In November, GOP Sen. Tom Cotton offered some terse advice to woke corporate CEOs who advance liberal ideology and then expect Republicans to save them from Democratic crackdowns.
“Best of luck.”
The Arkansas Republican made the comment during a hearing as Kroger and Albertsons were seeking federal approval for a $25 billion merger. Democrats have questioned the deal for its effects on unionized workers and decreased competition.
Cotton noted at the hearing that Kroger had settled a lawsuit brought by two former employees at an Arkansas store who were axed after they refused to wear rainbow-adorned aprons in support of the LGBTQ community. The senator also questioned Kroger, not wanting employees to say “sir” or “ma’am.”
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But while woke CEOs are aligning behind the Democrats’ agenda, they finding allies on either side hard to find.
In this case, it’s managers of mutlibillion hedge funds and investment groups who have embraced and promoted so-called “environmental, social, and governance,” or ESG policies.
For example, the mega-influential fund BlackRock has used ESG initiatives to force companies to adopt green-energy platforms or to cite social justice mantras for minority and LGBTQ interests.
As Washington Examiner columnist Zachary Faria wrote on Monday, “Investment firms that have turned woke are now realizing that the team they chose to join doesn’t really care about them.”
“GOP lawmakers are eying investment managers who are pushing ESG scoring in investing. … And yet, while these investment firms have made themselves toadies of the Democratic Party, they are discovering that Democrats don’t actually like them all that much.”
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Faria cited a recent Politico report that noted major investment firms like BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street “have no Republican allies,” nor are they getting support from major pro-business groups.
On the other hand, “Wall Street investment firms have become cultural foot soldiers for the Democratic Party, even though Democrats hate them,” Faria wrote.
“Democrats won’t defend them, and the firms and corporations have declared themselves in direct opposition to the GOP by pushing far-Left ideas and social agendas. In the end, they are sabotaging themselves, all because they were either true believers in destructive ideas like ESG or, more likely, they were afraid of a little bad publicity from liberal activists.”
Perhaps the answer for these companies is to stay out of politics.