Senator Marco Rubio: Speech I Disagree With Is Pollution

from the try-that-again-senator dept

Senator Marco Rubio keeps trying to act Trump-like, but he just can't pull it off. He actually knows what he's saying is bullshit and unlike some other politicians, it's pretty obvious when Rubio is play-acting populist nonsense, rather than having any real conviction behind it. His latest is a NY Post opinion piece in which he takes on the new favorite punching bag of Republicans-who-have-no-principles-left: what is stupidly being referred to as "woke" corporations.. This is, of course, somewhat hilarious for anyone who followed decades of Republican politics in which over and over the politicians insisted that companies could do no wrong. But now that some companies are pushing back on Republican-inspired nonsense, suddenly they have to be labeled as "woke" and punished.

I won't go through the entire op-ed, but I will just pull out a quote towards the end that sums up how ridiculous and authoritarian this kind of nonsense truly is. In it, Rubio basically says that political views from companies he disagrees with are on the same level as pollution.

No policymaker would allow a company to dump toxic waste into a river upstream of a thriving town he is charged with governing. Yet corporate America eagerly dumps woke, toxic nonsense into our culture, and it’s only gotten more destructive with time. These campaigns will be met with the same strength that any other polluter should expect.

Our nation needs a thriving private economy. And patriotic business leadership has historically underwritten the American Dream. But lawmakers who have been asleep at the wheel for too long, especially within my own party, need to wake up. America’s laws should keep our nation’s corporations firmly ordered to our national common good.

Got that? Political views that go against Rubio are "toxic waste" and therefore must be regulated. Of course, corporations that have views that Rubio agrees with are somehow all about fresh air and freedom.

This is nothing less than blatant authoritarianism -- threatening companies for taking such crazy political stands as "Americans should be able to vote" and "we'd prefer not to support people who wish to overthrow elections." Rubio knows all of this. He's not that stupid. But he seems to think he has to play up this nonsense if he wants to win elections these days. And, thus the real issue here is not "woke" corporations. It's authoritarian attacks on free speech like Rubio's.

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Filed Under: free speech, marc rubio, pollution, toxic waste, woke corporations


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  • icon
    CSMcDonald (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:42pm

    As a FL resident....

    I would just like to single out this sentence as being particularly amusing given the state of the environment in Florida:
    "No policymaker would allow a company to dump toxic waste into a river upstream of a thriving town he is charged with governing."

    Hi Marco, are you familiar with the red tides and algae blooms caused by runoffs from the farming industry into Lake Okeechobee and then flowing down the rivers to flow into the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean causing havoc to the various water based businesses in the towns that rely on them?

    Or the current situation in Bradenton with a phosphate dumping pond threatening to overflow causing the evacuation of local residents a couple of weeks ago?

    Which politicians have been in charge of this state and allowing these industries free and unregulated power to do whatever they want again?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      jal, 28 Apr 2021 @ 6:05pm

      Re: As a FL resident....

      No, see, he's against *metaphorical* toxic waste. It sounds icky, doesn't it? Works well in a speech. But real toxic waste - that's different. People will pay him good money to let them dump that shit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:42pm

    'No policymaker would allow a company to dump toxic waste into a river upstream of a thriving town he is charged with governing.'

    The blind eyes shown to corner cutting, union busting, lowered environmental standards and wild and thoughtless deregulation of farming, mining and heavy industry in red states, and the machete taken to the EPA every time a republican is put into the whitehouse begs to differ.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:43pm

    No policymaker would allow a company to dump toxic waste into a river upstream of a thriving town he is charged with governing.

    I can’t believe a newspaper would let Marco Rubio lie like that about his fellow Republicans, who never met a polluting company from which they didn’t happily accept kickbacks and political donations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bluegrass Geek (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:44pm

    Anything that comes out of Marco Rubio is toxic waste, therefore he should be regulated.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 1:46pm

    Symptom of a much wider problem

    Hear that (again) corporations, republicans don't want you interfering with politics and consider your contributions no different than toxic waste so honor their wishes and stop giving them money, can't have you 'polluting' their campaigns after all.

