Salvo 08.23.2021 7 minutes

No Neutrality

Historic Old World Third Street, Milwaukee

Staying neutral is tantamount to submission.

There is no “neutrality” for American business. We either band together or get swept away by the woke tide.

The substance of political discourse today rarely revolves around particular matters of policy: instead, public political debate consists of delegitimizing the other side. You and everyone else is called a fascist and a racist if you hold a position contrary to the ruling class. As I said a few years ago, what was at stake in nearly every attack on Trump was “not a normal matter of policy but the legitimacy of the Trump presidency itself and its power to set policy.”

After five years of non-stop investigations, Trump, who will still likely be prosecuted  if the opportunity arises, is banned from social media. The most powerful institutions in our nation, including the national security complex itself, are now busy delegitimizing his supporters. The phrase “American Taliban” was trending on Twitter as a name for Trump supporters even as Kabul was overrun. Figures like former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, a retired US Air Force four-star general, publicly echo the sentiment.

But the United States of America is a big country. To treat half of the citizenry as if their opinion is illegitimate and get away with it requires two things: firm control of most major institutions, especially in leadership positions, and the continual expenditure of an enormous amount of political, cultural, and commercial capital.

By declaring total political war against everyday Americans years ago, the ruling class risked “the legitimacy of the administrative state itself.” Further, “the legitimacy of the old media as a whole” hung in the balance. This stage is now over. Perhaps at no time in our history has the government or the media been so distrusted.

Those who had not been paying close attention to politics until Trump, including many of the most intelligent and talented people in America who generally gravitate towards commercial enterprise in modern society, tend to think that there are “moderate” solutions to this divide. They are inclined to think that rather than engage in politics, they ought to remain neutral. But, as activists and radicals point out, this is itself a political position. In the present environment neutrality itself requires taking a controversial political stand. 

Consider the matter in terms of nations: the reason a country remains neutral is to stay out of war. If you will be viciously attacked anyhow—if you will be attacked because you remain neutral—what do you gain by remaining neutral? In fact, by declaring neutrality you are losing the opportunity to fend off attack from a position of planned strength, and thereby the opportunity to win the war. The smartest move in today’s environment is bold opposition. 

As my co-founder said in these pages recently:

You must reject woke demands, refuse to make even token gestures, and invest instead in relationships and partnerships with people and organizations who have likewise steeled themselves against the mob’s opprobrium.  The sooner you make this decision, the less disruptive it will be: you’ll lose fewer employees and customers, have made fewer difficult-to-reverse organizational decisions, and done less to bend your brand and culture to fit the woke narrative.

You must oppose the movement that seeks to gain control over you. You can’t appease them without giving them that control. The good news is that most people do not agree with this radical movement, and at least half the nation is actively seeking to buy products and services from people who reject it.

Products and services are always sold based on a “way of life.” The path is open to advertising and marketing that presents a way of life that most people actually want—rather than the radical fantasies of political activists. Those who recognize this historic moment will realize historic gains. People are looking for products and services from businesses who don’t loudly signal that they hate them.

In business you are constantly told that by taking a stand opposed to the wokeness, you will lose customers. There is little evidence that this is the case—especially in the new environment we are now all operating within. Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby are doing just fine. The problem for large businesses is not consumer behavior—the problem is that a combination of elite power and woke radicals can indeed damage you. And the larger your corporation is, the more that risk rises.

But Big Corporate is not the only game in town. Countless small and medium sized businesses are now without representation. They are being bullied into silence, beat down from every side. Their owners disagree with what is happening but feel powerless to stop it. The Chamber of Commerce no longer represents most businesses. Instead, it fêtes the most powerful ones.

The only way out is through. There are a variety of actions now needed if America is to push back against the rolling “woke” revolution, but they all depend upon organizing a new cultural and commercial movement that stands up and fights for the common interests of all those who oppose the increasing tide of totalitarianism. That’s why we created New Founding: to create a broad-based digital commonwealth that will protect and represent businesses and consumers alike. We have dedicated ourselves to the task of organizing and creating new networks of consumers and businesses.

If American businesses cannot band together to protect themselves and take a stand for our natural and constitutional rights against the unrelenting attacks of political radicals, the future of the American way of life is dark indeed. 

Interested? Get in touch. Many are thinking along similar lines, but we need to organize as soon as possible if we are to succeed. 

The pages of The American Mind itself are always open to publishing the best actionable ideas for moving forward: email us at [email protected] and pitch away.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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