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Saving US Democracy from Corporate America

Summary:
Don't be fooled by corporate statements defending the rule of law after the insurrection by Donald Trump's supporters at the US Capitol. Having long exploited the US constitutional order for its own gain, corporate America is not suddenly part of the solution; it is part of the problem. WASHINGTON, DC – The insurgency that overran the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, just as Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, was a wake-up call for business in America. And yet, most sectors and companies have looked the other way. The Effort to Disqualify Trump Is Worth It Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

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Don't be fooled by corporate statements defending the rule of law after the insurrection by Donald Trump's supporters at the US Capitol. Having long exploited the US constitutional order for its own gain, corporate America is not suddenly part of the solution; it is part of the problem.

WASHINGTON, DC – The insurgency that overran the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, just as Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, was a wake-up call for business in America. And yet, most sectors and companies have looked the other way.

To its credit, the National Association of Manufacturers responded to the insurrection with a sharply worded statement condemning the violence and calling on political leaders and law enforcement to bring the disorder to an end. “This is not law and order. This is chaos,” the association said. “It is mob rule. It is dangerous.”

The NAM statement has been widely praised in the media. Coming from a trade group that has long supported US President Donald Trump, it is certainly better than the response from those congressional Republicans who have promoted Trump’s lies about the election even after the insurrection. But the NAM statement ultimately falls short in its own way. At stake in the current political crisis is not just “law and order” but democratic constitutionalism itself.

“Law and order,” after all, is what every tinpot dictator invokes after installing themselves in office by whatever means available. In this context, mob rule is often a necessary interlude from one “order” to another. What matters is the extent to which a particular political order adheres to democratic and constitutional principles. This is the criterion by which we distinguish between orders that should be toppled (by revolution or otherwise) and those that should be protected through all constitutional means at our disposal.

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