SCHILLING: The Marriage Between Conservatives And Corporate America Is Officially Over

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Terry Schilling Contributor
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Ever since the birth of the modern American conservative movement, businesses and the political right have worked hand-in-hand for their mutual benefit. Both have traditionally understood the importance of principles such as limited government and individual liberty — principles that when put into action can lead to both economic prosperity and flourishing communities. While it may have been a marriage of convenience, for decades this partnership yielded many excellent fruits.

However, this relationship has become increasingly one-sided in recent years. We conservatives have fought for tax cuts, while Big Business attacks our religious freedom. We’ve pushed for deregulation, while corporations push to abort as many babies as possible. We’ve taken on the political liability of defending corporate wealth and prosperity, as the beneficiaries dump millions of dollars into our opponents’ campaign coffers.

Corporate America no doubt assumes that conservatives will never have the guts to end this partnership, no matter how blatantly dishonest or shamefully unfaithful they choose to be. So far, they’ve been right. But now, it’s time for conservatives to call it quits. Today we sign our divorce papers. Today we leave corporate America behind.

It’s true both sides have never seen perfectly eye to eye on many things, but until recently, conservatives thought we could put our differences with Big Business aside for a greater good. However, it’s become clear now all that has changed. We’ve noticed as corporate America has put ever more interest into their standing with those on the left: jockeying for position on culturally progressive measures such as the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

They are endlessly signaling their wokeness on the hottest Leftist causes – for example, opening their public restrooms to members of the opposite sex or removing all references to Christmas on their holiday merchandise. Despite progressives’ traditional hostility to corporations, Big Business has become much more interested in winning over the Left than the Right.

And now, corporate America has even begun to do the Left’s bidding politically. Conservatives have taken note as Big Business has threatened one state after another with lost jobs and revenue if they did not bow to corporate wishes on cultural issues. We’ve watched as legislators have been blackmailed in Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia, and now Texas because these elected officials had the temerity to attempt to protect the liberty of their citizens against the encroaching tyranny of a totalitarian progressivism. Apparently, corporate America is more interested in further undermining Americans’ constitutional rights than in providing them with well-paying jobs.

The truth is conservatives are growing tired of the abusive direction of this relationship. In the past, we may have supported corporate tax cuts and deregulation, but these things help us very little if the companies which benefit from them refuse to protect the free speech of their employees or capitulate to radical activists calling for the de-platforming of mainstream conservative leaders.

For many of us on the right, calls for government investigations of and crackdowns on Silicon Valley tech giants and other large corporations seem more reasonable now than they ever have before. And don’t expect conservatives to join corporate opposition to net neutrality or the nationalization of 5G when we’re not even sure Big Business will defend the ability of religious welfare agencies to stay open or the conscience rights of doctors and nurses.

In short, the conservative-Big Business relationship may have made sense once, but it just isn’t working anymore. It’s time for a divorce.

Terry Schilling (@PizzaPolitico) is the executive director of American Principles Project, a conservative nonprofit group dedicated to putting human dignity at the heart of public policy.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.