If Donald Trump made one, most serious mistake during his four-year term, it was his decision to create a public enemy out of Jeff Bezos because Bezos owned The Washington Post, which made him a singularly important target in Trump’s endless cacophony about ‘fake news.’
I’m sorry, but when you’re the President of a country whose 25-trillion national economy is overwhelmingly based on retail sales, you don’t go after the guy who did for retailing with his Amazon website what Bill Gates did for computing with his Windows app.
But now Trump has real competition in the dumbest category from Ron DeSantis, who has evidently decided to wrap his yet-to-be announced Presidential campaign around an attack on Disney and its Orlando theme park after Disney came out in opposition to the DeSantis anti-gay law.
Remember Anita Bryant? She’s still around but hasn’t been heard from in years. In 1977, she went after a Dade County ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual preference and got the law overturned. The statute was restored in 1998 and what Bryant really accomplished was to energize a national movement for gay rights.
Have there ever been any pop culture figures better known and more beloved than Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck? Try as I might, I just can’t see how anyone could assume that who to vote for President is more important to the average American than deciding what weekend to take the family to Orlando and spend it in the Disney theme park.
On average, the park gets slightly less than 60,000 visitors every day. That’s an awful lot of motel rooms and fast-food meals, and I’m willing to take the short odds that there are at least four other states in the sunny, warm South which are thinking about making a pitch to Disney for a new park to replace what will be shut down in Orlando if DeSantis doesn’t shut the f*** up.
Last week, Disney pulled the plug on a billion-dollar construction project in Orlando to build an office park for the staff whose jobs are to figure out links between Disney movies and theme park attractions, and in the process, 2,000 high-paying jobs disappeared. What state government wouldn’t want to enrich itself to the tune of whatever sales and payroll taxes would be collected if Disney were to close down the Orlando theme park and locate it in some other place?
And if you think it would be difficult to build another theme-park home for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and all their little friends, think again. Lay some track, tack up some plywood, paint the walls and install a sound system and you have a ride. How long did it used to take Barnum & Bailey to set up the Haunted House, the Merry Go Round and the Ferris Wheel when the circus came to town?
Thanks to Anita Bryant, Florida seems to be where the culture ‘war’ first began. Forty-five years later, thanks to Ron DeSantis, Florida is where it may end. Because all that DeSantis will accomplish by his stupid and self-serving ‘don’t say gay’ law is a further energizing of the LGBTQ movement both in Florida and everywhere else.
The GOP lost the battle over black civil rights. Then they lost the battle over gay rights. Now they’ll lose the battle over transgender rights if there even is a battle.
As long as the GOP believes that America will be more concerned with Ron DeSantis than with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, they’ll lose every battle before the battle begins.