Politics & Policy

McConnell: Corporate America Acting as ‘Woke Parallel Government’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C., January 26, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Monday warned there will be “serious consequences” if major corporations continue behaving like “a woke parallel government.”

“Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling,” McConnell said in a statement. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.”

The Kentucky Republican’s comments come after Major League Baseball announced on Friday that it would pull its All-Star game from Atlanta in response to a new Georgia voter law.

President Joe Biden had previously told ESPN that he would “strongly support” moving the July 13 game because of the law he described as “Jim Crow on steroids.”

McConnell argued that “nobody really thinks this current dispute comes anywhere near the horrific racist brutality of segregation.”

“From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” he added. “Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box.”

Proponents of the law deny accusations that it aims to suppress votes, pointing out that the legislation does not place new limits on voting hours and makes the state’s elections more secure without restricting voter access. It even expands weekend early voting. 

Supporters have argued that the measure, which Governor Brian Kemp (R.) signed into law earlier this month, has been misrepresented.

Republican lawmakers, including Senators Ted Cruz (Texas) and Mike Lee (Utah) have called for an end to the league’s antitrust exemption in response to the decision to move the game, while former President Trump called for a boycott of baseball and “all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections.”

Georgia companies, including Delta, have been threatened with boycotts by opponents of the new voting law who charge that local corporations should have worked harder to intervene before the legislation passed.

“Corporations have to stand up. There is no middle ground,” said Ken Chenault, former American Express CEO, during an appearance on CNBC. “This is about all Americans having the right to vote, but we need to recognize the special history of the denial of the right to vote for Black Americans, and we will not be silent,” he added.

The controversy comes after McConnell and several other GOP senators penned a letter to the business community last month urging it to oppose efforts by Democrat Rita Hart to reverse the outcome of an Iowa House Race.

“I remember way back when Democrats and the elite establishment said it was dead-wrong for Washington, D.C., to overturn state-certified election results. No, wait, that was two months ago,” McConnell said then, referencing how several businesses said they would halt donations to Republicans that supported former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

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