Bloomberg Businessweek (January 9, 2023)
Год выпуска: January 9, 2023
Автор: Bloomberg Businessweek Europe
Издательство: «Bloomberg Businessweek Europe»
Формат: PDF (журнал на английском языке)
Количество страниц: 68
Can Ron DeSantis Ride 'Woke' To the White House?
The Florida governor’s attacks on business leaders who promote progressive values are finding traction with the Republican grassroots
Two days before the midterm elections, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sauntered onstage at a boisterous rally in an airplane hangar in Sarasota and, as Donald Trump likes to do, began tossing baseball caps to the crowd. The similarities with the 45th president didn’t end there. DeSantis mimicked Trump’s braggadocio, touting his own 2018 victory as "probably the most consequential governor’s election in the history of the state of Florida.” He even channeled Trump’s predilection for claiming that unnamed supporters routinely approach him weeping with gratitude for the unswerving strength of his leadership in the face of elite liberal hostility. As usual, it involved his skeptical response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Sometimes," DeSantis told the crowd, “people will just start crying, saying, ‘My business would just have gone under if you had not stood up for me.”’
Trump famously reoriented Republican politics away from Reaganesque optimism and toward a fed-up populist aggrievance that had far more power than anyone realized until his run for president. DeSantis may be his best student. His public persona is built on projecting truculent contempt toward the people the MAGA masses despise most, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Dr. Anthony Fauci. And like Trump, he has a gift for sensing what people are primed to get mad about. In Sarasota and other stops along his Don’t Tread on Florida Tour the weekend before the midterms, he rattled off a lengthy list of oppressors: liberal politicians who refuse to enforce immigration laws, school boards “teaching kids to hate our country," government bureaucrats demanding mask and vaccine mandates and job-killing shutdowns, and “woke” ideologues instituting radical ideas about gender and sexuality. DeSantis said he was striking back against the last group when he signed a controversial law in March restricting public school teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom. Critics dubbed it the "Don’t Say Gay" law.
But the enemy that drew the loudest applause in Sarasota was one that, until very recently, ranked as perhaps the GOP’s greatest ally: corporate America. DeSantis is at the fore of a growing crowd of conservatives who insist that big business has fallen under the sway of perfidious liberal social reformers. He recounted how he went after Walt Disney Co., one of Florida’s largest employers, when it criticized the Don’t Say Gay law. DeSantis didn’t just strip Disney of its special tax status. He also publicly demonized the company, claiming it had aligned itself with left-wing politicians bent on "teaching a first grader that they could change their gender.” He added, “Sexualizing these young kids is wrong."
The lusty booing this remark elicited testified to DeSantis’s skill at inciting new grievances. Disney’s firing of Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek two weeks later only enhanced DeSantis’s aura in conservative circles...
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