Big business has helped Americans weather the pandemic. Retailers stayed open, tech firms made remote work possible, and the pharmaceutical industry is cranking out vaccines. So why did satisfaction with the “size and influence of major corporations” fall 15 points in this year’s annual Gallup poll to a mere 26%?
The collapse came not among Democrats, whose skeptical views were virtually unchanged, but among Republicans. In 2020, 57% of Republicans said they were satisfied with big business. This year the number plummeted to 31%. The likely reason, as NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald points out, is “the culture war reaching the C-suite.”
Put differently, many Fortune 500 firms took the Black Lives Matter protests as an opportunity to pivot hard to the left, ostentatiously endorsing protests even as they sometimes turned violent. Companies from Amazon to Nike donated large sums to progressive activist groups. Managers started to assign polarizing left-wing political texts to employees and adopted new racial hiring preferences. Brands like Coca-Cola and Eddie Bauer boycotted Facebook to try to pressure it to clamp down on political speech.