Remember when Republicans were the party of business and Democrats the party of the working class? While the GOP still loyally votes on behalf of the interests of business, the days of business rewarding that loyalty with its support appear to be long gone.
Today’s corporate class votes Democrat because they (1) know the Democrats will do nothing to threaten their economic position in society, and (2) they get to publicly assure themselves that they are "good people" by doing so. Yes, for them the modern Democrat Party is a religious experience – but one that doesn’t require sacrifice.
Government intrudes on business so much these days that instead of organizing resistance to those intrusions, many businesses have made politics their partner. Government is, after all, run by politicians – so corporations hire lobbyists, fund candidates, and more importantly adopt political and social policies that signal the virtues they want the world to see. And for some, it’s sort of like the pious mob boss who makes a great show of paying for the new roof on the church, so that possible critics look the other way when his real work comes to light.
Woke capitalism is crony capitalism with a social justice cover.
Here is a succinct but very much on-point explanation by Kajal Iyer, who boils down a New York Times editorial by Ross Douthat, called “The Rise of Woke Capital.”
Ms. Iyer outlines how corporations are embracing a woke identity to couch their “malpractices” and market their products. These corporations have disrupted the traditional balance between Left and Right in America, between business and labor – its yin and yang.
Woke corporations are like hip middle aged husbands who have successfully found a young mistress, content in the continued loyalty and forbearance of the dutiful wife at home. Guess which political party is “the wife at home”?
Take the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) and its political action committee, New Jobs PAC, which calls itself “The Voice of Business”. When the NJBIA and the Chamber of Commerce rolled out their “Plan for an Affordable New Jersey” in July, who handled the messaging?
If you answered “the Clinton grease machine” you would be correct.
Yep, MWW, the firm that is so close to Bill and Hillary they even found a job for disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner when he was too controversial to be hired elsewhere. The biography for the firm’s founder notes that he is “known for his political contributions and fundraising for the Democratic Party” and he’s served as a Deputy Finance Chair of the DNC.
So how pro “leave me alone and let me create jobs” kind of business is this firm and what kind of messaging are you going to get out of them? The answer can be had just by going through the media section of the NJBIA website, which offers lectures on climate change and diversity as well as a host of other left-wing incantations. The rest is a course in “politics/government is your wingman”. Do what they want, pay them what they want, support who and what they tell you to support, and they will allow you to do business.
For the non-woke businessperson who just wants to make a living and create jobs, the message is one of subservience. Pay the Danegeld or the Vikings will pillage your business.
On the other hand, if you are a big pharmaceutical firm mired in controversy over the fallout from one of your products… being uber-LGBTQ can change the focus and make you one of the “good guys”. Yep, too bad about the cancer… or the opioids.
Is this the only voice for business in New Jersey?
Is it time for Republicans to quit playing the loyal “wife at home” and ask for a divorce? Why take the blame for all that corporations do, only to watch them hire the Left to provide a Leftist message that helps Leftist politicians to run against you? Wouldn’t it just be better to leave the Democrats and their crony capitalist backers in the muck and run on a message of reform and clean government?
Does anyone really believe that the “corruption tax” (so labeled in the Soprano State) has gone away? Or would the average voter say that crony capitalism has made it stronger than ever?