Editorial

GOP Lawmakers Are Right To Stand Up To Corporate Bullying Of The NRA

Scott Greer Contributor

Corporate America is under tremendous pressure to stomp out the NRA.

Any company that once offered discounts to NRA members is now a target for gun control activists, and the vast majority of these corporations are caving into the pressure.

One of the most notable corporations who cut ties with the NRA is Delta Air Lines, and that decision may cost the airline giant dearly. Delta was set to receive a tax break from the state of Georgia, but Republican lawmakers decided to nix that in the wake of its decision to publicly repudiate the NRA.

“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” George Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle tweeted Monday. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”

That tweet went viral, garnering a plethora of criticism from liberals who all of a sudden now support tax breaks for corporate behemoths. It also drew critiques from conservatives who found the statement to be a troubling sign of big government practicing “viewpoint discrimination.”

“This is a bad idea,” National Review Online editor Charles Cooke wrote in response to Cagle’s tweet. “Delta and the NRA are both private organizations; the state should not be taking sides on the basis of elected officials’ opinions about their private arrangements. This is viewpoint discrimination.”

It’s worth noting the tax break for Delta is emblematic of the “crony capitalism” Cooke and other conservatives deplore, so it seems a little strange for him to be upset over Georgia lawmakers scrapping what he deems a bad policy. Georgia is only taking away a government-issued advantage to Delta — a specific tax break that no other company is receiving — not infringing on their right to do business.

But to conservatives like Cooke, GOP lawmakers scrapping this tax break for political reasons is unconscionable. The state should do absolutely nothing about big business imposing its own viewpoint discrimination on the country.

No wonder that virtue signaler-in-chief Joe Scarborough loved Cooke’s tweet. Scarborough has spent most of his time on Twitter recently exerting pressure on YouTube, Amazon and other platforms to take NRATV off the air, all because he claims the gun rights group “incites violence” and “attacks” law enforcement. (RELATED: Joe Scarborough Calls For Censoring NRATV)

That’s true conservatism right there.

Cooke’s point essentially tells those who want to use corporate power to suppress conservatives to go on right ahead. Principled conservatives will maintain the fictional high-ground while corporations make it much harder to protect gun rights.

The main actor in viewpoint discrimination in America is big business, not the government. Corporations regularly censor speech, fire individuals for their political views, push their own bias on the rest of the country and even bring state governments to heel over policies they disagree with. (RELATED: Corporations Remain The Biggest Threat To Free Speech)

This is not a new development. When Republicans wanted to pass religious freedom laws in 2015, big business stepped in to make sure those measures were squashed. That’s the power of economic boycotts. Conservatives weren’t happy with that development, but they just threw up their hands and acted like there was nothing to be done about it.

Now that corporate America is going after the NRA, the most effective conservative organization in the country, some conservative pundits just want to shrug their shoulders in response as well. They offer no real solution to the problem of corporations discriminating against conservative viewpoints outside wildly unrealistic suggestions like “start your own Google!”

Too many right-leaning pundits imagine these mega corporations as mom-and-pop shops that don’t have a monopoly on their industry. For conservative consumers upset at companies stifling their views and causes, there are few options at recourse. Some companies like Google operate like a monopoly. Others, like Delta, exist in an industry where everyone seems to be giving the NRA the finger.

Right now, it’s just companies getting rid of discounts for NRA members. The next step, as Scarborough and other left-wing activists want, is for the NRA to be completely de-platformed, losing the ability to post content on the internet and host events in the real world.

Just because the group stands up for the Second Amendment.

If corporations are not informed that there will be serious consequences for demonizing millions of gun owners, they will keep acquiescing to the Left’s demands.

Georgia lawmakers are right to send a message to Delta, and that message is in no way an omen of government engaging in viewpoint discrimination. There are plenty of benign ways for lawmakers to respond to corporations using their immense power to discriminate against certain viewpoints, and state power is the only power that can grab their attention.

There is nothing sinister in corporations getting the message that they should treat all customers and employees fairly, regardless of their politics.

Republican legislators are at least smart enough to know that it makes for good politics to represent their constituents and fight on this issue. But, for some reason, their conservative critics are not that smart. The critics believe those lawmakers should just focus on giving tax breaks to these corporations and appointing their lobbyists to the Federal Trade Commission.

Is it any mystery why Republican voters no longer care for “principled conservatism”?

Follow Scott on Twitter and buy his book, “No Campus for White Men.”