    But he seems to think he has to play up this nonsense if he wants to win elections these days. And, thus the real issue here is not "woke" corporations. It's authoritarian attacks on free speech like Rubio's.

    That's part of the issue sure, the bigger issue I'd say is that he expects that it will be a successful tactic, that authoritarianism and cracking down on free speech is a good look for the people who will be voting to keep him in office, because if that's not the case then he'd be trivial to replace come the next election he runs but if his assumption is correct then that means there are a lot of people in his state/party for whom those are positive traits, which is just a wee bit more concerning as it means that any anti-free speech and anti-free market authoritarian will have no problem being elected when running for position in that party.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    LACanuck (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 2:16pm

    So Rubio wants to create the SMePA? The Social Media Protection Agency?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 2:25pm

      More “Prosecution” than “Protection”, but essentially.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 2:30pm

        Re:

        Protection still works, you just need to frame it mobster style.

        'Nice company you got there, be a shame if you were to say the wrong thing and something were to happen to it...'

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Apr 2021 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      "So Rubio wants to create the SMePA? The Social Media Protection Agency?"

      More like a "Geheime Staatspolizei" to monitor and suppress "undesirable speech" and "entartete kunst" in the online environment of chat clubs, coffee shops and art halls.

      It's somehow both uncanny and frightening how republican politicians these days end up dropping lines right out of the original nazi playbook. Even moreso that the flirting with outright nazi ideals of government have become so plentiful and blunt you can't just pass it off as ineptitude and unfortunate coincidence anymore.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 2:46pm

    No policymaker would allow a company to dump toxic waste into a river upstream of a thriving town he is charged with governing.

    I'd like to meet this No Policymaker and shake their hand and thank them profusely. They have to be one of the few who care.

    Yet corporate America eagerly dumps woke, toxic nonsense into our culture, and it’s only gotten more destructive with time.

    Silencing something something, i don't know, whatever.

    These campaigns will be met with the same strength that any other polluter should expect.

    That is, none. Unless it is actual assistance in avoiding regulations or responsibility for anything.

    Do go on, Marco.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 2:49pm

      Re:

      Or they are all "No Policymaker" and allow toxic pollution and removal of regulation and make enforcement impossible. I have difficulty parsing ludicrous rhetoric.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 2:54pm

    Yet corporate America eagerly dumps woke, toxic nonsense into our culture, and it’s only gotten more destructive with time.

    Like the NY Post? It kind of looks like he's talking about his own article here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 2:56pm

    Employing an op/ed writer

    Are you employing a Democrat to write your Op/Eds or spewing the industry bullshit? By today's standards, both are reason for expulsion.

    Congrats, turbo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 3:35pm

      Re: Employing an op/ed writer

      Wut?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 3:46pm

        Re: Re: Employing an op/ed writer

        Maybe it's a new variant of spam/troll -ing.
        (or at least it doesn't look to me quite like our other trolls).

        Also, accidentally clicked preview on a totally empty box. and it showed up (instead of complaining). Might want to make that (and submission if it isn't already) throw an error.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2021 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re: Employing an op/ed writer

        Sounds like some sort of ethnostater dreaming their imaginary future.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 4:10pm

    Got Triggered

    Got that? Political views that go against Rubio are "toxic waste" and therefore must be regulated.

    I always knew you were a lefist, because you can't help but get triggered anytime an elected official insults SJW woke corporatists. Thanks again for the confirmation.

    Anyhow, it's a little disingenuous for you to say this, because I know that you're going to equate the term "regulated" with "policy positions on free speech". However, Rubio never advocated for policy positions regarding free speech in the op-ed.

