DeSantis Blasts Corporatism, Elitism, and GOP’s Soft Approach to Big Business
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said in a speech at the National Conservatism Conference in Miami, on Sept. 11, that Republicans have been too soft on big business and that the GOP shouldn’t shy away from taking on major corporations if it means advancing conservative aims and defending American values.
DeSantis has taken a range of actions that involve pushing back on progressive policies in the workplace, including signing the “Stop WOKE Act,” which seeks to combat “woke indoctrination” in Florida schools and businesses.
The Republican governor has also called out Disney for profiting off of China while ignoring Beijing’s long-existing human rights abuses.
He also dissolved Walt Disney World’s self-governing status in central Florida after the company issued a critical statement about the Parental Rights in Education bill that DeSantis backed, which banned teachers from instructing about sexual orientation and gender identity topics to children under the third grade.
On Sunday, in his hourlong speech at the National Conservatism Conference at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort, DeSantis said that his experiences in taking a stand against progressivism in schools and businesses provide lessons for how conservatives can challenge the power of corporations.
“Some of these big companies are now exercising quasi-public power,” DeSantis said.
“Corporatism is not the same as free enterprise, and I think too many Republicans have viewed limited government to basically mean whatever is best for corporate America is how we want to do the economy,” DeSantis continued.
“What I’m doing is using government to give space to the individual citizen to be able to participate in society, to be able to speak his or her mind. And I think that’s an absolutely appropriate use of government power,” he added.
While DeSantis said he continues to view free enterprise as the “best economic system,” he said it should be viewed as a means to an end.
“It’s a means to having a good fulfilling life and a prosperous society. It’s not an end in and of itself,” DeSantis said.
The Florida governor also took aim at elitism more broadly in the context of COVID-19 policies, such as lockdowns.
“We rejected the elites, and we were right,” DeSantis said, according to Daily Caller.
“Not only were they wrong about [closing] schools, the elites were wrong about lockdowns. They were wrong about epidemiological models and hospitalization models. They were wrong about forced masking, they were wrong when they rejected the existence of natural immunity. They were wrong about the efficacy of the mRNA vaccines, and they were wrong when—and I said this—that COVID was seasonal, and now they admit it,” DeSantis said.
“Just because the media and the elites are saying to do something, that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do,” DeSantis said, while vowing to continue to fight for conservative values and oppose progressive policies.