President Trump Was Right To Slam Goodyear but He Did It for the Wrong Reason

(AP Photo/Dake Kang)

Yesterday was not a good day for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. It’s stock price dropped some 6%. Why?

At some point in recent weeks, the Goodyear plant at Topeka, KS, had one the corporate ritualized one-minute hate sessions in which certain groups were proclaimed as virtuous and others condemned as oppressors. If you’ve been in government or a largish corporation, you’ve probably had to sit through them. At some point, an employee did a screen capture of one of the slides:

Here the plant management, under the title of “Zero Tolerance,” gave examples of things that could be advocated by employees (BLM, sexual deviance) and things that could not be mentioned (support for police, support for human life).

The slide, via social media, went viral. The required some contortions by corporate management to unsatisfactorily explain what had happened beyond what the slide said: Goodyear was taking sides in a national debate and threatening employees with termination for having incorrect opinions.

READ other RedState coverage of this story:

The Rubber Meets the Virtue Signaling Road: Goodyear Says BLM, LGBT ‘Acceptable’; MAGA, Blue Lives Matter, Not So Much

Goodyear Stepped in It With Its Rejection of “Blue Lives Matter” and Now Its Stock Is in Trouble

Goodyear Is Just One More Example of “Get Woke, Go Broke”

Here’s How Goodyear Responded To Backlash Over Anti-Conservative Bias

Into the middle of what was mostly a social media affair, jumped President Trump

and it got the predictable responses

Note: boycotting a company’s products is not now, nor has it ever been, a facet of the “cancel culture.” It just isn’t. Look up the etymology of “boycott” if you have doubts.

“Managing Editor, Pro Football Talk.” lololol.

The tweet became a brief teacup tempest at the daily sh**show

There are several issues rolled into one here and made much more opaque by President Trump’s fixation on the MAGA gear ban. But let’s clear the decks right now. If you really don’t believe that we are in an existential struggle over the future of the First Amendment in all its parts, then you need to stop reading now because otherwise, your reaction is going to be very much like that of a hog staring at a wristwatch. In my view, you simply cannot look at the events of the past six months and not see we are on the cusp of ceding to government, particularly unelected bureaucracies, the power to limit time, place, and manner of our contacts and interactions with one another, we have seen the right to free exercise of religion curb-stomped with the blessing of John Roberts’s Supreme Court, we have seen the wear of ritual attire that has no purpose beyond signaling the wearer is a loyal drone of the state required.

I don’t think anyone is saying that Goodyear, to the extent that they are an at-will employer, does not have the authority to push whatever corporate propaganda it wishes. I happen to think that supporting a Marxist group that has declared itself hostile to all forms of capitalism and has as a goal the destruction of both the nuclear family and the Constitution might be bad for business, but, then again, I’d also think shutting down US plants and moving those jobs to communist China is bad.

My totally lay opinion is that the ban on political apparel, naming Trump’s message in particular under zero tolerance, while allowing support of BLM, which is backing partisan candidates, is a violation of federal labor law (background). I see people claiming that Biden gear would be banned, too. Still, the absence of such a statement in the slide deck has the effect of forbidding only one candidate from having their message in the workplace while actively encouraging political activity by at least one, but probably a lot more, groups who oppose President Trump.

The real question is, does Goodyear have the right to engage in this kind of douchebaggery with impunity? Of course not. American presidents criticizing American companies over their policies is not new. Obama officially called out Staples and other companies, by name, over what he claimed was an insufficiently generous health care package. The left has aggressively used boycotts to punish companies that conduct business with Israel or which carry a message which the left would prefer you didn’t hear (Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh).

Where I think President Trump went off the rails was by focusing on the MAGA issue. He turned a major trend in enforced silence and enforced cheerleading pushed by corporate America into a narrow and parochial cause focused on himself.

The real issue is the epidemic of American corporations bullying employees into supporting political causes many employees disagree with this. This is not a case of an employer, personally, supporting a cause but of making it clear that employees must either support that cause or remain silent. Such coercion is something no president should stand for. If he objects to the “cancel culture” being used on individuals, he must get behind large employers intimidating their employees into becoming supporters of whatever bullsh** the Woke left is slinging. I also think the call for a boycott was entirely appropriate. This will get the attention of management in a way that no sternly worded note from some conservative legal non-profit will because that tweet caused Goodyear’s stock price to nosedive, and their shareholders and board members will care about that even if the management doesn’t.