Whether it’s banks cutting off financial services to members of disfavored industries like the firearms sector or companies like Levi’s banning guns from stores and donating millions to anti-gun efforts, the gun control lobby has made great strides in convincing the corporate sector to adopt and advocate for their policies and practices over the past decade or so. I’d go so far as to say the biggest victories for the anti-gunners haven’t taken place in courtrooms, statehouses, or even the halls of Congress, but can be found instead in the culture at large.
According to a new Gallup survey, however, Americans are getting sick and tired of being lectured by corporations like these… though it probably won’t come as a surprise that a majority of Democrats are still in support, given that the vast majority of companies who take public sides on issues like gun control embrace the Left’s ideology.
Less than half of U.S. adults (41%) believe businesses should take a public stance on current events, down from 48% in 2022.
The latest findings from the Bentley-Gallup Business in Society Report are based on a web survey with 5,458 U.S. adults conducted May 8-15, 2023, using the probability-based Gallup Panel.
Political party identification has the strongest influence on whether Americans believe corporations should take a public stance. Most Democrats (62%) believe businesses should take a public stance on current events, compared with just 17% of Republicans and 36% of independents. While still high, the percentage of Democrats who believe businesses should take a stance has declined from 75% in 2022. The percentage of independents reporting companies should take a stance has declined slightly, by four percentage points, while Republicans’ views on this issue have remained essentially unchanged.
The 13-point drop in support among Democrats is actually the largest decline of any of the three political ideologies surveyed, so even though roughly two-thirds of the Democrats who were surveyed are still supportive of corporate lectures on social responsibility, even on the Left there’s clearly a growing weariness over being told what to think, do, or say from big corporations.
Interestingly, Gallup found that support or opposition to companies taking public stands on issues depends on what issues we’re talking about. 55% of those surveyed believe it’s appropriate for companies to talk about “climate change”, for instance. Corporate speech about gun control, on the other hand, is far less popular.
Younger Americans are the most supportive of the actions of companies like Levi’s, but even there less than half of 18-to-29-year-olds who were surveyed say they’re in favor of corporate support for gun control. I’m happy to report that my own age demographic is the least supportive of these efforts to sway public opinion, with just one-third of 45-to-59-year-olds in favor.
Of course, some companies have already learned the hard way that their customer base wants their products, not their opinions. As Newsweek reported just a few days ago, Anheuser-Busch is still struggling to recover from its Dylan Mulvaney debacle months after sales of Bud Light started tanking.
The most-recent data from Bernstein in the week ending September 9 saw Bud Light with an 8.9 percent share of the U.S. beer market. This was down from 12 percent immediately before the boycott began.
In the four weeks to September 9, Bud Light sales declined by around 30 percent in both volume and dollar value, compared to the same period a year ago. The statistics were compiled by Bump Williams Consulting.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, Harry Schuhmacher, the Beer Business Daily publisher, said that the latest figures show that the decline in Bud Light sales has become “quasi permanent.”
Schuhmacher added: “You see Bud Light still just stubbornly down around 30 percent in volume compared to last year, which is where it’s been since May or June.
“That tells me that this is quasi-permanent, meaning those consumers are just lost forever,” he said.
Makes sense to me. I haven’t bought a pair of Levi’s in years, though it was once the only brand of jeans I wore. When they decided to start funding gun control efforts I decided they could do so without using any of my money, and I’ve never looked back.
Americans are sending a message that they’re fed up and sick of the haranguing and finger-wagging from the corporate sector, and while this survey alone may not change any attitudes in boardrooms, the recent experiences of companies like Anheuser-Busch and Target are a glaring warning sign to those CEOs who want to enlist their company in the Left’s culture wars; shut up and take our money, or keep talking and watch us walk away.