If you’re one of those people whose interest in things political extends beyond getting the uppity black dude out of your White House you may know that yesterday, Coca Cola has pulled its financial support from ALEC, an extreme right wing political group formed to promote voter suppression and intimidation efforts across the country.
America’s largest beverage company elected to end it’s support of and participation in the efforts of ALEC to disenfranchise poor and minority voters, claiming that it had only taken part in those efforts because it thought the organization was fighting “discriminatory food and beverage taxes”. A press release from Coke stated that the company dos not take sides on “issues that have no direct bearing on our business. We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our Company and industry”.
Yeah, right. We don’t need to go there right now but the important thing is that Coca Cola appears to have carefully weighed the consequences of supporting any group or organization that is openly attempting to suppress the rights of 99% of the population against it’s need to sell products to that same 99% and decided that it would be more profitable to take the high road, at least this time.
What you may not know yet is that this morning, it was announced that the country’s second largest beverage company, PepsiCo, had also ended its relationship with ALEC. In fact, Pepsi had ended that relationship in January but for whatever reason had decided to withhold the information until today. Obviously, there is speculation in Punditdom that Pepsi’s action and the fact that it was about to become public played a major role in Coke’s decision but Coke isn’t about to say so and we’ll never really know. ::wink::
What this tells us though, is that as Americans we still have a weapon to use in this war. Remember when we thought all we had was our votes and the plutarchy responded by making our votes all but meaningless by buying up BOTH of the major parties and passing laws like the ones being promoted by ALEC? They didn’t disarm us by any means. You have a weapon they fear far more than they fear any consequences of which little cooky cutter twit they conjure up as a “choice”. And that weapon is your wallet.
Neither Pepsi nor Coke give a hair on a rat’s ass about your voting rights and whether you vote or not. Hell, read Coke’s weaselly little “explanation” for moving away from ALEC on the bench. All Coke and Pepsi care about is the same thing any other ginormous corporation cares about… maximizing return on their investments and they’ve looked at the demographics and realize that not only are there a lot more
poor not rich and/or minority people out there than there are the other kind, they are the ones most likely to buy the products the two companies sell.
So, this isn’t going to win Coke and Pepsi any rewards for citizenship, let alone altruism. The people running those companies are no different than the bloodsuckers running the rest of the Wall Street house of cards. It just happens that it’s in their best financial interests to appear to be “on your side” right now. But what it does… or should do… is tell you that you don’t have to take this crap if you don’t want to. Along with the successful campaigns against entrenched professional rectal orifices like Glenn Beck and more recently, Rush Limbaugh, it does prove that there is still something that the oligarchy fears… the American consumer. In a country whose very foundations are rooted in the bedrock of consumerism, pissing off the consumer is definitely something they need avoid… at least for a while.
So here’s the deal; Quite simply, stop buying their crap. Yeah, yeah, there are things you have to have and necessities you can’t do without yadayada but if every one of us got up one morning and said to ourselves, “You know, I’m not buying any more extraneous bullshit!”, and then stuck to it… for just a month or even a week… we’d send a damned message that even Limbaugh couldn’t ignore. Who knows what might happen? One thing’s for damned certain though… until and unless we try something, we’re going to continue to be flipping well and truly boned and that’s a feeling I don’t really care to have.
For those looking for a little more info on ALEC itself, the following, sourced from a report by the Center for American Progress sums it up neatly:
ALEC charges corporations such as Koch Industries Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and The Coca-Cola Co. a fee and gives them access to members of state legislatures. Under ALEC’s auspices, legislators, corporate representatives, and ALEC officials work together to draft model legislation. As ALEC spokesperson Michael Bowman told NPR, this system is especially effective because “you have legislators who will ask questions much more freely at our meetings because they are not under the eyes of the press, the eyes of the voters.”
Hopefully, you do understand that ALEC is doing nothing less than selling access to YOUR state legislators… access that I’d bet a dollar to a dessicated kangaroo scrotum that you yourself don’t have and never will have because you can’t afford it chump.
And that’s America’s current version of democracy in action. I can only hope for one of two things for your sake… either that you’re happy with that or that you have the balls to stand on your hind legs and do something about it.