So, expecting corporations that have to look at consumer opinion to stay neutral is perhaps expecting too much.
Retribution has been threatened by the Republicans, in terms of rescinding tax-breaks.
Companies, including Amazon, Google and BlackRock, have recently taken on the political class in the US directly. Not that America Inc has not been political before—Nike’s stand against racism, Silicon Valley’s support to the rainbow collective were political choices made by companies. But, now, they have come out in direct opposition of the Georgia state government’s law that will in effect disenfranchise specific groups of voters by making it much harder for them to vote than it is now. Industry leaders like Warren Buffet, along with the CEOs of 100s of companies, have signed a statement opposing “any discriminatory legislation”. What’s more, this is a law brought by the Republican Party that touts itself as “business-friendly” and which America Inc itself seems to prefer, if contributions are any yardstick. While Republican leaders, including former president Donald Trump, have called for companies to stand down, the New York Times has dubbed the new statement as the broadest such coalition ever. Retribution has been threatened by the Republicans, in terms of rescinding tax-breaks.
This has led to a a debate on whether companies should remain bipartisan. America’s public life, as also public life in many other countries, has already taken a hyperpartisan turn over the past decade or so. So, expecting corporations that have to look at consumer opinion to stay neutral is perhaps expecting too much. But the fact also is that if political endorsement or denouncement by mega-corporations is made acceptable once, what happens when this influence is yielded for less than palatable politics?