Commentary

Conservatives to Leftist Elite: None of Your Business

By Tony Perkins | April 14, 2021 | 4:50pm EDT
A Delta airline flight prepares to depart Sydney's Kingsford Smith airport. (Photo credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images)
A Delta airline flight prepares to depart Sydney's Kingsford Smith airport. (Photo credit: James D. Morgan/Getty Images)

As far as breakups go, it was a messy one. But frankly, what happened in Georgia between Republicans and the corporate woke had been brewing for months. Sick of watching Big Business swoop into states and act like the fourth branch of government, conservatives' frustrations finally boiled over. After years of fighting alongside companies for the kind of economy that helped businesses flourish, Republicans had to come to grips with the obvious: the loyalty only went one way. Today's CEOs will do anything for the Left's adulation, even if it means going to war with the one party that's had its political and financial back.

Of course, Republicans were in an abusive relationship with Big Business long before the Georgia brawl. Under Donald Trump, CEOs came virtually unglued, flexing their muscle against all kinds of conservative policy in ways no one had ever seen. Then came the tragic events of Jan. 6, and the tension that had been building under the surface came tumbling out. Several companies decided in a very public display to cut ties with Republicans who challenged the election results. Weeks later, when states decided to clean up the disaster of November 2020 with airtight laws like Georgia's, the rooster crowed again. And this was one betrayal conservatives refused to forgive.

For once, prominent Republicans hit back -- announcing boycotts, anti-trust legislation, the end of special tax breaks, and other serious consequences for corporations acting like a "woke parallel government" on Georgia's election reforms. It was a counter-movement so fierce and unexpected that several people -- Politico included -- wonder if a "seismic shift" might be underway:

The increasingly aggressive pushback against politically outspoken companies is the latest, and perhaps purest, illustration of a party at a philosophical crossroads. Republicans spent decades aligning themselves with the business community and its preferences for lower taxes and fewer regulations. 

Even if it's not the end of the marriage, they write, it's certainly the beginning of a "volatile patch in the relationship."

Maybe now, Newt Gingrich says, Republicans are finally fed up enough to say, "Oh, you want to pick a fight with me? Well, this is what a fight is going to be like." If businesses want to embrace the big, social justice woke-ism that's at complete odds with America's values, then guess what? They won't have the GOP's support. And right now, looking at Joe Biden's outrageous excuse for an infrastructure bill, they're going to miss it.

Already, companies are whining about the massive corporate tax hikes in the White House's proposal. According to a Business Roundtable survey, 98 percent of the CEOs think that raising the rate from 21 percent to 28 percent would have a "significant adverse effect" -- especially when it comes to global competition.

Seventy-five percent of CEOs said that an increased tax burden on U.S. companies would negatively affect their company's investments in research, development, and innovation, 71 percent said it would negatively affect their ability to hire, and nearly two-thirds said it would result in slower wage growth for U.S. workers.

Joshua Bolten, the president of the Roundtable, insisted that the president's vision would "slow America's recovery and hurt workers."

Well, maybe the business community should have thought of that before they threw all of their support behind a candidate who openly campaigned for policies that would crush the economy! Frankly, America is only at this point because liberal corporations and Big Tech used every weapon at their disposal (some ethical, others not) to defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden. And unfortunately, this is what you get when you spend all of your time and resources ousting free-market conservatives. At the end of the day, you're left with a bunch of socialist Democrats who would like nothing better than to crush the capitalism that made you prosperous.

It used to be that Democrats abhorred the idea of corporations influencing elections, NRO's Vivek Ramaswamy pointed out. Now, they're demanding even more. They don't just want Delta and Coca-Cola to influence one election, but "the very laws governing how a state will conduct all elections in the future." "This isn't 'Jim Crow on steroids,' as President Biden called it this month. It's Citizens United on steroids."

"Our democratic process is far from perfect," Ramaswamy admits, "but the right answer is not to force democracy and capitalism to share the same bed." When it does, he warns, "democracy loses twice." There's the "loss of integrity in lawmaking because of corporate influence on one hand -- and the loss of social solidarity through the disappearance of apolitical institutions on the other. Woke capitalism poisons democracy, politics poisons capitalism, and, in the end, we are left with neither."

Corporate America had better wake up and soon or it will discover the meaning of the old adage "If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas." Or in this case, taxes.

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.

Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on Family Research Council.

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