Reader MichaelGC writes:
Last week I found this in Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post regarding some legislation in Austin, legislation that has barely even been drafted:
Some of the world’s biggest companies are back to oppose a range of new Texas legislation they say is discriminatory, two years after Apple, Facebook and other Fortune 500 companies banded together with gay rights activists in defeating the state’s “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people.
The corporate giants, which also include Google, Amazon, and IBM, joined Texas businesses and more than a dozen local chambers of commerce in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday urging the Republican-controlled Legislature to focus on other legislation.
I’m getting sick of those out of control snots, and the bossy condescension of casually telling the Texas lawmakers to “focus on other legislation” just takes it. Furthermore:
John Graham, the president and CEO of American Society of Association Executives, said any legislation that would weaken protections for the LGBTQ community would have severe economic consequences in terms of lost jobs and event bookings across Texas.
“And that’s exactly what happened in North Carolina when they passed that bill and they lost billions of dollars and they’re still paying that price,” Graham said at a Wednesday press conference.
“The American Society of Association Executives” — can you get any more comically bureaucratic than that? More from MichaelGC:
Livid, I spent the weekend drafting a letter to John Graham and Fed-Ex’ed it today, copies going to my state senator, the governor, and lieutenant governor (my rep in the house is a Dem and a big LGBT booster, so I won’t waste my time there). I can’t believe that Republicans have just shut up completely and never say anything about anything anymore, no matter how much this stuff goes on 24/7. The corporate SJWs actually have the nerve to try and tell the statehouse to stop considering legislation or face a repeat of North Carolina. This needs to be called out when it happens, there needs to be a chorus of denunciation directed at that creep lobby.
I don’t know if my letter will even register, but I basically told Graham that Texas is not North Carolina or Indiana, that they are playing with fire, and will find themselves in a fight they wish they hadn’t started if they don’t back off. At least, I think I read Texas right. I hope they back me up if and when it comes to that.
What kind of movement is it that attempts to deny the presence and validity of anybody that holds an opinion contrary to their own? Disagree with them, and they will try to make you a nonperson. They do this in part by construing opposition to their political and cultural views with danger to their “wellbeing.”
I dwelt on that all last weekend long. We’ve got these gargantuan tech companies and they are ideologically aligned with each other, so in a way it’s like one massive activist organization. In their hive mind world view, they completely lack self-awareness. Worse, they have a rainbow-hued hammer and everything looks like a nail to them. When it gets to the point where they coerce states by threatening to damage their economies when lawmakers don’t heel for them, there needs to be an intervention. There needs to be a RICO case brought against them, and/or they need to be broken up for the sake of the nation. They need a whipping, and I hope I’m one of those who is around when it happens and gets to watch.
This is something I’m going to be talking about in my next book. So many people — conservatives as well as liberals — think of tyranny as coming from government. This is a mistake, though a forgivable one, as our understanding of tyranny has been conditioned by the 20th century’s examples of totalitarian states.
What happens when private corporations become so big that they can dictate social policy to the entire nation? A while back, I was told by a religious liberty activist that state legislatures are feeling a lot of pressure from these big companies to do their bidding on LGBT, at the expense of religious liberty. Wokesters may be glad to have Apple, Amazon, and the rest on board for a crusade they support, but they would be wise to stop and think what they would do if all this corporate power were aligned against them.
Similarly, conservatives who took in free-market ideology with their mother’s milk should strongly reconsider their views. This does not mean they have to quit believing in the free market, of course, but they should recognize that the stale old GOP view that Big Business Is Always Right And Big Government Is Always Wrong is completely idiotic today. (It was always unwise, but now it is absurd.) What’s going to happen when your corporation decides to fire you because it deems you and your retrograde religious, cultural, or political views a bad fit for the company? It might well be only the law that protects your job.
I invite you to watch this brief interview with ASAE’s John Graham, conducted on the YouTube channel of “Meetings Today,” a trade publication for the meetings industry. In it, Graham says that ASAE is against religious freedom legislation. He claims, “We’re not taking a moral stand” — but that’s exactly what they’re doing! He goes on: “We already have religious freedom. We don’t need any more legislation around religious freedoms.”
Note the lie: that Big Business’s view on this matter is morally neutral. I’m sure he’s a lovely man, but I bet you John Graham could no more substantively identify religious freedom than he could articulate the value of pi to the twentieth digit. So many of these corporate people just don’t care. The thing is, something like this would not affect any major corporation’s bottom line. This is something corporations are doing out of moral conviction. The key thing for you, reader, to notice is that they tell themselves, and the public, that they are not taking sides. The pose of neutrality is a key part of shifting the Overton window.
Question to readers: I don’t follow legislative matters closely. Are there any Republican members of Congress who understand the threat from woke capitalism, and are prepared to do anything about it?
UPDATE: A reader comments:
I know the Texas situation from the inside. The companies are not threatening the state, as a state isn’t a being that a corporation has power over. They’re threatening people.
What they’re doing is using hundreds of thousands of people as hostages. They saying “If you don’t give us what we want, we’re pulling out.” Which means that all those people who work for the companies involved may face job relocations at best, but more likely job loss. They know hundreds of thousands of people are impacted (either through their job, their spouse, parents, siblings, friends, whatever) and they can blame the Governor (Governors can veto so they’ll focus on them). And no company would be coming in to fill that vacuum. They’re really threatening a sort of economic WMD.
Not all of the staffers who work for social conservatives are socially conservative themselves. In fact, I think very few are. There’s not as much support as you’d think internally, and most of staffers may even agree with the corporations. Don’t think Trump is the first elected official to employ people who mostly disagree with them.
You see the external threat backed by a public outcry and personalized fear from the public (will I lose my house? How will I feed my kids? Etc). Media echo chambers will make this very personal (including going after families). And the politics don’t work if you want any hope of salvaging the rest of your term in office (kiss any chance of government reform, as an example, goodbye).
There’s several other things that would be going on but it would take all day to list.
Texas will cave. Indiana caved and they’re a far more conservative state with far less reliance on corporations. There’s nothing like Austin, Dallas, or the California transplant culture there, and they don’t have the big corporate investments or headquarters like Texas does. Texas, a soon to be blue state, will cave.
The only counter balance I could see is the Texan independence attitude, but in my experience that’s overstated. And it’s dying anyway with so much of their state being transplants.
There just aren’t more than a handful of voters willing to make a stand on this and there’s not a Christian cultural establishment (for lack of better term) left to provide cover for a Governor.
Hence the Benedict Option. For all the noise he makes, neither Trump, nor the Congressional Republicans, make a serious peep about any of this. Religious liberty just does not matter to them. Yet they know that people like me will keep voting for them because even though they don’t really care about religious liberty, at least they don’t actively despise us and want to see our noses rubbed in the dirt.