Virtue-Signaling CEOs’ Leftist Activism Won’t Save Them In The End

Virtue-Signaling CEOs’ Leftist Activism Won’t Save Them In The End

If woke CEOs think political activism shields their corporations and their privileged lives from future attacks from woke mobs, they couldn't be more wrong.
Helen Raleigh
By

Some woke CEOs’ political activism stops when it requires sacrifice for their privileges. In just one recent example, Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game from Georgia to Denver because Georgia’s new election law “violates MLB’s values,” although Colorado’s election law is stricter than Georgia’s. Of course, MLB also has a conflicted history of collaborating with Fidel Castro’s Cuba and Xi Jinping’s China — both brutal authoritarian regimes known for their gross human rights violations against political dissidents.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, son of a Cuban refugee, sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred last week, asking if Manfred would give up his membership at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club, located in Georgia.

Indeed, if “values” compelled MLB to move its all-star game out of Georgia, shouldn’t the same “values” compel Manfred to give up his membership to Augusta? Of course not. Manfred’s political activism stops when it requires any genuine sacrifice of his privileged life, such as giving up access to an exclusive golf club.

He’s not alone. Among the 100 business leaders and CEOs who met last week to oppose election integrity efforts in states after a chaotic election, quite a few attended the meeting virtually from Augusta.

The ultimate limit of leftist CEOs’ political activism is the bottom line: as long as virtual signaling costs them nothing, they’ll be more than happy to engage in it. Had these CEOs read Georgia’s new election law as carefully as they would the annual reports of their corporations, they would have learned that Georgia’s new election law will not suppress voters. Instead, it makes voting more accessible and builds more trust with voters than the state’s former election law.

But why read the actual law when President Biden already called it “Jim Crow 2.0” and all left-leaning corporate media repeated those talking points as if they’re the Biden administration’s and the Democrat Party’s propaganda machine?

The way the woke CEOs see it: leftists firmly control this country’s political power and almost all other powerful U.S. institutions, from media to academia. Through virtue signaling, these CEOs hope to shield their businesses and privileged lives from potential leftist activist attacks while burnishing the “forward-thinking” image of their company and currying favors from leftist politicians and media.

These CEOs are not too concerned about being boycotted by conservatives because conservatives who traditionally favor businesses over big government historically haven’t been either well organized or effective on boycotting businesses. It is also challenging to boycott some big companies because their products or services are too ubiquitous. Therefore, the CEOs in question are comfortable supporting left-wing domestic policies as they believe such an action results in little financial harm.

Out of concern for profitability, these CEOs won’t pull out Communist China either, no matter how horrific the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights records are. Ultimately, they’ll be more than happy to transfer company technologies and customer data to the Chinese government as long as they can maintain their access to China’s lucrative market. These “enlightened” CEOs won’t stop their companies from marketing made-in-China goods even if forced labor or dirty coal was involved. They will justify their actions — or really, inactions — based on their financial responsibility to shareholders and hefty personal compensation.

Still, these CEOs might have miscalculated. On the one hand, conservatives are fed up with corporate hypocrisy and how big businesses have consistently helped the left advance radical agendas. The call for boycotting has only gotten louder, and conservatives are mobilized to combat woke capital. At both the state level and in the U.S. Congress, Republicans are discussing ways to strip tax breaks from woke corporations.

It doesn’t seem big CEOs’ reliable support for leftist policies will protect them from an imminent tax hike on corporations and the wealthy. President Biden and the Democrat-led U.S. Congress need to raise money to pay for their expansive and all-inclusive big-spending plans such as for “infrastructure.” Such a tax hike will hurt both corporations and the personal wealth of CEOs.

Finally, if woke CEOs thought their political activism would shield their corporations and their privileged lives from future attacks from leftist mobs, they couldn’t be more wrong. To revolution-minded mobs, capitalists are the symbol of an unjust world and the root cause of income inequality. Therefore, to create a just and equitable society for all, capitalists have to be dispossessed. Even if woke capitalists think there is an end to their political activism, an end has probably already been determined on their behalf.

Helen Raleigh, CFA, is an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker. She's a senior contributor at The Federalist. Her writings appear in other national media, including The Wall Street Journal and Fox News. Helen is the author of several books, including "Confucius Never Said" and “Backlash: How Communist China's Aggression Has Backfired." Follow her on Parler and Twitter: @HRaleighspeaks.

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