I would guess that just about everyone on the planet is aware of who Walt Disney is. As the creator of the most memorable cartoon characters, animated and live action feature films and Disneyland – it is no surprise that he is known the world over. What most people do not know is that Walts father, Elias Disney was a devout socialist. Way back in the 1930s, he made an amazing observation. Read on for all the details.
While Walt did not follow in his fathers footsteps politically, he often had discussions with his father where he tried to help his father see the evils of socialism. I mention all this because we often come across the most interesting political insights when we are not reading what is considered a ‘political’ work. Such was the case when I was recently reading “Walt Disney: An American Original”.
Before we get to the point, let me suggest that this is a book well worth anyone reading. Walt Disney was not born into success, he fought for it and earned it. He pulled himself up failure after failure to dedicate himself to his vision of revolutionizing first animated entertainment, then the live theme park. What he worked through is an inspiration to anyone working hard toward a goal that others might be telling you is crazy.
On page 147, I came across something I thought was interesting from a time during the 1930’s. This is an exchange passed along in the book that took place between Walt and his father Elias regarding his “socialist idealism”.
“Dad, how do you feel about having voted fifty years for candidates who never won anything?”
“Walter, I feel fine,” Elias replied. “We have won. We’ve won a lot. I’ve found out that things don’t always come about in the form you have advocated. But you keep fighting and they come about in some way or another. Today, everything I fought for in those early days has been absorbed in to the platforms of both the major parties. Now I feel pretty good about that.”
Amazing, isn’t it? Sometimes the most revealing things can come from those out of context moments where you are not expecting to find much in the way of politics, but in a frank moment, so much can be revealed.
Socialism is a problem, not a solution. Anyone who believes otherwise simply needs to pay better attention to what socialism has brought to the world and the failures it has produced. But here we have a devoted socialist – way back in the 1930s who has realized that BOTH parties have been slowly leaning more and more toward socialist ideas. If Elias Disney were alive today, there is no doubt that he would be amazed – and pleased – with how much further his “socialist idealism” has progressed in the United States.