Many corporations — some notoriously — have lavished campaign funding on the GOP forever in pursuit of a low-tax, low-regulation environment. It’s not too much to say that the modern GOP is almost a wholly-owned subsidiary of the greediest of these corporations. I think the corporate funding of political parties is wrong and distorts our politics. But I want to talk about an unintended consequence of this support that some corporations apparently are coming to regard as bad for business.
Big corporations that span the globe know that they thrive when walls come down and the world celebrates its vibrant diversity of cultures. But the modern GOP stands for building walls. It caters to cultural suspicion and fear of the other. It is America’s ethnonationist party. This has been true for awhile, but corporations were able to ignore it because the GOP kept its commitment to the good ole boys muted and indirect. Trump changed that, bringing the true character of the party into the harsh light of unrelenting national media exposure.
How will big corporations navigate politically, now that they can’t have their cake and eat it, too? We are beginning to see an answer. A number of big corporations have condemned publicly and clearly the spate of GOP efforts across the country to make voting harder for people of color. If corporations begin to pull away from their generous contributions to the party, we actually could see a dramatic realignment of our politics. Let’s hope.