The Corporate Response to the Capitol Storming

Jan. 6, 2021 was a historical day that Americans will remember for a long time. 

 

There are clear impacts, like the threat on our democracy. But recently, major companies and institutions are making sizable moves so people understand their disapprovals.

 

Private college Lehigh University in Pennsylvania has rescinded President Trump’s honorary degree. Trump did not attend the university, but received this honorary degree after giving the commencement speech in 1988. Wagner University did the same.

 

Both universities were prompted to do this as a result of the Capitol storming event. However, Lehigh faculty previously attempted to revoke his honorary degree in 2018.

 

Rudy Giuliani, long-time lawyer and friend of Trump, is facing retaliation from the higher education sector as well. Middlebury College is in the process of considering revoking his honorary J.D.

 

YouTube has removed former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s channel. A podcast video of Giuliani’s has also been removed from the platform.

 

The Professional Golfer’s Association championship was scheduled to take place at the Trump National Golf Club in 2022, but this is no longer the case. This decision comes after the PGA president decided to not associate with Trump for the sake of their brand.

 

In the tech world, there have been some major movements. Google, Facebook and Twitter, where political information and misinformation is commonly spread, are suspending all political spending.

 

This comes a few days after Facebook banned Trump’s account at least through the end of his presidency. Twitter suspended Trump indefinitely. After years of these media outlets sticking to their hands-off approach, they have taken the actions they deem necessary. 

 

Aside from Trump, certain Republican lawmakers are under fire from companies that support them. These Republicans have continued to back Trump in his false claims about a fraudulent election. They have also refused to certify the election results.

 

Some big names that have blocked donations to these 147 Republicans are AT&T, Marriott, Airbnb, Dow and Morgan Stanley.

 

Other companies have taken a temporary approach by pausing their donations. These companies are Microsoft, Google, Coca Cola, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs. A pause in donations, rather than a complete stop, helps these companies avoid public criticism while keeping political allies.

 

Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri voted against certifying the election results. As a result, Citigroup, a previous donor to Hawley, is pausing their contributions. Hallmark has asked both Hawley and Senator Roger Marshall from Kansas to return all of their previous contributions.

 

Donations from companies like these are made from political action committees. In 2020, 80 percent of donations were from PAC’s, so they are significant and influential for congressional campaigns.

 

Amidst all of this, impeachment is being strongly considered and discussed in the House.

 

The powerful actions and statements delivered from these various companies and institutions sends a clear message to the public and the Trump administration: this is where the line is drawn. While it is unsure what effects these actions will have, if any, the symbolic aspect could be the most important.

 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/us/politics/trump-politicians-donations-degrees.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/politics/trump-honorary-degree-rescinded-trnd/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/business/corporate-donations-politics.html