Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles on Corporate Wokeness and How Tennessee Needs to Follow Florida’s Lead
Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to talk about the corporate wokeness and its disregard for their constituency and how other states need to act now and follow Florida’s lead.
Leahy: You are a small business guy. I think Alfredo Ortiz made quite a case there. (Laughter) It was kind of funny right?
Ogles: Oh, my goodness. As we sit here and talk about this billboard, I was trying to think of a funny quip. I’m usually pretty good at that. And I’m speechless. Sometimes we say things in jest and we lighten them up a little bit. But he’s really talking about something serious that wokeness that is sweeping the country. It has a dangerous, ugly side to it in that it’s ready, fire, aim. And we’re no longer processing things through an objective lens. That suddenly everything’s tainted.
And that’s problematic. Could have should have the All-Star Game been evaluated? Well, of course, that’s what you do in any business model. But just to pull it a knee-jerk reaction because of Coca-Cola and Delta, these woke corporations trying to push. They’ve become oligarchs now where they are pushing their agendas onto the American public. But because they have such a market share we don’t have a voice.
Leahy: It’s a very good point. When we grew up, the idea was, well, this is a capitalist society. And businesses were in business to make a financial return for their shareholders and do a good job in providing products and services to their customers. That’s the model that’s being replaced now by a concept called stakeholder capitalism.
I call it basically an early version of Marxism. What’s happening is these large publicly traded companies, the left is trying to turn them into, like, public benefit corporations. And they are making decisions not based upon their products or services or what their customers need but what the left activists are trying to push them into. It’s a very bad sign.
Ogles: And the problem is that most of us we’re busy with jobs, mortgages, and kids and we’re trying to figure out life. And then you’ve got this minority, this small portion of the left. They’re loud, they’re angry, and it terrifies these corporations. And so they’re moving in directions that their constituency really doesn’t want.
Leahy: Their customers don’t want, their investors don’t want. But these stakeholders are basically a bunch of left-wing Marxist types that want a version of neofascism in the United States. There’s a lot of words but that I think describes what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to serve the authority of state legislatures around the country.
Ogles: Yeah. They totally bypass. For example, the Tennessee legislature, they’re not going to do some of the things that Coke or Delta or some of these other companies are suggesting. And so what are they doing? It’s a run around you and I, as we try to say, hey, wait a minute. We value the Constitution. We’re governed by elected people, not by corporations.
And because you’re Coca-Cola and you have such a large market share, now you have a disproportionate voice and telling me how to live. Look, I don’t care what Coke thinks. I really don’t. Make soda, do it well, and be gone. That’s it.
Leahy: Yeah. I think I’m going to stop drinking Woka-Cola myself.
Ogles: Woka-Cola. That’s almost as good as that billboard.
Leahy: All strikes and no balls for the Major League Baseball Commissioner. The thing is, when you look at that, you look at the social course, as you know, 2nd Vote, our friends Amy Wilhite and Chris McCarran are the executive director and CEO of 2nd Vote. They rate large corporations based upon whether they’re neutral or conservative or liberal.
The vast majority of large corporations now are pretty liberal in terms of their policies, and it’s just not what they should be doing. And people are pushing back now when you talk about as a consumer, you look at that. If I tell you I’m not going to drink Woka-Cola, okay. If you like to drink Colas, there are a few less woke versions of it. Pepsi-Cola is sort of in that crowd, not quite as bad as Woka-Cola. Royal Crown Cola.
These are all kind of politically correct. There is this thing going on in American capitalism, and you’re a student of economics Andy. There’s a thing going on where all of these big funds that manage all the money that invest in corporations are pushing the publicly traded companies to do something called ESG. And it’s a big code word. It’s for the environment and social governance. In other words climate change and equity, diversity, all that kind of stuff. And there’s huge pressure on these publicly traded corporations to kind of comply. Not a good sign, I don’t think.
Ogles: No. And that’s why it’s imperative that our state legislators and the legislature step up and do something about this. You had Senator Mike Bell in the first segment, and there’s the opportunity to follow Florida’s lead and to push back against some of this Big Tech censorship, kind of draw a line in the sand if you will. And they’re going to study it for another session.
Well, the time is now to act. And so I would call on the legislature to go ahead. I sent a letter to the governor, the speaker of the house, and to the lieutenant governor saying, we have to stand up collectively as a state in the same way Florida has done. And that’s the other thing that’s important is we need these legislatures, these governors from conservative states to work together to be a chorus of conservatism because that’s what the left does. And they do so well.
You’ll have these factions of the left that otherwise would never want to be together because they’re so distinctly different. But yet when it comes to fighting against conservatism, they are one voice and they move and they march together. And then you get here on the conservative side, we’re too busy bickering as to which one of us is the most conservative.
Leahy: I’m more conservative than you.
Ogles: That’s right. Ron DeSantis is out there getting it done. And in Tennessee and Texas and some of the other states. We’re a little tepid.
Leahy: Lagging behind.
Ogles: That’s right. You look at the election, the lawsuit that the Texas attorney general filed. Tennessee, we finally signed on, but we were like 16th out of 17th by the time that we signed on. It was so far in the process, it was irrelevant. We should have been tagalong beating on the door to say, no, we’re next. We’re next. We’re going to file, too. So that way, if your lawsuit doesn’t work and we have one. And so we as a state, as elected officials, we’ve got to work together and be a chorus of rationalism in a crazy world.
Leahy: You said something very interesting and very important. There is leadership, I think, going on in the conservative world, and it’s coming from the state government. But particularly there’s one state I think that’s leading the way. And there’s one governor who’s leading the way and that’s Ron DeSantis in Florida.
Ogles: Going back to the baseball analogy, he’s knocking it out of the park. I mean, he really is. I mean, if you’re a conservative in this country, man, do you wish you had Ron DeSantis as your governor or perhaps as your president.
Leahy: Now you use the baseball term. You know, the story about Ron DeSantis?
Ogles: He’s quite the ballplayer. From Yale?
Leahy: He was the captain of the Yale baseball team and hit 345 his senior year. I never even in high school, I never even got close to 345. So this guy’s pretty good. He’s a very talented guy. And that’s one of the reasons I think since last you’ve been here, we have a little bit of news. The Tennessee Star and our parent corporation is Star News Digital Media. And we have the Star News Network. We do state-based conservative news in now seven States. And we have added, wait for it….drum roll, please. The Florida Capital Star.
Ogles: There you go.
Leahy: Up next, The Texas Loan Star.
Ogles: That’s a good one. Again, if you’re a conservative publication, the state that’s really helping drive conservative content is Florida. So it makes absolute sense to have something like that there. But again, they are leading the charge, knocking out of the park as I said.
Leahy: That was our thinking as well. And so far, the stories that have been great about conservative leadership from a governor and a state legislature down in Florida.
Listen to the full broadcast here:
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