    Instead, I love the sound of the policy positions that he DOES mention. I do like the idea of increasing taxes and imposing tariffs on corporations that manufacture products overseas and steal American jobs. I do think that being able to form a union is a right, and corporations should have to operate on a level playing field globally with regard to labor. And perhaps corporations that cooperate with the Chinese government, after what the Chinese government did to the Uighurs, should face some sort of economic sanctions. Those are some policies that I can definitely get behind. I'd love to see Rubio and any other populist-wing Republicans work together with Democrats to make it happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 4:22pm

      Re: Got Triggered

      You are supporting those who would march you through a gate labelled "Work makes you free".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 4:27pm

      Re: Got Triggered

      I always knew you were a lefist, because you can't help but get triggered anytime an elected official insults SJW woke corporatists. Thanks again for the confirmation.

      Koby did you even read the thing you pasted?

      ANY US official suggesting that people who disagree with them need to face additional regulation is a first amendment violation. He is free to insult corporations all he wants, however just as it would be wrong for a congress person suggest that you, Koby, should be facing additional regulation, tax audits, etc for posting misinformation on Techdirt, it's also wrong to use Federal power to threaten corporations for speech that isn't liked.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 5:14pm

      SJW woke

      Please define each of these two terms, independently of each other, in a way that isn’t grounded in grievance politics bullshit.

      you're going to equate the term "regulated" with "policy positions on free speech"

      When someone wants to regulate a corporation based heavily (if not entirely) on the fact that the someone in question disagrees with the speech of the corporation, yes, it is a “policy position on free speech”. You can want to regulate corporations without also wanting to piss on the First Amendment.

      I'd love to see Rubio and any other populist-wing Republicans work together with Democrats to make it happen.

      And I’d love to fuck a porn star during her prime, but both your wish and mine have a barely existent chance of ever happening within the next three-and-a-half years. Republicans see no reason to work with Democrats these days because the GOP cares more about grievance politics — about “owning the libs” and playing to the grievances of its largely White and largely Christian voting base — than it does about actually governing.

      Hell, can you even name a single policy position of the GOP that isn’t “whatever the libs say, we’re the opposite” and isn’t dependent on grievance politics?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 5:49pm

      Re:

      SJW woke corporatists

      ...What the fuck does this even mean? You do realize individuals usually branded as "SJW woke" constantly rant about corporations and undesirable status quos, right?

      I do like the idea of increasing taxes and imposing tariffs on corporations that manufacture products overseas and steal American jobs

      Your boy Trump decided that instead of punishing corporations he'd reward them with tax cuts. No, seriously, think about it: what has Trump done during his Presidency to actually build up the manufacturing sector of the US, aside from a Foxconn deal that did jack all?

      I do think that being able to form a union is a right, and corporations should have to operate on a level playing field globally with regard to labor

      Oh, you sweet summer child Koby, you actually think the Republicans are the ones who're going to deliver this to you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JMT (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 8:28pm

        Re: Re:

        "What the fuck does this even mean?"

        It means Koby received this weeks GOP talking points.

        It always makes me laugh when politicians all start using exactly the same buzzwords on practically the same day, words they've barely used before and probably don't really understand. It's as if they don't realize how completely false and cringey it sounds.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 28 Apr 2021 @ 6:02pm

      Re: Thy name is hypocrisy

      However, Rubio never advocated for policy positions regarding free speech in the op-ed.

      He didn't? Funny, he ragged on corporations daring to speak their mind and how terrible it was that they could say bad things about politicians. There aren't many ways to interpret that. I thought you where for free-speech? Oh..I see, my mistake, it seems you are only for free-speech you agree with.

      And perhaps corporations that cooperate with the Chinese government, after what the Chinese government did to the Uighurs, should face some sort of economic sanctions. Those are some policies that I can definitely get behind.

      I can get behind some policies too, like forcing hypocrites like you to actually follow through on your own ideas. So how about you put your money where your mouth is and stop buying and using stuff made in China, because otherwise you are indirectly supporting China persecuting the Uighurs. You'll find that the only stuff you can then buy are found at a farmers market at best.

