Today’s Republican Party is not the party of 2008. That’s a reality that’s stumped and angered many conservative commentators over the last several years. More and more skepticism towards the machinations of multi-billion dollar corporations is being shared by the voting base, and for good reason.
Sen. Marco Rubio, perhaps too obviously at times, is positioning himself as a champion of the working class against woke conglomerates like Amazon. Recently, Rubio took the side of unionization over Amazon’s protestations. Here was his reasoning via an op-ed he wrote in USA Today.
"When the conflict is between working Americans and a company whose leadership has decided to wage culture war against working-class values, the choice is easy—I support the workers. And that's why I stand with those at Amazon's Bessemer warehouse today." https://t.co/JVTiVyQoOe
— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) March 12, 2021
Rubio’s proclamation is already making some on the right squirm. A Republican taking the side of workers over a CEO is certainly an oddity when put in historical context, though it’s becoming less so. Donald Trump famously earned the endorsement of several unions, having tapped into a new segment of voters that the GOP had formerly had no inroads with.
I believe the situation is more complicated than anyone denouncing Rubio would like to admit. As I’ve written before, the days of Republican voters defending big business in knee-jerk fashion, while those same big businesses spit in their faces, are over. The cultural values of the majority of American workers are being crushed from the corporate level, along with their allies in the mediasphere. These huge companies are getting more and more woke, because they simply do not fear the average consumer, instead choosing to bend the knee to a minority of social justice warriors. This is how you get ridiculous, racist trash like critical race theory being forced on employees at corporations like Coca-Cola.
People have had enough, and the countercultural revolt against this stupidity is going to come from the working class, including those that are members of unions. That’s what Rubio is tapping into here, and he shouldn’t be so easily dismissed. You can’t simply bleat about the free market as if it’s still 1995 and garner popular support — and without popular support, you aren’t winning elections.
Amazon is not owed the support of conservatives just because they oppose unionization. That doesn’t mean conservatives should support government measures that force the unionization of companies. They shouldn’t, in my view. Yet, these companies have chosen to run to the left, stoking the very economic revolt they are now dealing with. You and I don’t owe them an ounce of our energy in coming to their defense. If their workers chose to band together to leverage their power, that’s Amazon’s problem. They can accept unionization, or they can fire them. It doesn’t really matter to me.
What does matter is that big business, as Rubio points out, has taken Republicans for granted. They’ve calculated they could continue to appease the left without garnering a response from the right. That’s not going to happen, and Republicans better start getting really creative in how they deal with these new, electoral realities. Saying Ronald Reagan’s name over and over isn’t a platform any longer, and while some may disagree with Rubio’s position here, he’s at least attempting to articulate a viewpoint that Republican voters are sympathetic to.