I’d like belief, I’ll settle for support

For months now, America’s right wing has been on a non-stop shriek-a-thon about woke business. Budweiser has a trans spokesperson in the Superbowl ad? They’re woke! Disney markets to gays? They’re woke! Rainbow-creme oreos to celebrate pride? Woke!

In reality, of course, it’s the free market at work. Gays and trans people are a demographic that buys stuff; American corporations want to get their money. Ergo, be LGBTQ friendly, much as companies in the 1970s branded themselves as friends to liberated women.

I feel about this the same way I do politics. I much prefer politicians who sincerely share my values; I’ll settle for politicians who’ll enforce them out of self-interest. Whether Democrats are pro-choice because they believe in the right to abortion or they’re pro-choice to get themselves re-elected, it gets the same results. Part of being a voter is finding the politicians who’ll deliver the most bang for the buck, not the one who reflects your personal ideas best. It often requires compromise, but that’s politics.

On gay issues, I suspect a lot of business leaders are pro-gay or at least not anti-. The culture has shifted radically and gay acceptance is much more widespread than the end of the last century, 23 years ago. For all the outrage on the right, a large chunk of America doesn’t think catering to the LBGTQ market is a bad thing; it’s no longer a controversial or daring stand.

That’s part of the problem for the right — the realization that companies are not only willing to compete for LGBTQ dollars, they don’t see a downside to doing so. It’s like the old urban legend that Proctor and Gamble was openly Satanist and sneered that “there are not enough Christians in America” to cause any blowback. The reminder that outside the Republican Party the right-wing doesn’t have enough clout to force companies to change has to stick in their craw. Heck, Disney’s response to Ron DeSantis’ trying to bully it is to schedule a pride event. Conversely, Oklahoma officials talking about how they miss the days of lynching produces more outrage and criticism than a century ago.

Another issue, I suspect, is that right wingers such as Matt Walsh — who has embraced a Bud Light boycott as the great crusade of our time — know that being inclusive from self-interest leads to real inclusion. The more companies send a message of “we’re cool with gay, give us your money” the more normal and acceptable being gay/trans looks. This may be part of Ron DeSantis and others pushing don’t say gay in schools. Seeing gay teachers, gay fellow students, reading about gays makes it easier (I assume) for other gay kids to come out, and for straight kids to see gays are just like them, unremarkable and not the sick fiends of right-wing propaganda. Keeping them quiet, keeping pride symbols out of school, that works the other way. It’s the same logic by which attorney Matt Staver wants Christian schools to exclude kids with gay parents — otherwise students might meet them and learn gays aren’t monsters!

This is what happens when you build a worldview on a tissue of lies, you have to live in perpetual fear that reality will rip it apart.


Leave a comment

Filed under economics, Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.