in a caper worthy of Scrooge McDuck to try to evade Florida law.”

Disney has taken measures to ensure the house that Disney built remains standing. It is not about to see Walt’s dream wilt in the Florida heat.

Mike Tyson once said “everyman has a plan until he gets hit.”

“They thought that they could create some type of development agreements that would essentially render everything that we did null and void and put them in control in perpetuity for this. Well, that’s not going to work. That’s not going to fly, said DeSantis – sanctimoniously.

“One of Florida’s statutes provides the legislature with the authority to revoke development agreements in this exact type of instance, “said a crowing DeSantis.

One gets the impression that Disney is DeSantis’ white whale and that he is going about this with all the venom and bile of Ahab. We all know how that story ended.

Earlier this year DeSantis won an early round ending Disney’s self-governing privileges. At a bill signing ceremony at Lake Buena Vista he sneered, “ Today the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end. There’s a new sheriff in town and accountability will be the order of the day.”

He withdrew his sword from the scabbard and he’s coming for Disney.

However, the ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

Florida Governor and likely 2024 Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis speaks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S. March 5, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Allison Dinner)

Republican state Senator Blaise Ingoglia announced to Disney: “You are not going to win this fight. This governor is.”

That is by no means certain.

Mike Tyson once said “everyman has a plan until he gets hit.”

DeSantis is expected to throw his hat in the ring for the Republican Party Presidential nomination. He will have to come face to face with the pit bull that is Donald Trump and it is doubtful whether he can stand up to the mauling that is coming.

Once he is defanged by Trump and his energy expended taking on the greatest political pugilist America has  ever seen, Disney can make its move. It’s a waiting game.

Trump waded into the beef and sees DeSantis as  trying to clip a successful American corporation with retaliatory measures which are just wrong.

Mickey Mouse (Photo: Disneyland Paris)

Here’s what he had to say: “DeSanctus is being absolutely destroyed by Disney. His original P.R. plan fizzled so now he’s going back with a new one in order to save face.

“Disney’s next move will be the announcement that no more money will be invested in Florida because of the Governor – In fact, they could even announce a slow withdrawal or sale of certain properties, or the whole thing. Watch! That would be a killer. In the meantime, this is all so unnecessary, a political stunt! Ron should work on the squatter mess!

Many leading Republicans including Chris Christie and Chris Sununu do not support DeSantis’s grievance with Disney and the way he is looking to punish the company.

One gets the picture with Republican presidential candidate Nikki Hayley’s assessment of the situation after DeSantis’ latest attempt  to “one-up Mickey Mouse after a devastating and embarrassing blow to his efforts to rein in Disney World, Ron DeSantis has proposed some new neighbours to the amusement park – criminals.”

DeSantis’s sanctioning of Disney is not righteous and that’s why he will ultimately fail. He may have the wind in his sails now but be assured, squalls and inclement weather will destabilise his ship.

The little Mouse will stand tall and strong. He has done it for a hundred years.


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