“Woke” is a term used to describe those who are aware of social injustices. It is a word that conveys that someone is politically aware and in some way socially progressive. The term is typically used as an adjective and is often used in a hashtag format to describe social issues, e.g. #wokeCEO. The term ‘woke’ is used as a way to describe those who are aware of social injustices and who are actively working to correct them. It is a word that implies that someone is politically aware and in some way socially progressive. The term is typically used as an adjective and is often used in a hashtag format to describe social issues, e.g. #wokeCEO.
Illustration by Esther Plesi for the Wall Street Journal/Photo: Getty Images
Why does a CEO care about politics? Many Americans would say no, but corporations have interests, and it is not only the right but also the duty of their leaders to promote them, including through the political process. But there’s a reason they usually do it quietly: Too much publicity risks provoking the ire of Americans who fear that public policy is being twisted to serve private interests. But today, top CEOs embarked on a highly unusual political intervention. They have taken high-profile positions on a controversial issue that seems to have little to do with their profitability.
Georgia’s new voting reforms have been challenged by executives of major companies like Delta and
who claimed to be acting in the public interest. But the public is not so sure. A YouGov poll of 30. In March, it was found that Americans favor 53% to 28% requiring photo ID for absentee ballots. These findings raise the question of whether CEOs are responding not to public outrage but to targeted pressure from an ideological and activist minority. Do they stand up for what they believe in or do they follow the new party line? While at one level the debate is about balancing voter access and election security, at another it raises profound questions about forced compliance, American culture, and the future of capitalism.
Below are some of the editorial board’s published answers to these and other questions about CEOs and Georgia law. In Vigor and Weakness of Leaders, the editorial criticizes the statements of important leaders for their vagueness and imprecision: They condemn Georgia’s election law, but have they read it?
Harvey Golub, former CEO of American Express.
offers his perspective as the former CEO of American Express. In Policy is Risky Business for CEOs, he gives four reasons why CEOs should not take a public position on this legislation. Eventually, he writes, corporations and the idea of capitalism will get a worse reputation.
In his Wonderland column, When CEOs Vote Democratic.
to get to the point: No matter how noble their intentions, these leaders are squandering their business interests for the benefit of the professionals who run the Democratic party.
We are under no illusion that big business is a loyal friend of capitalism, the editorial says. In Down with Big Business, Again, the board suggests that CEOs are pursuing a reconciliation strategy that is doomed to fail.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, dean of the Yale School of Management.
In the article CEOs lead America’s new great awakening,
dean of the Yale School of Management and organizer of the entrepreneurs’ opposition to the Georgia law, says the entrepreneurs’ awakening should be celebrated as the rediscovery of a misunderstood pillar of America’s industrial greatness.
This generated many responses from readers, including seven published letters. Previous great revivals have been brought about by people recognizing (and repenting of) their own sin, writes Thomas W. Stewart of Gainesville, Hawaii. The Great Awakening of the 21st Century The opposite of the 20th century is to denounce the sins of others while praising one’s own merits. Mr. Sonnenfeld then responded to the criticism in a letter of his own.
Soon, two U.S. senators presented action plans. In an article titled Your Awake Money Is No Good Here, Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said: As of today, I am no longer accepting money from corporate PACs and I have encouraged my colleagues to do the same. In the article Big Tech’s oligarchy speaks to Trustbusters.
(R., Mo.), in its call for action this year, proposed unbundling large technology companies and revising antitrust laws.
Read these articles in their entirety and participate in the discussion by leaving a comment or a letter to the editor.
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