With Delta acting all alpha against the state of Georgia and Coke going woke, it’s time to slap back at companies that politicize themselves — especially when they do so in service of a horrid lie.
Delta and Coke are two of Georgia’s biggest corporations. The chief executives of both have slammed Georgia’s new voting law, spreading the pernicious falsehood that the law is a form of voter suppression. Both chief executives should stick to business, and otherwise, shut up.
Yes, shut up.
The truth is that in some ways, Georgia’s law actually expands the opportunities for people to vote. In others it merely adopts ballot-security measures that have been prevalent for decades, without controversy, in many states across the nation, including heavily Democratic states such as President Joe Biden’s own Delaware. Despite the entire establishment media hyping the lie that the law “restricts” legitimate voting, or that it somehow has racist implications, the reality is that it contains a rather standard-issue set of reforms aimed at improving efficiency, security, and reliability in the electoral process.
But this isn’t a column about the rank dishonesty of the media and Democrats in racializing a reasonable, non-racial law. It’s about the asininity of corporations and their chief executives trying to out-do each other in political correctness even when, first, they don’t know what they are talking about and, second, their customers, clients, and employees may well not agree.
Jeff Webb, an entrepreneur who used $85,000 of investments from friends and family in 1974 to build Varsity Spirit, a $1.8 billion business with more than 6,000 employees (from which he retired in December), wrote perspicaciously last July that business should not openly politicize. When they do, he explained, they risk driving away customers, violating fiduciary responsibility to investors, and creating an uncomfortable work environment for employees who disagree.
“Many corporate leaders have decided that this whole, quote, ‘social justice’ concept should be part of their whole mission,” Webb told me by phone on Thursday. “But I think as things play out and they get farther down that road, they will see serious pushback.”
He said most of his evidence is anecdotal and experiential, but he said it is also copious.
“I was talking to a buddy of mine just this morning who does a lot of business with Coca-Cola,” Webb said. “He said ‘I am flying to a conference and now feel I have to hold my nose to go on a Delta flight.’”
Data and business analysts’ opinions are mixed as to whether or not over-politicization hurts businesses financially, although there is some evidence that misgauging political stances can indeed hurt the bottom line. Either way, polls consistently show that more Americans want companies to stay out of politics than to get in, and a poll last month showed that 65% of Americans think corporations have taken political correctness too far.
Meanwhile, if businesses play rough with states, states have every right to push back. That’s what the Georgia legislature may do, as its House voted to eliminate a jet-fuel tax break from which Delta benefits to the tune of nearly $40 million annually. Good. Let’s hope the state Senate follows suit next year. Delta isn’t standing up for democracy; it’s spreading a lie that exacerbates racial tensions and undermines trust in the electoral system.
The airline has gone off course into politics, so maybe hardball politics in return can make it, well, “straighten up and fly right.”