      I'd love to see Rubio and any other populist-wing Republicans

      I see you have labeled them correctly, populist. Populists tend to fuck things up and damage the economy which usually take decades to fix.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Koby (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 6:47pm

        Re: Re: Thy name is hypocrisy

        He didn't? Funny, he ragged on corporations daring to speak their mind and how terrible it was that they could say bad things about politicians. There aren't many ways to interpret that. I thought you where for free-speech? Oh..I see, my mistake, it seems you are only for free-speech you agree with.

        Ragging on corporations isn't anti-free speech. Pointing out that corporations are acting in a slimy manner isn't an attack on free speech. Criticism is a right that is guaranteed by free speech, not an attack on free speech. As I've said many times before, the solution to others saying things with which you disagree is to talk back against it. I really hope you try to look at the policy positions.

        I see you have labeled them correctly, populist. Populists tend to fuck things up and damage the economy which usually take decades to fix.

        I'll take being a populist over being a corporatist any day of the week. I'm not saying that you're a corporatist, but I'm proud to be on the side that corporations hate the most. The economic standard of living of society has already been heavily skewed out of proportion because of corporate power over the past few decades. The damage is already here. Support dialing them back.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 8:56pm

          Ragging on corporations isn't anti-free speech.

          But it is hypocritical if, say, the person doing said ragging was completely on the side of the corporations up until those corporations said something that person didn’t like.

          Pointing out that corporations are acting in a slimy manner isn't an attack on free speech.

          Depends on what you consider “acting in a slimy manner”. In the case of conservatives like Rubio, it apparently means — in their general parlance, not mine — “treating the Blacks and the queers like people”, because those lawmakers sure as shit don’t seem to care about taking Hobby Lobby down a peg or three.

          Criticism is a right that is guaranteed by free speech, not an attack on free speech.

          Criticism paired with threats both veiled and direct to regulate/punish speakers because of their speech does attack free speech. If Rubio has a problem with corporations “going woke”, saying as much before he suggests regulating corporations is giving away the game.

          the solution to others saying things with which you disagree is to talk back against it

          Yes or no: Should a queer person have to continually talk over a bigot who, say, claims being gay is a choice and anyone who chooses to be gay is a sinner who deserves to burn (in this life or the next)?

          Approaches such as “ignore bad speech” and “talk over bad speech” don’t always work. Plenty of bigots have been talked at, yelled at, and ignored without ever changing their bigoted ways. At that point, the only real solution is “push them out of the community” — because that’s how the “freedom of association” clause of the First Amendment works.

          I'm proud to be on the side that corporations hate the most.

          I hope, someday, that you realize how corporations helped the populist movement known as the Third Reich. I’m not saying you yourself are a Nazi…but Hitler sure as shit saw himself as a populist.

          Support dialing them back.

          I do.

          I support raising the minimum wage to double the current popular proposal ($30 instead of $15). I support creating a maximum wage so executives can only make a specific amount of money as determined by a simple equation (e.g., seven times the annual salary of the lowest paid worker) unless they raise the wages of the lowest paid workers in the company. Hell, I support getting rid of “golden parachutes” and “exit bonuses” that often reward executive failure with millions of dollars.

          And whether a corporation says things with which I agree or disagree has absolutely no bearing on those stances.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Bloof (profile), 29 Apr 2021 @ 1:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Thy name is hypocrisy

          It's been fascinating watching Koby's mask slip off in slow motion and shatter on the floor as he's gone from enlightened centrist worried about corporate power (affecting the right} libertarian who cares about free speech (but only that of people on the right), to openly embracing the language of modern day fascists as nobody was buying his insincere calls for fairness.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Apr 2021 @ 6:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Thy name is hypocrisy

            "It's been fascinating watching Koby's mask slip off in slow motion and shatter on the floor..."

            It has indeed. He's not even pretending anymore and to be fair I can't blame him for giving up on trying to fake a reasonable persona when everytime he drops a massive whopper he gets schooled by half of Techdirt.

