Just copy DeSantis

Features Australia

How conservatives can win again

James Allan

Getty Images

James Allan

18 February 2023

9:00 AM

Last week Disney Corporation announced it would be laying off seven thousand workers in an attempt to save US $5 billion. In part that is because its two main streaming services – Disney+ and ESPN+ – have been bleeding money and viewers. The two have lost US $9 billion since their debut.  Now there is no doubt that the whole streaming business model is suspect. When you paid one cable/satellite service for sports and movies in the past you actually paid a fair bit less than today if you stock up on all the myriad streaming services going. In sports in America this is particularly a problem for ESPN, owned by Disney now for some time.  The idea had been that as ESPN’s cable and satellite earnings business declined it would be made up for by profits from the streaming service of ESPN+. In fact, they’re both losing money big time.

But another problem that is at least accentuating these losses for Disney is the massive extent to which it has gone down the road of supporting every passing woke, politically correct cause. Remember last year when Florida passed a law that prevented any sex education at all in public schools for children in kindergarten, grade one and grade two – so under about eight years old, maybe nine? Various left-wing lobby groups described this as the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’. These wokesters put pressure on Disney and the company soon succumbed, publicly attacking Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Republicans. Now most right-of-centre political parties in Canada, in Britain and without doubt here in Australia at this point cave-in to the small number of left-wing activists pushing the corporate elites to run these campaigns. By contrast, DeSantis called the bluff of Disney. In fact, he went on the offensive. He forced through a bill that took away Disney’s special tax and planning privileges for DisneyWorld. Remember, this is one of the most important companies in Florida. ‘Too bad’, was the DeSantis response. And many in the political advisor class back then, the sorts that seem to advise all our Liberal politicians, said this was a bad mistake by DeSantis. Well, in last year’s November election DeSantis won by 19 points, having four years earlier barely squeaked a win by a few tens of thousands of votes. Last November’s DeSantis win was the biggest re-election win by a Republican in the history of Florida.

Meanwhile the then Disney CEO Bob Chapek who had succumbed to the wokester activists was fired and they brought back his predecessor, Bob Iger. Of course Iger himself had been more than willing to align with every left-wing social cause in his day. But he must realise that it is near-on impossible to point to a Disney product of late that has not gone down the path of embracing identity politics and supporting the obsessions of the farthest left part of the Democratic party spectrum (a pretty good definition of ‘woke’ if you want one). Just try to name a Disney movie or streaming show that’s recently made money; only its theme parks rake in the moolah and they are pricing themselves out of the market for many Americans. With streaming movies and sports, disaffected conservatives who will find too high the transaction costs of leaving a woke bank, say, can far more easily cut their ties with Disney and move over to another such as Stan (to watch the explicitly non-woke, just massively entertaining Yellowstone perhaps).

Unbelievably, ESPN is worse. I’ve said this for a while but campaign contributions in the US are public information and we know that as partisanly left-wing as political journalists are, incredibly, sports journalists are far worse. I’m a lifelong lover of sports but you can’t turn on an ESPN talking show that doesn’t see everything –everything! –through the lens of race. Meanwhile, the network barely gives any airtime to anyone who might say women’s sports are for those with XX chromosomes only – which would have been accepted by 99 per cent of the population as recently as a decade ago and still commands overwhelming majority support.  And conservatives working at ESPN are as rare as on ‘our’ ABC.

Here’s the thing. For conservatives like me it is hard to avoid the conclusion that big business is now openly for left-wing political causes. Put bluntly, they are not our friends. Today’s world is not the world of half a century ago. This is a reality that right-of-centre parties around the democratic world are coming to terms with, though in Australia our preferential voting system delays the effects. (Why?  Just ask any friend who is extremely disaffected with the Libs or Nats if he or she is prepared to preference Labor above either. Very few are so their dissatisfaction means nothing. But in first-past-the-post systems, or in proportional systems, voter dissatisfaction is felt almost immediately. Win 36 per cent of the vote in Britain or Canada or the US and your party is likely to be decimated. Here you get that in first preferences and you limp on as the Coalition or you get less than that as Labor and win big. It’s a bad voting system because it operates as a protection racket for the two main parties.)  But the point is that rich people now tend to vote left. The conservative big tent majority these days is the one that Boris put together in 2019 and Trump delivered in 2016. The working class, those against woke social policies, the small business class, these together are a majority.

But if you obsess over the Teal seats your policies will make it impossible to bring that group together.

Last point about DeSantis. No, it’s not about how he stood up to the entirety of the lockdown caste that purveyed policies that flew in the face of the data and whose woeful effects we will all be living with for decades – though DeSantis did stand against them and as a result Florida is seeing massive inwards immigration from Democratic states. (Go and look at the current New York v. Florida data. The former has government spending twice that of the latter for a smaller population, has higher unemployment, has far lower growth, has much higher taxes not least because Florida has no state income tax, and Florida upheld individual freedom these last three years.)

Finish with this. It’s just been announced that DeSantis in Florida is going to take on the massive ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ (DEI) bureaucracies in the state’s public universities. Where other conservatives say ‘nothing we can do’, DeSantis is going to forbid any uni from using public money to support DEI or any other program of that nature as well as banning any diversity statements from job candidates and any DEI training sessions. All money cut off to those areas will see univerisyt vice chancellors move quickly. We Australian conservatives who work in universities (yes, a few of us survive) have been calling for something like this for eons.DEI initiatives indirectly reduce the number of conservatives on campus very effectively.

Mon dieu. Just copy everything DeSantis is doing and the Coalition would win a massive majority.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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