IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
A shopper walks around The Galleria shopping center on May 1, 2020 in Houston, Texas.Mark Felix / AFP - Getty Images

Big Business sends message to GOP: Stop messing with democracy

Perhaps Republicans will take an interest in the fact that their anti-election schemes might be bad for business?


The alliance between the Republican Party and corporate interests has existed for many decades, and serves as a bedrock of the domestic political landscape. What Big Business wants, GOP officials are eager to deliver, and when it comes to elections, corporate interests are generally eager to help their friends succeed.

But everyone once in a while, the partnership shows signs of wear.

Ahead of Election Day 2020, for example, the nation's largest business lobby -- the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- found itself frustrated by the Trump White House's intransigence on a variety of issues. For the first time in recent memory, the Chamber even started donating to Democratic candidates.

By mid-November, Chamber CEO Tom Donohue stepped up to insist that Donald Trump "not delay the transition a moment longer."

It's against this backdrop that 170 corporate leaders yesterday released a joint statement, effectively telling Republican officials to stop screwing around with democracy. The New York Times reported:

Chief executives and other leaders from many of America's largest businesses on Monday urged Congress to certify the electoral vote on Wednesday to confirm Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s presidential victory. "Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy," they said in a statement.

A Washington Post report added, "The letter marked the business community's most significant push yet to ensure President Trump's efforts to overturn the November election are unsuccessful. Signers included a wide array of executives of Fortune 500 companies, from the leaders of banks, airlines, investment firms, pharmaceutical companies, professional sports leagues, real estate conglomerates, top law firms and media companies."

This coincided with a new statement from the Chamber of Commerce's Donohue, who also urged Republicans to be responsible tomorrow when accepting the electoral college's tallies.

"Efforts by some members of Congress to disregard certified election results in an effort to change the election outcome or to try a make a long-term political point undermines our democracy and the rule of law and will only result in further division across our nation," Donohue wrote.

He added, "We urge Congress to fulfill its responsibility in counting the electoral votes, the Trump administration to facilitate an orderly transition for the incoming Biden administration, and all of our elected officials to devote their energies to combating the pandemic and supporting our economic recovery."

In all likelihood, GOP leaders will shrug off calls like these and proceed with their doomed partisan scheme. But this struck me as notable anyway because of the ongoing search to find something Republican lawmakers might care about.

Sure, they're increasingly indifferent toward democracy. And political institutions. And the rule of law. And public confidence in American civic life. But perhaps Republicans will take an interest in the fact that their anti-election schemes might also be bad for business?