by Mark Angelides
It was expected that protests to Donald Trump’s Presidency would last for a while, but we have past 100 days and they show no signs of abating. Many have wondered how it is that people can afford to be out protesting every day, and how the permanent protestors are actually supporting themselves.
Soon after Trump’s election, a job ad appeared on Craigslist offering $15 per hour plus gas money for “activists” to protest in different locations around the country courtesy of moveon.org (a Soros funded movement). Many attributed this to a Bernie Sanders group. But the media were quick to dismiss this as a hoax.
The next suspect was Organizing for Action, a group that works for securing Obama’s legacy (Obamacare etc…), who paid for Barack’s website, barackobama.com, is run by former Obama staffer, Eric Holder, and boasts more than 250 offices around the country with more than 30,000 workers (foot soldiers). This group (suspiciously?) receives almost no media attention.
But now, Californian companies have admitted publically that they are paying their employees to protest, engage politically, and carry out “activist” activities. William Morgan, founder and CEO of Buoyant (a tech company), says: “It’s not sufficient anymore to say we’re a profit engine and we’re making money and screw everything else. It’s part of our responsibility to be engaged, to be active,” and “We as individuals, we as companies exist in an ecosystem. We’re only here because there’s this environment around us. It can’t just be a one-way relationship.” And of course he has every right to pay his employees to get involved in political activism (as long as they are willing). But there are major questions that need to be answered.
- Would he afford the same opportunities for political engagement to employees who have different views to his own? For example, if a Donald Trump supporter wanted to protest a protest, or join a show of solidarity with fellow Trump fans, would they be allowed to do so under the same rules without censure?
- A two parter. Firstly, is his company receiving anything in return for its actions? E.g. Contracts, access to officials, patronage, money, advertising exposure etc..? And secondly, when elections occur (of any level), will the Democrats be registering your company’s efforts as some kind of donation? Clearly it is money being spent on a campaign, possibly hundreds of full-time workers hitting the streets, being paid, to help defeat a political opponent – Surely this falls under some kind of regulation?
- Are your customers aware that the money they spend is going directly to a political cause? If a person gave money to a charity, they’d like to know which one. If a customer doesn’t want to support your politics through their purchases, they should be made aware of where the money is going. (If I knew that money I spent with a company was going to support something I disapproved of, like sweat-shops for example, I would want to know).
America is a supposedly free country, and people are free to engage in most any practice they wish. But politics is heavily regulated for a reason. If people are finding ways to circumvent rules and the democratic process, other people need to know.