Sputnik: How can corporations’ engagement in the political process affect democracy?
John Di Lemme: Well, they can massively affect democracy because they're getting involved here in America with corporate politics and then making corporate decisions that really have nothing to do with products and services such as, for example, Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola. They have nothing to do with the political decisions here in America. They are corporations that provide a product. Obviously, Delta provides transport and Coca-Cola provides beverages; it has nothing to do with political decisions here in America. They just get intimidated by, 'certain people' that say, “you’d better go along with what our community wants or else we're not going to buy your products.” They intimidate. And it's a huge, huge, horrible decision. It actually gets to a point where it's embarrassing for the companies.
Sputnik: Why do big companies such as Coca Cola feel entitled to lecture governments on legislation that passed through Congress?
John Di Lemme: Great question: intimidation. I always say conservatives are very nice, very respectful. You don't see them burning down buildings and starting fights and rioting. Then you take a handful of people that become ‘the woke community’. They're the ones that get in your face and say: “You’d better agree with us, or else we're not going to use your product or we're going to talk bad about you on social media”. To kind of summarise it, corporations get intimidated by what they think people are going to say about them. And it's completely wrong. It's totally wrong. There was no reason for Coca-Cola to respond at all to the Georgia law.
That was cited by Brian Kemp, which is by the by. It's simply just ID, like I show right here. I'm in Florida - we need a voter ID card. It's very simple. It's not rocket science. Like, I made a joke saying, 'Look, I'm going to go on Delta Airlines, I'm going to bring no ID. I don't want to bring my ID. I don't want to have my ID. Why do I need ID? I'm just going to fly with no ID'. It makes no sense. No sense at all.
Sputnik: How can the intervention of big business in the political process affect the government's efforts to deal with pandemic-related economic issues?
John Di Lemme: It's massively affecting the economic issues here in America and around the world, because they're getting involved in the personal decisions of people's lives, that have nothing to do with capitalism. You know, these are corporations that produce a product and/or service. Individuals and consumers have a choice to consume the product; there should be no political relationship with the product.
It's having a massive effect among people, because what they're doing is turning people against people for products and services, which makes no sense at all.
Who would have thought just a few years ago that Delta and Coca-Cola would be involved in literally removing - basically being part of Major League Baseball moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Georgia, which is going to cost all the local businesses there about a hundred million dollars of revenue and destroy the community, which is just insane. So, I mean, that's a major effect because it affects the bottom line.
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