January 12, 2021
Atlanta Politicians, near and far, along with the rest of us, are learning how power really works in the wake of the recent Trump Days of Rage at the national Capitol. Elected officials may pretend that they are accountable to their constituencies, but are getting slapped up the side of their heads by corporate donors and social media conglomerates who are now reminding them who’s really “their daddy.” I don’t want to suffer from “premature certainty,” but for a minute it sure looks like Trump enablers, after four long years, are finally going to pay a price for their Faustian bargain.
Various business groups have now disavowed Trump with the big mainstream National Association of Manufacturers calling for him to resign and the national Chamber of Commerce coming close to that in their condemnation. Various big donors among banks, telecoms, hotel chains, and other big hitters are saying they are either “pausing” their donations or in some cases discontinuing any donations to politicians based on the mayhem. Others are saying that they will not donate to the radical anti-democratic members. Missouri Senator Hawley and Texas Senator Cruz are facing heavy blowback which might scuttle their hopes for 2024, having calculated that they would calf off part of the Trump base with their foolishness and now finding out there is a price to pay for thwarting the will of the people.
If that doesn’t demonstrate enough about the hard hand of power, then look at the dog pile of social media conglomerates that have put their finger in the wind, seen that the direction has changed, and are finally cracking down on hate speech, advocacy of violence, falsehoods and conspiracies. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, YouTube, and the rest – even Shopify which shutdown the Trump online store – have taken the president and the mouth breathers behind the woodshed and reminded them who really has the power. Twitter shut down 70,000 QAnon sites for example. Yes, Trump and the team’s incendiary clickbait has been their business model making them superspreader enablers, but they got the message and flipped the script on him.
Oh, sure, the 147, Senators and Congressional delegates are taking a tongue lashing from mainstream media and even their local editorial pages, but that doesn’t really bother them all that much, because most have already poisoned the well with the base to not pay much attention to the pencil pushers. Whether some of their local mainstream donors will shy away because of their own reputational damage for sticking with these anti-democratic radicals is another question. When the Professional Golfers’ Association withdrew from the 2022 commitment to have a Trump golf course host the prestigious PGA tournament that year, they were clear that they were doing so because it would “damage their brand.” The Trump Organization is having to think about its own rebranding in the USA, based on the DC riots. A local supermarket chain, Rouse’s, on the Gulf Coast is reeling because one of its owners was at the rally.
Rats are jumping the ship. It’s every man for himself now, and that’s not a good sign for politicians who work for these businesses and curry their favor for contributions and depend on social media platforms as a cheap way of communicating to their peeps.
The big boys are taking away the toys and reminding the supplicants who is really the boss. It’s not exactly a win for democracy to see the iron fist of corporatism revealed, but if that’s what it takes to get some accountability from these folks, we should make the most of a bad situation.