            Give it half a year and we won't be able to tell him apart from Shel10 and Restless94110.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2021 @ 12:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Thy name is hypocrisy

            No wonder the GOP are so psychotic in their hatred of masks. They took theirs off under Trump and don't want to put it on again to not be shunned by even remotely decent society.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 May 2021 @ 7:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thy name is hypocrisy

              "They took theirs off under Trump and don't want to put it on again to not be shunned by even remotely decent society."

              GOP under Trump: "We can finally say the N-word again!! Light them torches, hoist the odal, swastika, and the colors o' the south and let's march!!"

              GOP Post Trump: "This ain't fair! Them entitled liberals is bein' all MEAN to us! Ah feel like a second-class citizen just fer tellin' them <N-word>s to know thar place! Ahm bein oppressed! Hows' that any fair?!"

              Those people have always been fscking horrible. They cheered when GWB was lying his ass off about WMD's so he could become a wartime president, they damn well came in their pants when Cheney advocated torture...and when Trump became president it was just christmas 365 days a year for four years.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2021 @ 2:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Thy name is hypocrisy

          I'll take being a populist over being a corporatist any day of the week. I'm not saying that you're a corporatist, but I'm proud to be on the side that corporations hate the most. The economic standard of living of society has already been heavily skewed out of proportion because of corporate power over the past few decades. The damage is already here. Support dialing them back.

          You have totally missed the point. If you think that a populist can make things better by trampling all over the first amendment, don't be surprised when you discover he has done other shit you had no idea about that will seriously fuck things up. Also, a populist will say almost anything to get people like you to support them - people who stops using reason when they hear something that resonates with their beliefs, as you have aptly demonstrated several times.

          And being proud to be on the side corporations hate the most? What side is that? Communists? IRS? Anti-corporate vigilantes? Green Peace?

          Or do you think corporations hate populists? No, they usually just pay them off.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Rocky, 29 Apr 2021 @ 4:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Thy name is hypocrisy

            The comment above is mine btw.

            I'll just add something my father once said in regards to supporting populist politicians:

            You don't hitch your cart to the horse with the nicest horn for a good reason, because you have either been suckered into buying a lame horse with a stick glued to its forehead or an animal that most likely will gore you after a wild ride.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2021 @ 12:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Thy name is hypocrisy

            Corporations and their industry groups literally buy and create "populists".

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2021 @ 5:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm proud to be on the side that corporations hate the most

          It's funny that you think the Republicans are the ones who hate corporations the most. You know, the ones who hated corporations so much they gave them a tax break during the Trump presidency. I'm still waiting for any of that to trickle down while the Foxconn Wisconsin plant went tits up.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2021 @ 7:58pm

      Re: Got Triggered

      Rubio changed his mind. He's done it before, that promise he made not to run for reelection back during the 2016 primary comes to mind.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2021 @ 12:18pm

      Re: Got Triggered

      So, what do you call it when you do this, if not "triggered"?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 6:43pm

    "No policymaker would allow a company to dump toxic waste into a river upstream of a thriving town he is charged with governing."

    Said by the man who grabbed his kids & fled his home state during a MASSIVE emergency to party in a nation he claims is evil & attacking us.

    Also someone might want to show Ted the THOUSANDS of cases of elected officials screwing those they were meant to represent & protect because the donations were large enough to keep them in office in the face of the bodycount their actions caused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Devonavar, 28 Apr 2021 @ 8:57pm

    No policymaker

    "No policymaker would allow a company to dump toxic waste into a river upstream of a thriving town he is charged with governing."

    Rubio: Meet Jason Kenny and his "mountain-top removal" coal mining program in the watershed of the Oldman River.

    I see that I'm not the only one who twigged on to this line...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Devonavar, 28 Apr 2021 @ 9:09pm

    Evidence Missing

    "Got that? Political views that go against Rubio are "toxic waste" and therefore must be regulated. Of course, corporations that have views that Rubio agrees with are somehow all about fresh air and freedom."

