The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki writes this week about how Big Business has been a massively effective force for gay rights. He writes that progressives are used to seeing Big Business as the bad guy, but the pro-LGBT activist role corporations have taken on complicates matters. More:
The implications for modern conservatism are even more consequential. Social conservatives were an essential part of the Republican coalition that Ronald Reagan assembled—composed of pro-business conservatives, national-security hawks, and the Christian right. The coalition always entailed fudging policy differences: not all social conservatives were true believers in big tax cuts and deregulation; business élites often didn’t feel strongly about abortion and prayer in schools. But, as Daniel Williams, a historian at the University of West Georgia and the author of a history of the Christian right, told me, “Even though the relationship between the two sides was always complicated, they were willing to make a bargain, because each side needed the other.”
The L.G.B.T. fight shows how far that bargain has eroded. To many conservative business leaders, today’s social-conservative agenda looks anachronistic and is harmful to the bottom line; it makes it hard to hire and keep talented employees who won’t tolerate discrimination. Social conservatives, meanwhile, think that Republican leaders are sacrificing Christian principles in order to keep big business happy. “There’s more than a fair amount of anger and a great deal of disappointment,” Williams said. Evangelicals have called companies like Apple and Disney “corporate bullies,” to whom Mammon matters more than morals.
Needless to say, the forces of Mammon are winning. In a comprehensive 2014 study of two decades of public-opinion data, the political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page showed that the views of business leaders and the economic élite matter far more to politicians than what ordinary voters want. Social conservatives have been the most loyal Republican voters for thirty years. But now they are waking up to the fact that their voice counts for less than Disney’s.
Yes, this is true. What do we do about it? I’m really not interested on this thread in liberals tut-tutting us social conservatives. I know what you’re going to say because you’ve said it all before. Please hold your fire on this one.
I’m interested here in hearing from conservatives — social and otherwise — who are re-thinking their relationship to the GOP and to the conservative movement in light of these huge social changes. As most of you know, I’m working on my Benedict Option book, which will be my take on what we should do now. I won’t belabor that again. Please, let the rest of us hear from you, even if you don’t really know what to think or what to do.
UPDATE: Gang, I’m serious about not publishing comments from liberals. I’m not trying to be mean; I’m simply trying to keep the thread on target. Please don’t waste your time.