Letter: Where Were Corporations Then?

Letter to the Editor

What a difference one week makes in U.S. corporate tolerance for bigotry and conspiracy theories that undermine the legitimacy of our elected leaders! It is more than coincidence that the sudden upwelling of concern by Amazon, Facebook and Twitter with bizarre social media messages being circulated by white nationalists and QAnon activists occurred after news broke that the Democrats will now control all government oversight committees and Executive Departments (e.g., FBI). There is suddenly less political downside to U.S. corporations decrying President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 50-state-certified Biden victory and major banks deciding to halt PAC campaign donations to insurrection-supporting Republicans.

Where were U.S. corporations when the impeachment hearings documented in irrefutable detail how Trump abused the power of his office to smear a political opponent? Where were they when a recorded phone call documented Trump’s felonious attempt to pressure a local election official to commit election fraud? Where were they when Trump’s lawyers filed 60 baseless lawsuits challenging the results of an election remarkably free of irregularities? Where were they when Trump risked millions of American lives by downplaying the severity of the novel coronavirus and mocking Americans who wore recommended face masks? 

Much of corporate America is complicit in the insurrection that took place last Wednesday, by tolerating behavior from the U.S. government CEO that would be completely unacceptable in a normal corporate CEO. I understand their fear of Trump’s vindictiveness. Look at what he did to Amazon’s $10 billion JEDI contract with the Pentagon. Nonetheless, the last four years of corporate compliance with outrageous claims and demands by Trump have laid to rest any doubt that the U.S. could become another fascist state like Turkey or Russia. 

Biden’s appointments of acclaimed jurist Merrick Garland to head the FBI and veteran diplomat William Burns to head the CIA begin a process of rebuilding the professionalism of government officials needed to counter the double speak and conspiracy theories that fascism thrives on. Never again should U.S. corporations tolerate outrageously unprofessional behavior from the White House that would be patently unacceptable in their own headquarters.

William McCarthy