    Is there some missing context here? Rubio's words, as quoted here, don't support the idea that he's targeting opposing political views ... just "woke corporate PR" in general.

    On that note, I'm inclined to (reluctantly) agree with Rubio, though I would never be caught dead using the word "woke".

    Show me any commercial (TV or online), and I'll show you an example of insincere virtue signalling. It's not hard to imagine that such commercials have a cultural influence (marketing works), but also signalling that saying the right words insincerely is normal and acceptable.

    I think that concern is valid, and I don't see how it's partisan in any way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Apr 2021 @ 9:19pm

      Rubio's words, as quoted here, don't support the idea that he's targeting opposing political views ... just "woke corporate PR" in general.

      What do you think is meant by “woke corporate PR” in this situation?

      Show me any commercial (TV or online), and I'll show you an example of insincere virtue signalling. It's not hard to imagine that such commercials have a cultural influence (marketing works), but also signalling that saying the right words insincerely is normal and acceptable.

      I’m sure you have plenty of examples from, say, conservative-leaning corporations. Go ahead, show us some. I insist.

      I think that concern is valid, and I don't see how it's partisan in any way.

      That concern becomes partisan when, like Rubio and other conservative lawmakers, it focuses on “woke corporations” and “woke speech” (e.g., MLB and its decision to move the All-Star Game from Georgia in the wake of that new voting restrictions law). That concern becomes partisan when it focuses too much about punishing certain corporations for their speech instead of their shitty business practices.

      I support reigning in corporations and forcing them to pay their fair share. Virtue signaling from “progressive” corporations and vice signaling from conservative corporations doesn’t figure into that stance at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Devonavar, 30 Apr 2021 @ 11:57pm

        Re:

        What do you think is meant by “woke corporate PR” in this situation?

        PR that signals the company's moral superiority as a way to pander to potential customers.

        I’m sure you have plenty of examples from, say, conservative-leaning corporations. Go ahead, show us some. I insist.

        I tend to assume that most corporations lean somewhat conservative without strong evidence otherwise, but I haven't made a habit of following the political leanings of many companies. So, forgive me if I've gotten the political leanings of Coca-Cola (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR50Vb_AWHI) and McDonalds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCx0hweSJCY) wrong.

        Categorically speaking, greenwashing is like a prime example of this happening. Any oil company (Shell) or car company (GM) selling themselves as ecologically friendly runs a strong risk of selling fake "wokeness" ... and I wouldn't expect many companies in these industries to lean left.

        More to my point, all commercials do this. Advertising works on the basis of attaching a brand to certain values. To varying extents, commercials work by signalling the moral desirability of the brands they advertise. Commercials may be more or less explicit (and effective) at doing this, but the underlying principle of advertising is based on signalling virtue.

        The fact that we take moral cues from people selling us crap is a problem, and just because it's Marco Rubio pointing this out doesn't make that any less true.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 8:47am

          PR that signals the company's moral superiority as a way to pander to potential customers.

          You mean like the “we’re real free speech services” PR of services like Gab and Parler? 🤔

          See, there’s the problem with using what was once liberal/progressive terminology that has now been coöpted by conservatives (e.g., “woke”): By using it in reference to anything that you dislike, you make it mean nothing, such that it can apply to anything regardless of whether you like it. Is 8kun any less “woke” than Twitter for promising “true free speech” on its service?

          Advertising works on the basis of attaching a brand to certain values. To varying extents, commercials work by signalling the moral desirability of the brands they advertise. Commercials may be more or less explicit (and effective) at doing this, but the underlying principle of advertising is based on signalling virtue.

          Would you prefer they signal vice instead? Would you prefer they signal hatred and anger?

          Yes, all advertising works on the idea that “our brand rules, all other brands suck”. No one disputes that. But marketers get far, far, far, far, far more mileage out of “our brand rules, come enjoy our brand” than with “our brand rules, fuck you to hell if you think otherwise”.

