David Bozell: Welcome to ForAmerica, fun-size. David Bozell, your conductor.
I wanted to get something about this Florida, DeSantis, Disney thing off my chest. Because I know there's a lot of chatter between, I mean, there's kind of a liberty versus virtue argument going on.
Does DeSantis have the right to raise Disney's taxes or strip away, I guess, a tax break that Disney's been enjoying since basically the better part of their creation? And this freedom versus virtue argument has sort of existed as long as the conservative movement has existed. So, I'm kind of chuckling at libertarians with a little "l," trying to pick a fight with DeSantis that he's gone too far. And then kind of proud of the fact that a lot of folks are defending DeSantis, and I'm going to be one of them.
And for me, the tax situation, sort of aside for a second, and the implications of the tax situation, put that aside for a second.
So, imagine for a second that an aspiring theme park company, let's take Disney out of it. Pretend Disney didn't exist. An aspiring theme park company goes to sunny Florida and says, "You see that spot near Orlando that's nothing but swamp? We want to turn that into a theme park for kids and families to enjoy. And in exchange for creating a ton of jobs, and basically creating our own little city, we'd like to manage it ourselves. And we want the tax code to reflect that. And we'd like to, if we need to build our own road quickly, we'll do it ourselves and we'll pay our own taxes. And we'd like that exclusive tax break, just to us."
Now, imagine an aspiring theme park company makes that request. And, oh, by the way, this company is also determined to root out what it believed to be America's "long history of systemic racism and transphobia." That's what Disney believes. That is in their manuals now, called Reimagine Tomorrow.
Christopher Rufo was tweeting about this way back in May of 2021. This was an employee handbook that Disney claimed that America has "a long history of systemic racism and transphobia." And tells its own employees that they "must take ownership of educating yourself about structural anti-black racism and not rely on your black colleagues to educate you, which is emotionally taxing." Those are all quotes. Those are all in the employee handbooks named Reimagine Tomorrow: Where We All Belong. The Walt Disney Company. It's all from their books.
Now, imagine an aspiring theme park company said, "Yeah, we'd like our own exclusive tax break. And, oh, by the way, we believe that America has a long history of systemic racism and transphobia." Would you give it to them? Would you give them the tax break?
Well, maybe one governor would, or two or three out there. Maybe there's a few governors in blue states that might do that. But could you imagine an entire state's legislature doing that?
So, whether they enjoyed prosperity, whether they created jobs for decades on end using that exclusive tax break, that wasn't in the charter, that's not what they applied to do. So, do you continue the tax break given that that's in their employee handbook? Painting America to be this transphobic, racist collaborator of systemic racism, purveyor of systemic racism. So, in a lot of ways, DeSantis has no choice.