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Corporations, Ethics & Voting Rights

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After a concerted effort to undermine democracy, Donald Trump still lost the 2020 Presidential election. In response, the Republicans in states such as Georgia and Texas have taken efforts to impose new voting restrictions. Republicans and their supporters are a numerical minority, so they rely heavily on anti-democratic tactics to win certain elections.  But there has been pushback against these tactics. In Georgia, pressure has been put on companies like Delta and organizations like Major League Baseball to respond to these restrictions. Democrats and those who favor democracy want these companies to use their influence to get these restrictions lifted. Republicans generally do not want them to do this. This raises the moral issue of whether corporations should be engaged in such political actions. While it is appealing to argue that corporations should stay out of politics (because of the harms they have inflicted by capturing American democracy), the practical fact is that they are firmly embedded in politics and, at this point, can hardly make any plausible claim to political neutrality. After all, they are the major shapers of American laws and to profess that they wish to stay out of politics would be an absurd claim. They certainly want to avoid being involved in controversial politics, but they are already playing the political game and cannot claim that they are spectators rather than participants. Companies that do not want to get involved in matters such as voting rights can argue that they have the moral right to stick to using their influence to shape American law and practices to maximize their interests while having no moral obligation to get involved in political disputes that are not in their interest. Making a case for this would be to argue that the individuals with the power in question have no moral obligations as citizens or people to address such matters. That is, it would be morally acceptable for them to do nothing. There are numerous. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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