Morality or Practicality, either way, CEOs walked
Market forces compel businesses like Merck, Under Armour, Intel, and others to make practical decisions.
The CEOs of these companies walked away from Trump’s Manufacturing Council. Then his entire Strategic and Policy Forum voted to fold the group (shortly after, Trump “fired” them). Many stated that they cannot abide with Trump’s tacit support of Nazi’s and the KKK; they walked on moral grounds.
Whether moral grounds, of fear of market forces, this move by leaders in major companies is important.
Companies didn’t Turn their back on The Nazis
In the early 1920s and 1930s (and into the mid-1940s), the rise of the Nazi party, and later the 3rd Reich, was significantly aided by the participation of companies.
At the time, the companies had leaders that were active with the Nazi party, like Hugo Boss (which made uniforms for Nazis).
There were companies that simply looked to profit, like Coca-Cola which started a new drink brand called Fanta explicitly for the German market(they couldn’t ship the ingredients for Coke to Germany, so they had to create a new drink).
Then there were companies that actively participated in the Holocaust, like the precursor of Bayer ( IG Farben) that made the gas used to kill Jews and others; they worked side by side with Josef Mengele.
These are not the only companies that sought profit and ideological alignment with the Nazis. Unfortunately, the list is not short. You can get an idea of some others on the list here : http://www.11points.com/News-Politics/11_Companies_That_Surprisingly_Collaborated_With_the_Nazis
From local sh*t talker to National movement
For those who argue that the people we see today are “just talking sh*t” and that companies would not get behind them, think again.
Hitler was one of these “sh*t talkers” in the 1920s. He espoused the very same ideas that people are shouting on our streets today. The purity of the nation (meaning whites only) is their mantra. Read what Hitler pushed for and spoke about, and what the Alt-right (Nazis & the KKK among them), are pushing for now. It is literally the same.
In the 1920s, Hitler was nothing but a mouth. By 1933, he was leading Germany with a platform of anti-Semitism and racism. By the 1940s, he was gassing millions of Jews.
Corporations and the direction of a nation
Companies in Germany stayed with Hitler. Supported him. Financed him. Aided and abetted him.
Without the power and finance of corporations in Germany, Hitler would not have turned the world upside down.
This is why it is important that large and small companies turn their backs on Donald Trump’s acceptance of Alt-Right, fascist, racist, KKK, Nazis and others of their ilk.
Companies are neither inherently evil nor good. They are financial tools.
How the CEOs of companies allow these tools to be used is important in determining the future of our country, and (as we saw with Germany) the world.
We must support companies that oppose extreme nationalist, and hold to account those that do not.