Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) ripped what he called the “rise of corporate wokeness” last week, warning employers against “caving to the mob” to score political points.
DeSantis spoke Thursday at the annual meeting of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, telling top business executives that he would take action against employers who chose to use corporate “power” to push an ideology.
“If you’re using your power as a corporation, and you’re leveraging that to try to advance any ideology, I think it’s very dangerous for this country and I’m not just gonna sit idly by,” DeSantis said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Do you want to be more of a political actor or more of a business actor?”
The Florida governor specifically mentioned the MLB and its decision to pull its 2021 All-Star game and draft out of Atlanta in opposition to GOP-led election reforms.
“Don’t ever think that caving to the mob is going to save your bacon,” DeSantis warned. “That’s just going to cause them to come back more.”
“You know, if you do it, you are also going to come by some people on the other side, like me, who are going to say well, wait a minute, if you’re going to criticize what we’re doing I may criticize some of the things you are doing,” he warned. “I may look under the hood and not like some things. … I got a podium. I got cameras that will follow me around. Maybe I’ll go talk about that a little bit. And so, I think it’s something that’s very damaging.”
DeSantis said that GOP voters have turned against corporations as more and more large businesses push progressive ideas and ideology.
“I think corporate America has lost so much [support]. … Most [Republican voters] hate corporations now,” the governor said. “They hate them because they see these big companies that are really kowtowing to a very elite ideology and an ideology that’s not reflective of the vast vast majority of the country.”
On Friday, DeSantis called a special session of the Florida legislature for November 15 to pass laws against businesses requiring their employees to get vaccinated. DeSantis’ push is a direct response to President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating that federal contractors be vaccinated and large companies mandate their employees either be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19.
“The Biden administration has undertaken, or threatened to undertake, extraordinary efforts to coerce injections of the COVID-19 vaccine into Americans who otherwise would be unwilling to receive the vaccine for reasons of health, pregnancy, religious belief (including sincerely held moral or ethical beliefs) and prior infection,” DeSantis’ announcement said, according to CBS Miami.
“Forced vaccinations of Americans will sow further distrust in government and in corporate America,” DeSantis said.
The day before, DeSantis’ administration sued the federal government over Biden’s vaccine order.
“The federal government is exceeding [its] power and it is important for us to take a stand because in Florida we believe these are choices based on individual circumstances,” DeSantis said in a statement.