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Opinion
Joe Nocera

CEOs Can’t Stay on Society’s Sidelines Anymore

They are no longer closely aligned with the Republican Party and face increasing pressure to wield their considerable influence on issues such as voting rights, income equality and climate change.

Kenneth Chenault and Kenneth Frazier are pushing companies to take a stand.

Kenneth Chenault and Kenneth Frazier are pushing companies to take a stand.

Photographers: Justin Sullivan (Chenault); Stephanie Keith (Frazier)/Getty Images

America’s chief executive officers can’t relish taking on the Republican Party.

After all, a lot more of them are Republicans than Democrats. Republicans push for lower corporate taxes while Democrats do the opposite — witness President Joe Biden proposing to pay for his infrastructure bill in part with an increase in the corporate tax rate. Republicans don’t much care how much CEOs make; Democrats do. For years, the Chamber of Commerce backed Republican candidates and Republican legislation almost exclusively with nary a complaint from its big business membership.