“My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics.” So said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on April 5th 2021. His aids were quick to point out that he was, in no way, referring to corporate contributions. As he warns of ‘consequences’ for exercising the same corporate free speech rights McConnell championed in the Citizens United case, Mitch is finally being seen as the unprincipled individual he has always been.
While the Kentucky Baptist alleges the CEOs are being bullied, we should definitely take note of how the Business Roundtable “redefined” the Purpose of a Corporation through a statement they published in August of 2019. In the statement, that moves, at least it’s public image, away from shareholder primacy, the organization claimed to adopt a commitment to all stakeholders. While many employees, suppliers and consumers doubted the sincerity of the Roundtable members and the PR piece, it now appears the “other stakeholders” just may be calling their bluff.
To be sure, the Business Roundtable is not really “redefining” anything. Companies have always been composed of people working in company with one another. Authentic Corporations were originally composed of people associating for a common purpose and acting corporately. The more recent shell-game style corporations are decidedly inauthentic. They are the ones where outside investors have been, not only in control, but also masquerading as if they somehow represent what they see as low level functionaries, the people actually doing the work.
The Supreme Court’s series of decisions, advancing a fictitious corporate personhood, served McConnell’s interest as long as certain buffoons on the bench were willing to soil themselves as they also held “money is speech.” So which is it Mitch? Is the only acceptable speech expressed as money? Is it pleasing only when others are parroting you? Or, is it that you’ve been operating as a ventriloquist’s dummy for so long, with a mouth controlled remotely, that you now lack the ability to recognize the obvious inconsistencies within your own statements?
It is now clear that you embrace hypocrisy as a point of pride. it is also clear that your are a serious embarrassment to the faith. It was John Wycliffe who, in the preface to his Middle English translation of the bible, wrote: “The bible is about government of, by, and for the people.” It was Abraham Lincoln, the same guy you refer to when you say “the Republican Party is the party of Lincoln,” that amplified Wycliffe’s statement so eloquently at Gettysburg. And now Mitch, you have betrayed just about every principle once held the Grand Old Party.
Your real problem is that the electorate is capable of pattern recognition. And, one hundred years after that era of mass consumerism known as the Roaring Twenties, we have the ability to reprise that phenomena based upon a more Intentional Consumerism. We can be intentional about which airlines we use, which beverages we consume, which entertainment events we attend, and which representatives we choose to elect. We can vote each and every day with each dollar we spend.
If our so-called representatives are not representing us, we can insure that any inauthentic corporation contributing to their campaign, becomes the target of the most technology advanced boycott since the days of Charles Boycott. We can do the forensics on all the dark money, beginning with those businesses that conceal such expenditures. We can compensate for the attacks on net-neutrality and other assaults on the First Amendment.
Sooo, as you warn businesses about what you call “serious consequences,” you are picking a fight you can’t ultimately win. You haven’t been able to win on the merits for a very long time. That’s why you and your cohorts have to cheat. You support purging voter rolls without supporting documentation of relocation or death. You support attacks on mail-in voting and vandalizing the United States Post Office. You favor moving polling places away from marginalized neighborhoods, thus creating long lines, and making the serving of water illegal.
You have a history of supporting any form of bigoted gamesmanship that insures a black citizen never amounts to more than 3/5ths of a person in a vote tally. You have no plausible deniability with respect to your racist agenda. You said that “Parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government.” While you may have written off the sentient beings, within your own constituency, businesses cannot afford to write off their customer base.
You are in the habit of packaging every value proposition for simpleton consumption, but the electorate is not composed of simpletons. The emotionally charged and most intellectually stunted part of your base may be deceived by the “Stop Socialism” bumper sticker as ninety one of the Fortune 500 companies use the roads the bridges, the airports, and the air-traffic control system; and then make no meaningful contribution to the public treasury. You, Senator McConnell, are very fond of saying Kentucky punches above its weight and indeed, your state is united under the Stop Socialism banner while it citizens receive $2.41 for each and every dollar they pay in federal income taxes.