For decades, the Republican Party has maintained a close relationship with American corporations. In return for keeping taxes low, deregulating, and granting self-governance to companies, corporations have funded Republican campaigns with millions of dollars. However, this relationship has been strained under the Trump administration, as he launched a trade war against China and attacked companies that disobeyed him. The Republican Party has now escalated their assault on any company that violates their new cultural norms, which they call the “war on awakening.” They have used the ambiguity of the term “awakening” to attack any business that threatens their power.
One example of this is the battle between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney, one of Florida’s largest employers and taxpayers. DeSantis pursued Disney against a bill that restricts teaching young children about sex and gender, despite objections from the company. DeSantis won, stripping Disney of its autonomy near Orlando’s theme parks and trying to punish the company in other ways. Other Republicans are following suit, with some looking beyond Florida to find ways to punish Disney at the federal level. Several Republican-led states have enacted laws restricting national investments in financial management companies that practice ESG investing. Montana recently banned TikTok, making it illegal to download the app from January next year.
The Republican Party does not take a position against profit, but they have a retrogressive ideology that is alien to the American mainstream. Democrats are seizing the opportunity to partner with American corporations, with President Biden being friendly to green energy companies and endorsing bills that benefit them. While some Americans believe that American corporations have had too much influence over public priorities, regulating business is about making the economy as productive as possible, not about scoring points or resolving complaints.