McConnell is right on political speech
Just because corporations may have a right to voice their opinions, that doesn’t mean it is appropriate to do so under any and all circumstances (“The business of political speech,” April 22). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is absolutely right. Coca-Cola, Delta and MLB should mind their own “business” when it comes to voicing opinions on matters like the right and privilege of individuals to vote in American elections. I am sure many, if not most, of their shareholders and customers would agree with me. If CEOs want to express their individual opinions on political matters, that is one thing. But when they do so as a representative of a corporation, they should take into full account the views of their shareholders and other corporate officers, as well as their potential customers.
Different factors arise when corporations decide to give political contributions, as their political choices can be appropriately based on business matters over which governments have regulatory powers.
Sadly, as on many other issues, the WJW Editorial Board has fallen into the trap of the noxious notion of “social justice.” “Justice, justice shall you pursue…” (Deuteronomy 16:20). Pursue justice, and justice alone. True justice needs no qualifying adjective as in “social justice.”
MARC L. CAROFF
With all due respect to Judge Caroff, the corporate response to legislative attempts making voting access more restrictive is not “politically” controversial. Citizens have the right to vote; this is not a privilege per se. Corporations certainly can be sensitive to consumer sentiments, and they exercise their influence through contributions (Mr. McConnell is not averse to accepting money proffered) or by other means to re-enforce their values. In this instance they are taking a stand consistent with the U.S. Constitution: nothing provocative here, because it is in everyone’s self interest that all eligible citizens have the opportunity to exercise their vote.
Additionally, when is “social justice” a noxious concept? I am not a Judaic scholar, but I am pretty certain that our sacred texts offer a pathway for ethical conduct and the respect for the dignity of all humankind: a road map, indeed, to achieve “social justice.”
Dr. Coleman, your thoughtful comment deserves a response. I do not claim to be a Judaic scholar, but as a proud U.S. citizen and a retired patent law judge with a J.D. degree from The George Washington University, I do know something about the U.S. Constitution: Nowhere in that precious founding document does the expression “social justice” appear. On the other hand, the capitalized word “Justice” appears at the very beginning of the Preamble: ” We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, … “. The Founding Fathers had a deep respect for, and detailed knowledge of, the so-called Old Testament of the Bible. I am sure they were well aware of the significance of the apparently repetitious use of the word justice in Deuteronomy. The repetition, in my opinion and those of a number of biblical scholars, is meant to teach us to double down on pursuing justice and not a poor, distorted version of it; asymptotically approaching divine Justice. Although I am grateful that WJW published my letter, one sentence that was left out clarified why I believe the term “social justice,” as used in common parlance, is an Orwellian distortion of the true meaning of justice — either from a biblical or constitutional point of view. That sentence stated that the noxious notion of “social justice” is “more accurately the ‘social engineering’ propaganda promulgated by radical left-wing members of the progressive movement.” It should have no standing in our advanced Western society.
As a physician I engage in “continuing medical education.” I recommend John Rawl’s “Theory of Justice” and/or Michael Sandel’s lecture series on justice (freshman seminar for Harvard students) as a backdrop for further discussion and perspective. This is an age-old conundrum: but your next to last sentence is full of “code words” that require context: the conversation about the function of government and personal freedom is a good one to have, but I don’t see some vast socialistic conspiracy descending upon us as much as an attempt to solve real problems for citizens in need. Still looking forward to our coffee talk.
How about Starbuck’s? To the best of my knowledge, Starbuck’s has no yet become another victim of cancel culture, nor has it boycotted the new Georgia election integrity law, so it’s perfectly “kosher” to have coffee there in any state of the Union.
Besides, they make a good cup of coffee and we can have a nice talk there free of interruption by the “thought police.”
More of a Quartermaine’s guy—not that I need any caffeine at this point—and not worried about being “co-opted” or set upon by conspiratorial forces; please re-consider trying to defend the indefensible (recent surge of “well meaning”, but ultimately detrimental new voting laws); thank you for not signing on to the attack on transgender citizens or the 1619 Project: We have lots to talk about: Be well.
Thank you WJW for providing an opportunity for give and take.