Goodyear hands a political triumph to Trump
In terms of the reality TV show of the presidential campaign, Goodyear has caved in to Donald Trump's pressure and affirmed its support for law enforcement, handing a potent symbolic victory to his re-election effort. The now notorious Topeka "zero tolerance" slide framed a simple tale of P.C. bullies taking over a corporation and terrorizing the employees into verbal conformity, silently hewing to the party line with all the enthusiasm of a 1986 East German.
Twitter screen grab.
Donald Trump, the champion of the liberty of the ordinary American, fought back:
Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES - They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
By midday yesterday, after trying to weasel their way out with inside baseball about corporate versus Topeka, the chairman of the Board surrendered and affirmed the company's "support for law enforcement."
A message from Rich Kramer: By now, you are aware of a visual from our Topeka factory that has been circulating in the media. I want to personally clear the record on what you are seeing and hearing. pic.twitter.com/UqqFeFQn6t— Goodyear (@goodyear) August 20, 2020
Note that the signature on Rich Kramer's letter is first name-only, adding a personal touch and implied commitment from the very top.
That's the story as part of the campaign narrative as Trump is telling it, another example of the Democrats and their ruling-class support base oppressing mainstream Americans, with Donald Trump the only protection they have against the progressive bullies.
I actually had a certain amount of sympathy for Goodyear's top management when the story broke. I am sure it came out of the blue as far as they knew and was the product of the human resources bureaucracy, perhaps even the locals out in Topeka. Throughout corporate America, diversity consultants are hired as an insurance policy to minimize exposure to racial discrimination lawsuits, and their anti-bias indoctrination uses such materials on PowerPoint slides that top management never sees. Diversity training is pervasive and widely resented, but openly criticizing it can get you into trouble, so top management gets no real feedback.
In an ideal world, Goodyear and the rest of corporate America would understand their vulnerability to similar P.R. disasters and rein in the diversity training consultants that got them into this trouble. But more likely, the response will be to ban photography and voice recording of anti-bias brainwashing sessions, maybe even confiscating cell phones for the duration.
If Trump wants to push the point and provide a happy ending (no lost jobs in Akron, blue-collar workers protected), he could invite Kramer to the White House for a chat on the importance of corporate free speech and the problems of the overzealous diversity commissars, emerging from the meeting to affirm that the Beast will continue to glide along on American-made Goodyear Tires and that Goodyear cherishes freedom of speech.