Florida governor Ron DeSantis is riding high after his resounding re-election victory last month and the growing support from Republicans for a potential 2024 presidential nomination. After a red fizzle, DeSantis’ personal tsunami is making him look more and more popular by the day.
DeSantis burnished his reputation by fighting back against wokeism and woke corporations. He deftly navigated the pandemic by focusing on personal freedoms, but perhaps his most popular culture-warrior stances have come against the likes of Disney after the “family-friendly” company went all in on indoctrinating kids through media and for its vehement opposition to his legislation banning the introduction of sexual themes in kindergarten classrooms.
That’s what makes his relationship with Amazon troubling for some within the conservative world. To be sure, if conservatives wanted to stop supporting woke companies, there’d hardly be anything left. What major American company isn’t brandishing BLM banners or flying rainbow flags?
Still, Republicans are at a crossroads. In 2019, DeSantis welcomed Amazon and other job-creating, consumer cost-lowering brands to the state. No doubt, they were incentivized with friendly tax rates. That’s just good politics and business. If AOC gets hammered for losing Amazon in her district, then some credit is owed to those who do the opposite.
“What I can say on behalf of Florida to companies like Amazon: We welcome you to come to Florida,” the governor said a few years ago.
But Amazon is woke. Like really woke, and worse it is politically motivated and has a history of censorship. Tucker Carlson said it engages in “modern-day book burning” after reviewing what books were removed from its site for purchase.
Matt Stoller, writing over at Substack, analyzed the uncomfortable relationship between the conservative hero DeSantis and the uber-progressive, Jeff Bezos-owned Amazon. Bezos then takes his massive profits to buy media outlets like the Washington Post to keep churning out fake news attacks.
DeSantis, following Trump, has a track record of putting big corporations on the defensive, most famously Disney. Unlike Trump, who bashed firms like Carrier for offshoring jobs, DeSantis’ disdain for corporations is much narrower, focusing only on conflicts over ‘woke’ capital.
DeSantis is also cross-pressured on corporate power, perhaps even more so than Trump. Despite the anti-corporate rhetoric, 42 billionaires have given DeSantis money. According to one GOP operative quoted by Semafor, “the established donor class is behind DeSantis more than Trump.” DeSantis raised a record $190 million for his reelection campaign, and is set to harvest much much more. To understand why, it helps to look at how DeSantis acts when he’s not in the spotlight. In particular, it’s useful to examine his relationship with Amazon.
Bloomberg reported that Amazon, despite its public statements, has donated to DeSantis PACs in the past, further complicating things. Disney has also hilariously donated to DeSantis, it noted.
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