          The fact that we take moral cues from people selling us crap is a problem, and just because it's Marco Rubio pointing this out doesn't make that any less true.

          But it does make Marco Rubio — a politician who has most likely accepted large donations (and policy suggestions) from some of the same corporations about which he now complains — a hypocrite.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Devonavar, 2 May 2021 @ 6:18pm

            Re:

            You mean like the “we’re real free speech services” PR of services like Gab and Parler?

            Yes, I mean exactly like that. Stop assuming anyone who you disagree with is conservative.

            By using it in reference to anything that you dislike, you make it mean nothing, such that it can apply to anything regardless of whether you like it

            1. Let me quote the only time I've used the word "woke" outside of a quote: "I would never be caught dead using the word 'woke'." Explain to me how you came to interpret that as me using the word in reference to anything I dislike?
            2. In my experience, "woke" is already pretty meaningless ... and I don't see this particular thread helping that situation.

            Is 8kun any less “woke” than Twitter for promising “true free speech” on its service?

            I've never heard of 8kun, but promising "true free speech" sure sounds like moralizing crap to me. I'm not sure how Twitter comes into this ... but if they are also spouting moralizing crap, then I'd call them equivalent.

            Would you prefer they signal vice instead? Would you prefer they signal hatred and anger?

            I would prefer they signal nothing at all. I would prefer to live in a world where serious conversations (and voting campaigns) are not conducted through paid advertising. Sadly, this is not the world we live in, but I appreciate Rubio recognizing that fact.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 7:10pm

              Stop assuming anyone who you disagree with is conservative.

              Considering the article under which these comments sit, and the tenor of your prior comment in this specific thread, maybe you can understand why I make that assumption.

              I would prefer they signal nothing at all.

              I’d prefer corporations be open about what they’re willing to support and what they’re willing to decry — like, say, a voting restrictions bill aimed at depressing voter turnout among Black voters. I’d prefer to know which companies I can support without generally feeling (too) morally bankrupt and (too) ethically compromised. (And I’d prefer to get corporate money out of politics so that some rich dipshit can’t buy laws that fuck over regular jackoffs.)

              I would prefer to live in a world where serious conversations (and voting campaigns) are not conducted through paid advertising.

              So what are you going to do about it? Because bitching on a tech blog about how Coke has more influence in politics and political discussions than you do ain’t gonna change one motherfucking thing.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Tanner Andrews (profile), 5 May 2021 @ 2:09am

          Re: Re: [how advertising works]

          To varying extents, commercials work by signalling the moral desirability of the brands they advertise

          Well, I would like to think that some commercials work by explaining the virtues of their product, possibly as compared to others. ``Our floor polish lasts longer than that of Brand X'', or ``Our caffeinated beverage contains more white sugar and caffein than the Other Brand''.

          And some, I think, work on the theory of positive reinforcement. ``Here is a coupon for our product'', or ``More people enjoy our well-made product''.

          The ads that work for me are not so much signalling virtue of the vendors, but quality of the goods and services.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Apr 2021 @ 6:56am

      Re: Evidence Missing

      "Rubio's words, as quoted here, don't support the idea that he's targeting opposing political views ... just "woke corporate PR" in general."

      There are three things you need to evaluate before you can make accurate judgment on a statement;

      1) Accuracy.
      2) Context.
      3) Origin - or expanded, qui bono?.

      Rubio's assertions fails all three and he comes off as about as convincing as any other known grifter lamenting the state of something which may or may not be a problem in order to leverage the alleged issue for his own ends.

      "Show me any commercial (TV or online), and I'll show you an example of insincere virtue signalling."

      Which isn't what Rubio is talking about. When he speaks of "woke toxic nonsense" we need to consider the source - a man who cautiously lies about climate change, blaming China for it, thinks the EPA is "too burdensome", is a "pro-life" maximalist, and has lately tried to out-dogwhistle the likes of Hawley in order to pad his election base with as many Trump adherents as possible.

