In the not-too-distant past, the Republican Party laid claim to most corporate boardrooms, owing to the Democratic Party’s “everyman” and “everywoman” appeal to the American working class.
But after the Democratic Party’s leftward lurch at the behest of its then-standard-bearer, Barack Hussein Obama, many of the country’s CEOs appeared to follow along and before most people realized it was 2020 and the GOP had become — under Donald Trump — the ‘commoner’ party, as evidenced by corporate chiefs tripping over themselves to virtue signal to the donkey party’s extreme left-wing faction with one “woke” demonstration after another.
Now, however, there may be some cracks emerging in the corporate allegiance to the worst elements of the Democratic Party, culturally speaking, as evidenced by a recent decision from ExxonMobil.
As reported by Bloomberg News, somewhat disdainfully, no doubt:
Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to prohibit the LGBTQ-rights flag from being flown on the corporate flagpole outside its offices during Pride month in June, prompting a furious backlash from Houston-based employees.
Exxon updated company guidance on what flags can be displayed outside its offices, banning “external position flags” such as PRIDE and Black Lives Matter, according to the policy seen by Bloomberg News. Instead, the rule permits a flag representing an LGBTQ employees’ group that does not prominently feature Exxon’s corporate logo.
According to an Exxon LGBT group — yeah, apparently the energy giant actually has one — justification for the move “was centered on the need for the corporation to maintain ‘neutrality'” (which used to be an acceptable, even mandated requirement so shareholders weren’t penalized for political decisions they may not agree with).
“That’s a remarkable line, given corporate America’s trend toward increasingly aggressive left-wing culture-war activism in recent years,” National Review’s Nate Hochman noted.
“The dispute comes as employees, investors and customers increasingly push America’s biggest corporations to take stances on social issues such as LGBTQ rights, racial equality and abortion,” the report says, citing Disney’s decision “to publicly oppose” Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill. But Disney’s activism — which was followed by leaked audio of a Disney executive saying she “was just, wherever I could, adding queerness” to content marketed to children — prompted “lawmakers to move to strip the entertainment giant of special self-governance privileges,” the article notes. And that was after Disney had already backed down, announcing that it would be “pausing all political donations in the state of Florida” following an unusually fierce conservative backlash.
Big business’s relatively recent entry into the culture wars was at least partially a question of basic incentives: Progressive activists, armed with the enormous institutional power of the media, Big Tech, the culture industry, the universities, and one of the nation’s two major political parties, were increasingly demanding that corporations use their considerable economic power to go after their enemies. Conservatives, on the other hand — traditionally more deferential to the business community — were reluctant to respond in kind.
That’s changing, however, and very likely in no small part due to former President Donald Trump and the ‘America First’ political candidates he backs.
Hochman says that the GOP’s base is beginning to demand that their elected leaders stop pandering to people and companies who are never going to like or support them anyway and show some backbone in the vein of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sunshine State Republicans.
“Conservatives — particularly those of the social-conservative variety — are realizing that big business is often not their friend, and responding in kind. As a result, the incentive structure is changing before our eyes,” Hochman wrote, noting that Disney’s stock continued to tank last week after Florida enacted a law to strip the entertainment giant of its special governing and tax status.
On top of that, new polling shows that 68.2 percent of Americans say they’re “less likely to do business with Disney” after the recent controversies; 69.1 percent say they would “support family-friendly alternatives to Disney.”
Corporate America, hopefully, is beginning to get the message: You CEOs can vote however you want, but when it comes to publicly backing cultural destruction, best to avoid that.