Adam Serwer at The Atlantic calls out the Right’s argument on socially-conscientious corporate moves.
Woke is a nebulous term stolen from Black American English, repurposed by conservatives as an epithet to express opposition to forms of egalitarianism they find ridiculous or distasteful—in this case, the idea that constituents of the rival party should have an unfettered right to vote. Wedded to the term capital, it functions as an expression of the hollowness of conservative populism, which is opposed not to the concentration of corporate power so much as to the use of that power for purposes of which conservatives disapprove. Their aim is not to diminish corporate power, but to use it to their advantage. They seek to ensure that large firms use their influence to maintain the dominance of conservative cultural mores and Republican political power.
Serwer uses McConnell’s language back on him: hijack from the left is woke. Hijack from the right OK.
“Parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared from the Senate floor. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.” As the Associated Press notes, McConnell is “among the most outspoken champions of the role of big money in elections, promoting the free-flow of undisclosed dollars to campaigns as a form of Constitution-protected free speech.” Apparently, corporations are allowed to behave as parallel governments only when they are vehicles for right-wing billionaires to hijack the country from outside the constitutional order.
The woke problem on the right is that corporations who have garnered tax breaks were bought – and ought to stay bought.
Republicans have no interest in curtailing corporate power in this fashion—not when they believe that power could be used to reimpose a diminished cultural hegemony. These so-called populist Republicans do not wish to throw the one ring into Mount Doom; they simply want to wield it on their own behalf.
But it comes down to this:
Republicans have no ideas of their own to speak of, beyond issuing colorful threats to employ state coercion against firms that fail to do their bidding.