Former President Donald Trump said “cancel culture” has run amok, so Republicans better start making their own cancelations. Trump issued a bitter message Saturday in which he stoked divisions over Georgia’s restrictive new voting law. It came a day after he urged a boycott of “woke companies,” including Major League Baseball for moving its All-Star Game out of Georgia. He later expanded the list of companies that he says supporters should boycott for opposing Georgia’s voting restrictions.
Trump pointed the finger at “radical left Democrats,” claiming they “have played dirty” for years “by boycotting products when anything from that company is done or stated in any way that offends them.” Now, he said, they’re “going big time with WOKE CANCEL CULTURE and our sacred election.” So it’s time for Republicans to “fight back” and push their own boycotts, which should be successful because “we have more people than they do—by far!” Trump called on supporters to “boycott Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS, and Merck.” The former president went on to warn that the “radical left will destroy our country if we let them” and ended his message with a greeting: “Happy Easter!”
Many key leaders quickly answered Trump’s call to boycott baseball. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, for example, tweeted Saturday that she wouldn’t be tuning into Major League Baseball. “Guess what I am doing today?” McDaniel tweeted. “Not watching baseball!!!!”
Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp doubled down on his defense of the controversial law Saturday saying his state had fallen victim to “cancel culture.” Kemp made an effort to frame the discussion over the law as a partisan issue. “Yesterday, Major League Baseball caved to fear and lies from liberal activists,” Kemp said at a news conference. “In the middle of a pandemic, Major League Baseball put the wishes of Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden ahead of the economic well-being of hard-working Georgians who were counting on the All-Star Game for a paycheck.”
Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, have largely praised the MLB’s decision to move its game. Georgia voting rights activist and former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said she was “disappointed” over the MLB’s decision but praised the league for speaking up on the issue. “As I have stated, I respect boycotts, although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs,” Abrams said in a statement. “Georgians targeted by voter suppression will be hurt as opportunities go to other states. We should not abandon the victims of GOP malice and lies – we must stand together.”
If Trump will really call on supporters to boycott companies that have decried efforts to restrict voting access, his list should get a lot larger. Almost 200 companies on Friday signed onto a strong statement that called on lawmakers across the country “to work across the aisle and ensure that every eligible American has the freedom to easily cast their ballot and participate fully in our democracy.”