Governor Ron DeSantis goes full fascist on Disney’s free speech rights

Governor Ron DeSantis fascist Disney free speech LGBT

Governor Ron DeSantis goes full fascist on Disney’s free speech rights

In a blatant attack on Disney’s constitutionally protected right to free speech, Governor Ron DeSantis went full fascist when he signed a bill that revokes the company’s tax status after Disney expressed its displeasure with Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, legislation commonly referred to by LGBT radicals as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Instead of standing as a defender of conservative values like free market capitalism and free speech, Governor Ron DeSantis decided that liberty is secondary to his presidential ambitions. And despite the incessant complaining we hear about how Democrats and the liberal media are promoting the ideology of the progressive-left, Republicans and the faux-conservative media are guilty of promoting the ideology of the fascist-right.

For example, in response to Disney’s recent pro-LGBT war against traditional family values, Laura Ingraham warned companies earlier this month that refusing to follow her version of the conservative gospel could cost them if Republicans retake Congress in 2022:

When Republicans get back into power, Apple and Disney need to understand one thing: everything will be on the table, your copyright and trademark protection, your special status within certain states, and even your corporate structure itself.” (Emphasis mine)

Of course, I don’t support the Disney pro-LGBT agenda nor the assault on traditional family values, but Governor Ron DeSantis’ fascist attack on free speech isn’t the answer — a hard lesson he’s likely learn when this goes to court.

Have you ever heard of O’Hare Truck Service, Inc. v. City of Northlake?

O’Hare Truck Service was one of many towing companies employed by the city of Northlake, IL. Northlake kept a list of available towing companies and would only remove a company from its list after a showing of cause. However, Northlake removed O’Hare Truck Service from its list because O’Hare’s owner did not support Northlake’s mayoral candidate in his reelection campaign. Instead, O’Hare’s owner supported the opposition candidate.

Was the removal of O’Hare Truck Service from Northlake’s employment list for supporting an opposition mayoral candidate a violation of O’Hare Truck Services freedom of speech? In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that it did.

In much the same way, Governor Ron DeSantis going after Disney is a violation of the company’s free speech rights because he is doing so purely due to Disney expressing their support for the LGBT agenda and their opposition to his parental rights legislation. As Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini said in a tweet, “It’s time to drop the hammer on woke @WaltDisneyWorld.”

This isn’t the first time Governor Ron DeSantis has gone full fascist on free speech.

In May 2021, DeSantis made good on his promise to destroy the free speech rights of so-called Big Tech when he signed a law that he said would “[protect] the speech of Floridians who face being removed from social-media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook” while conveniently leaving out the part about the massive fines he would levy against social media companies for removing political candidates from their platforms.

DeSantis’ efforts didn’t last long. In July 2021, a federal judge blocked the law, saying that it likely violated free speech rights.

Interestingly enough, Disney was also an important part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ attack on the free speech rights of Big Tech, but in a much different fashion. Turns out, there was an overlooked provision of the law granting an exemption to companies that owned theme parks in the state:

“Social media,” as defined by the bill, “does not include any information service, system, Internet search engine, or access software provider operated by a company that owns and operates a theme park or entertainment complex.”

In other words, DeSantis protected Disney (operators of Disney World) and Comcast (operators of Universal Studios), proving that the level of his outrage over wokeness is based on the political climate, not his convictions or lack thereof.

Sad to say, but the faux-conservative media supported DeSantis’ fascist attack on Big Tech’s free speech rights as much as they support him now with the Disney legislation. For example:

  • supported DeSantis, claiming that so-called “pro-life conservatives on social media” were thrilled about it.
  • Chris Pandolfo wrote this for, “DeSantis … tore into Big Tech companies, calling them ‘enforcers of preferred narratives’ whose economic interests are ‘not in the public interest’ in a lengthy speech announcing new legislation to protect the privacy and free speech rights of Floridians from Silicon Valley.” (Emphasis mine)

Did you happen to pick up on Pandolfo’s Orwellian doublespeak? He essentially said DeSantis needed to destroy privacy and free speech rights in order to protect privacy and free speech rights.

The idea that Governor Ron DeSantis has gone full fascist on free speech is clear, as Judge Andrew Napolitano pointed out last year during the Florida governor’s assault on Big Tech:

The speech we love needs no protection. The speech we hate does. The government has no authority to evaluate speech. As the framers understood, all people have a natural right to think as we wish and to say and publish whatever we think. Even hateful, hurtful and harmful speech is protected speech.

Yet, in perilous times, such as the present, we have seen efforts to use the courts to block the publication of unflattering books. We have seen state governors use the police to protect gatherings of protestors with whose message they agreed and to disburse critical protestors. We have seen mobs silence speakers while the police did nothing.

And in perilous times, such as the present, we have seen Big Tech companies silencing their opponents. I hate when they do that, but they have every right to do so. They own the bulletin board. Twitter and Facebook can ban any speech they want because they are not the government. And the First Amendment only restrains the government. In the constitutional sense, free speech means only one thing — free from government interference.

Punishing speech is the most dangerous business because there will be no end. The remedy for hateful or threatening speech is not silence or punishments; it is more speech — speech that challenges the speaker.

Why do government officials want to silence their opponents? They fear an undermining of their power. The dissenters might make more appealing arguments than they do. St. Augustine taught that nearly all in government want to tell others how to live.

How about we all say whatever we want, and the government leaves us alone? (Emphasis mine)

Governor Ron DeSantis has gone full fascist on free speech, and he’s destroying liberty in the process, which is why conservatives must never put their confidence in spineless cowards like the Florida Republican.


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.

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