Cracks in the coalition

The Republican Party’s recent success comes chiefly from its creation of a coalition encompassing hardline social conservatives and big business. The social conservatives gain little from Republican support for big business, but also lose little (they may even gain, if the support for big business involves freeing up markets instead of enormous corporate welfare payments).

However, things are different for big business. Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, for example, wants to ensure that its workforce consists of the most able people it can possible recruit – so it’s funded a campaign in its home town of Cincinnati to repeal a city charter amendment that allows discrimination against gay people. Unsurprisingly, certain foaming-at-the-mouth bigots don’t like this, and are trying to launch a ‘boycott P&G campaign’.

I’m going to step up my consumption of P&G products as a result, and I hope you will too. But this issue also has more general importance – even ultraconservative Singapore has stopped enforcing its anti-gay-sex laws partly so that it doesn’t lose out on the chance to attract talented gay foreign workers.

It would be excellent news if America’s major corporations were to come to understand that supporting bigotry is bad business practice, and force liberalisation of the Republican platform – or even desert the party altogether.

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