On March 21, 2010, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats carried an oversized gavel through a crowd of thousands outside the Capitol in a peculiar procession to officially pass the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and send the bill to Barack Obama. The throngs of people on Capitol Hill, though, were not there to celebrate the event. They jeered and booed at the impending historic government control over American health care. The bill was never popular and had, in fact, never enjoyed even a simple majority support by the American people. No Republicans in the House or Senate voted in favor, and many Democrats had to vote against it for fear of losing their seat in the upcoming November elections. Pelosi and Democrats did not have to walk through the crowd of demonstrators. They could have simply passed the bill in the usual course of business. Instead, they chose to make a visual statement, poking the American people in the eye to remind them it did not matter what we wanted, because the elites were doing this for everyone’s own good whether we liked it or not.
Eight months later, Democrats were badly beaten at the ballot box, lost control of the House of Representatives and prompted Obama to describe the defeat as a “shellacking.” The shut-down of veterans’ memorials, national monuments and other unpopular official acts led to Democrats also losing control of the Senate in the 2014 election. The phrase “governing against the will of the people” came into popular usage.
In 2016, Donald Trump coined the phrase “drain the swamp,” referring to Washington bureaucrats and politicians disconnected from the American public they were supposed to be serving and instead worked for the approval of the media and each other.
But there is another “swamp.” A significant number of leaders in corporate America are so detached from the reality of regular Americans that they project life in their bubble onto the rest of us. They live in a hyper politically correct world and virtue signal 24/7, presuming the rest of us do, too.
Similar to the Washington swamp, these businesses do business against the will of their customers, inflicting the same damage on their own companies and brands Democrats did on their electoral fortunes – insulting and offending their own clienteles in an attempt to curry favor with groups of people who do not buy their products.
The recent decision by YETI coolers to sever ties with the National Rifle Association is a self-inflicted wound by corporate leaders chasing political correctness. The move seemed an obvious attempt to appease leftist anti-gun groups in the days after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. In the resulting public-relations backlash, YETI’s attempt at damage control and their accusations the NRA was lying just reinforced the extent of disconnect between the company’s leadership and their own customers. The hunters, fishermen and outdoorsmen who purchase expensive coolers for their boats, trucks and campsites are largely an entirely different demographic from the noisy liberal teenagers giving communist power salutes at protests and demanding companies renounce the NRA, an organization of 5 million in the demographic of people who buy expensive coolers. YETI’s move was a liberal corporate poke in the eye to their customers.
The National Football League has now spent two full seasons with attendance and broadcast ratings in free-fall as they allow their player employees to make a spectacle disrespecting the American flag during the national anthem right in fans’ faces. Like YETI, the NFL’s damage control has focused on floating various absurd alternate explanations why customers are simply misunderstanding the situation. But current and former fans remember the league banning players on the field from honoring fallen police officers and victims of the 9/11 terror attacks, so the NFL’s claim they are powerless to stop players from protesting America at games makes those protests even more insulting. Poke. (This week the NFL released a new rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem but also allowing players to stay in the locker room during the pregame presentation.)
National retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods enacted a series of corporate restrictions on otherwise legal firearms sales that angered many customers. In case anyone might mistake their new restrictions as simply good-intentioned company policy, Dick’s announced in April they will physically destroy all of the guns and firearms accessories pulled from their shelves. Besides backlash from customers, vendors such as Mossburg – one of the largest firearms manufacturers, and whose products Dick’s intended to continue selling – announced they will no longer do business with Dick’s.
As reported here at WND last fall, the CEO of recreational vehicle retailer Camping World went on cable television to attack President Trump and told Americans who agree with the president “don’t shop at my business.” According to industry sources, camping is a multi-billion dollar industry with a clear majority of campers being male and a vast majority white. President Trump dominated the white male demographic in 2016 by more than 2-to-1. Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis undoubtedly knows the statistics of who spends their disposable income buying RVs and camping equipment from his nationwide chain of dealers. But the swamp culture in corporate America is so putrid he still felt comfortable telling a majority of his company’s customers he does not want their business. Another poke.
The common denominator in these and other cases is a never-ending attempt to virtue signal to the left, regardless of whether people who identify as such are even customers of those businesses.
There is a swamp in corporate America that needs to be drained, too. A culture among many corporate leaders that is so focused on virtue signaling or appeasing leftists that they are willing to insult their own customers and financially damage the businesses they are supposed to be leading.