Jeff Bezos is a known liberal. He owns the left-leaning media giant The Washington Post and the left-leaning corporate juggernaut Amazon, and President Donald Trump’s tirades against Bezos are infamous.
But none of that matters to the woke crowd. Bezos’ wealth came back to haunt him in mid-January when Amazon donated $690,000 to help with the Australian wildfires. “Woke” online critics decried it as simply not enough.
Which, of course, is absurd. It’s his money, even if he is a white male and even though he is a liberal. And this situation – just like the 2012 Susan G. Komen Planned Parenthood debacle and Chick-fil-A’s recent abandonment of The Salvation Army – is exactly why corporations should stick to engaging in economics instead of politics.
The fact is that it’s bad for business. Yes, Starbucks, Amazon, and other companies benefit from sucking up to loudmouth liberals…to a point. But they can never be “woke” enough to avoid criticism, as Starbucks saw after the supposedly racial incident at a single store in Philadelphia. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey apologized after Tweeting about eating Chick-fil-A during “Pride Month.” Even known liberals like Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg can’t rely on their pro-abortion and anti-gun infamy, respectively, as they seek higher office. Their status as white men is an automatic disqualifier in many circles.
Additionally, a corporation’s job is to provide products and services to customers. Engaging in politics distracts from a company’s primary mission, takes money away from paying staff, and takes money away from legitimately charitable purposes like helping women in crisis pregnancies or helping Middle Eastern refugees.
Finally, as Chick-fil-A found when it angered conservatives, alienating a significant fraction of your potential or actual market is also bad for business. Susan G. Komen’s 2012 stunt was the beginning of a six-year trend of lower revenues and higher deficits.
Good branding is that which reaches one’s entire market. Regretfully, “woke” Twitter will never be pleased with any company or CEO for very long. It’s time to stop trying and to focus on the 98 percent of us who want quality service and products, not political chicanery.