      I don't take the word of a nazi when it comes to the dangers of racial impurity and I don't take the word of a republican talking about the "anti-conservative bias" which similarly no one has ever managed to actually show.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Devonavar, 1 May 2021 @ 12:13am

        Re: Re: Evidence Missing

        My post wasn't aimed at what Rubio said. I'm saying the words that Mike quoted didn't provide enough context to back up his assertion that Rubio was only complaining about non-conservative PR.

        I'm quite prepared to believe that Mike is, in fact, correct about this. But he didn't prove it. He was sloppy in writing the post, and the words he quoted do not back up the conclusion he draws from it.

        And, as much as I respect Mike and tend to agree with his conclusions, I still expect him to back up his assertions with evidence. In this case, he has not provided that evidence, though it may well exist.

        And, sorry, I don't buy that saying "qui bono" is sufficient evidence (not to mention, Mike didn't cite qui bono).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 8:53am

          I'm saying the words that Mike quoted didn't provide enough context to back up his assertion that Rubio was only complaining about non-conservative PR.

          Then read the original column from Rubio. The context is clear: He dislikes “woke” corporate PR. And to conservatives like Rubio, “woke” means “leftist” — like the “leftist” PR move from Major League Baseball (moving the All-Star Game out of Georgia) in support of “leftist ideology” (opposing the new voting restrictions law in Georgia that will disproportionately affect people of color and thus subvert democracy across the state).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Devonavar, 2 May 2021 @ 6:32pm

            Re:

            Then read the original column from Rubio.

            Why? I don't care what Rubio thinks. He's not worth wasting my time on. I happen to agree with one sentence from the two paragraphs that Mike quoted, and that one sentence came immediately after an absolute whopping turd of a statement about the honesty of policymakers that I and many others here easily exposed as bullshit.

            I care what Mike thinks. That's why I read him. And when he writes something that isn't well supported, I figure that's worth pointing out. He is capable of much, much better.

            In all honesty, (and I hope Mike is reading this), I would prefer he had never wasted his time writing this post or my time reading it. The blather that comes out of Rubio's mouth isn't worth blogging about.

            Techdirt has changed many policy discussions and broken many important stories. It didn't do that by posting hot takes on words from stupid politicians. It did it by carefully explaining how tech and policy intersect, and making a reasoned case for why a certain policy is worthwhile. This post contains none of that.

            All this story did was give Rubio's words free publicity and lend them legitimacy. Mike should have ignored it, not written about it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 May 2021 @ 7:03pm

              Mike doesn’t write according to your preferences; go somewhere else if you can’t deal with that. And being an American, I’d like to know when an American lawmaker is being a hypocritical ass — especially when their hypocrisy could affect free speech rights.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2021 @ 12:34am

    But he seems to think he has to play up this nonsense if he wants to win elections these days

    The really depressing part is that he's almost certainly right to think that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Apr 2021 @ 6:58am

      Re:

      Of course he is. Sane 1950's-era republicans are democrats today. His voters are basically an aging population of Cuban exiles and arch-conservatives halfway into the grave.

      The only voters he's able to reach today without being ostracized by his party for being an apostate is going to be the ones who'd like a whiter approach to government.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2021 @ 2:29am

    Meanwhile republicans pass laws that protect company's that dump waste into rivers and streams
    The point of free speech is you may not like it when someone says something you do not like or approve of but as long as its legal you should realise its part of a free society
    And speech is limited for those who cant acess the Web for millions of people who have no acess to Internet services
    in areas ignored by Comcast or att

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 29 Apr 2021 @ 4:07am

    These campaigns will be met with the same strength that any
    other polluter should expect.

    Reps holding out their hands expecting kickbacks to look the other way?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bruce C., 29 Apr 2021 @ 4:53am

    FTFY

    "Yet the Republican Party eagerly dumps authoritarian, toxic nonsense into our culture, and it’s only gotten more destructive with time."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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