June 10, 2019
Stop me if you've heard this one before: conservative values are "bad for business." That's what executives from 100-plus companies are hoping Americans will believe, despite years of failed predictions just like this one. Maybe this time, with a full-page ad in the New York Times, people will finally take their word for it. But I wouldn't hold my breath.
It's one of the biggest myths of the last five years: passing pro-life or pro-privacy bills will hurt your state. That same liberal soundbite was on repeat around-the-clock from North Carolina to Texas and Georgia. Now, after a string of common-sense abortion laws, the lie is back -- and liberals are hoping people across the country will finally buy it. "It's time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care," the headline screams at readers. "Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence, and economic stability of our employees and customers." More importantly, they argue, it hurts business.
That's interesting, since the last time we checked, the most socially conservative states also happened to be the most prosperous. How long will corporate America trot out this tired argument in the face of success stories like North Carolina (#1), Texas (#3), and Georgia (#6), who continue to top Forbes's Best States for Business List despite high-profile campaigns for religious liberty, privacy, and life? Even in the Tarheel State, where the fiercest bathroom fight ever took place, the outlook has never been rosier. "Job growth and gross state product growth are expected to rank among the strongest in the country over the next five years," Forbes argues. "As for all of those people moving out of the state because it dared to protect women and children? "The population is growing twice as fast as the U.S. average..."
If these companies want to throw away their money recycling talking points, that's their choice. But if they think consumers are going to be swayed on core beliefs because MAC Cosmetics has weighed in, they've seriously overinflated their influence. Not to mention, most observers will point out, they know good and well what's going on behind closed doors in these companies, which is nothing more than blatant hypocrisy.
Do you think Disney and Apple stopped doing business with China because of their forced abortion and sterilization policy? Of course not. "Disney," Fox News's Tucker Carlson argued on a recent show, "just filmed its upcoming live-action Mulan film in China, which is -- safe to say -- in a police state, where huge parts of the internet are banned, and people are executed for having the wrong opinions." This is a country, by the way, that's sent millions of Uyghurs to reeducation camps to be tortured, brainwashed, and punished for what they believe. Where was there moral indignation then? And not just for Disney but hundreds of supposedly "equality-minded" CEOs?
These businesses don't care about principles -- they care about profits. And if a full-page New York Times ad can somehow distract America from that, they've gotten their money's worth.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.