“Go woke, go broke.” You’ve probably heard the mantra before, and it’s viral for a reason. On a seemingly daily basis, corporate America sells woke politics to everyday consumers who never signed up for it in the first place.
Most recently, Bud Light recruited transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney as a brand ambassador for the popular beer, but wokeness isn’t a new phenomenon. Colin Kaepernick, Mr. Potato Head, and queer Disney all come to mind in the ongoing culture war. For years now, some of America’s largest and most recognizable companies have deviated from traditional business wisdom to peddle “diversity and inclusion” at all costs, going so far as to preach gender identity and transgenderism to young children (see: Mickey Mouse).
In an America where Joe Biden is President, wokeness is undeniably mainstream. Why wouldn’t it be, when the Biden administration refers to “mothers” as “birthing people”?
Unfortunately for liberal elites like Biden, wokeness comes with a cost. While it’s virtually impossible for corporate behemoths like Disney to go fully broke, their identity politics ultimately hurt the bottom line. Since wokeness became a cultural craze in recent years, tens of millions of Americans—those in the proverbial “silent majority”—have taken a stand against left-wing politics. Tens of millions of Americans are ready and willing to speak up with their pocketbooks, rejecting woke companies and taking their hard-earned dollars elsewhere.
The numbers don’t lie. After the Mulvaney controversy, Bud Light sales fell by nearly 30 percent, with the company becoming so desperate to win back customers that it gave out free beer. The CEO of Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light’s parent company, even publicly backtracked by claiming that Mulvaney was never part of “a formal campaign.”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Lest we forget Gillette’s 2019 critique of “toxic masculinity,” which yielded one of the most disliked YouTube videos in history and billions of dollars in lost sales. That same year, the shaving company took an $8 billion write-down.
Then there’s Nike, whose Kaepernick-led obsession with the “Black Lives Matter” movement resulted in a trending #NikeBoycott and an almost four percent share price drop. After Kaepernick became the face of the shoemaker’s “Just Do It” advertising, Nike’s market capitalization dropped by nearly $4 billion.
How about Disney, a company now picking fights with and filing lawsuits against Florida officials? As the once-beloved entertainment giant forays deeper and deeper into the land of wokeness, more and more customers are saying, “No, thanks.” In the last three months of 2022, Disney+ lost a net 2.4 million subscribers—the streaming service’s first decline since launching in 2019.
One of Disney’s most reliable entities, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), suffered its worst year to date in 2022, as the MCU replaced traditional storytelling with political messaging. The MCU’s newest content, such as “Ms. Marvel,” is significantly less popular than classics like “Iron Man.” That’s what happens when feminism becomes more important than, you know, actually entertaining people.
Need I go on? The more that companies cater to and appease the radical Left, the narrower their audience becomes. By courting the fringes of society and the left-wing values that define them, companies like Bud Light and Disney only alienate the rest—those in the middle and everyone else. They turn off the overwhelming majority of consumers who are more reasonable and moderate in nature. Most people don’t turn to Nike for political slogans and sociology lectures; they just want Air Jordans.
Entering the 2024 election, Democrats should heed the warnings that consumers are sending time and time again. Embracing a woke president like Biden, who has spent billions of dollars subsidizing the “ESG” agenda, is not the first, second, or third priority for most Americans, who ultimately care about pocketbook issues. Penalizing high credit scores to realize some socialist pipe dream does not play well in places not named Manhattan or Hollywood. There’s a reason why Biden’s approval rating can’t crack 40 percent.
What plays well in America—still—are patriotism, sound economic policy, and a general sense of leadership. Competence and governance matter, especially when America’s president struggles to hold basic press conferences. Therein lies an unprecedented opportunity for Republicans in 2024, and it’s simple really: Don’t be that guy. Just don’t go woke, or you will go broke.
The reason why Bud Light drinkers are boycotting the beer is the same recipe for Republicans to win back the White House. If you’re sick of the wokeness, the Democratic Party is not for you. Today, there is only one common-sense choice.
Chad Banghart serves as Executive Director of the Committee to Defeat the President.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.