Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National
Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21


Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

Apple’s New Wokeness Betrays Iconic 1984 Commercial

Apple’s New Wokeness Betrays Iconic 1984 Commercial
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Even though Apple once championed a “celebration of free and daring thought,” the political correctness of Silicon Valley appears to have it and the rest of Big Tech “succumbing to the woke mob’s clamor for intellectual conformity.”

In a new commentary published by the Washington Examiner, Free Enterprise Project Program Coordinator Scott Shepard describes Apple’s efforts to fight the National Center’s proposed shareholder resolution  — a resolution seeking to protect employees from workplace discrimination due to their political beliefs.

Scott notes that Apple once portrayed itself as a beacon for free thought in its 1984 Super Bowl commercial, which drew from George Orwell’s fictional “1984.” The commercial promised that Apple’s new Macintosh computer would keep Orwell’s dystopian nightmare from becoming a reality.

But gone are the days of the “brash new start-up technology company [that] stood foursquare in favor of freedom of thought and expression, while its amazing new information tools… would help to free our minds forever.”

Instead, what seems to now exist at Apple and similar companies is a culture of political intolerance, where employees can be fired for their political beliefs. Scott compares this to the McCarthyism of the 1950s, pointing out that conservatives are now “fearful that expressing their opinions could hurt their careers.”

He further notes:

It is, therefore, particularly distressing to see Apple fighting to keep the door open for just this sort of discrimination, even as it threatens to engulf some of its Silicon Valley neighbors. In recent months, we at the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research have pushed Apple to consider expanding its nondiscrimination policy to protect against McCarthyist viewpoint discrimination. So far, Apple has fought our efforts tenaciously, trying to avoid having to even ask its shareholders whether they support commissioning a study analyzing the possible risks that may arise from failing to ban this pernicious practice.

While Apple CEO Tim Cook says mistreated employees can come to him, Scott points out that Cook “can hardly intervene personally in every instance of viewpoint discrimination.” Yet if Apple stopped fighting the National Center’s proposal, Cook could have a mechanism in place to protect those employees.

“If Cook means what he says, that McCarthyism has no home at Apple, then he knows how to ensure that result,” writes Scott.

To read Scott’s commentary – “Apple Can Stop McCarthyist Viewpoint Discrimination, But Will It?” – at the Washington Examiner website by clicking here.


Pelosi’s Selective Shaming

Pelosi’s Selective Shaming
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Dissing Thomas Jefferson for owning slaves is “the right thing to do.” A statue of George Washington is a “slap in the face” to black Americans and should be torn down because he also owned slaves.

Comments such as these represent the sort of fanaticism that President Donald Trump spoke out against in 2017 – the destruction of the Founding Fathers’ legitimacy because some of them were slaveowners. He was derided for his comments.

But Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who sought to remove statues of Confederate figures in the U.S. Capitol as minority leader (yet has done nothing after becoming Speaker), has decided it’s alright to rehabilitate some slaveowners when it fits her agenda.

In her announcement of the intention to have articles of impeachment drafted against President Trump, Pelosi cited George Mason’s comments against political corruption. Yet Mason owned slaves. Ditto for James Madison, whom she also cited.

Christopher Arps

Project 21 member Christopher Arps finds this odd. He says:

In her impeachment remarks, Speaker Pelosi mentioned the Founding Fathers several times – and George Mason, in particular. If her staff would have done their research, they would have learned that George Mason was a slaveholder.

It’s funny how old, dead white slaveholders are again relevant to liberals when it suits their purposes.

On the impeachment drive, Christopher adds:

This is a sad day in America, but not for the reasons Speaker Pelosi cited. It’s sad because naked partisanship is being employed to remove the duly elected president of the United States.

Conservative Lawmakers Receive Reminder That Price Fixing is a “Bad Idea”

Conservative Lawmakers Receive Reminder That Price Fixing is a “Bad Idea”
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Raising concern “about the direction the health care policy debate is moving” – particularly among conservative lawmakers – the National Center for Public Policy Research has joined with more than 70 other conservative and free-market organizations to warn Congress about the dangers of price fixing.

In trying to remedy the issue of surprise medical bills for out-of-network emergency treatment, and insurers balking at covering all of such costs, some typically conservative politicians are favoring proposals to essentially enact price controls on these health care services. This would prohibit doctors and hospitals from setting their own rates and potentially make them operate at a loss.

Senator Rand Paul has explained that this could compromise the quality of American health care by driving people out of the medical field. “If you fix the price that ER doctors work at,” he said, “you will get a shortage.” He suggested that what has happened to the economy in Venezuela could happen in the United States as a result of such changes to the marketplace.

In a letter to conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the National Center and others note:

[W]hat is troubling is how often otherwise right-of-center policymakers are resorting to one of the key pillars of the Medicare for All playbook – government imposed price controls. Whether it is called price fixing, rate setting, subsidy capping or inflation capping, government price controls have wormed their way into the healthcare reform plans of too many of our friends in Washington.

The National Center is joined on the letter by organizations including Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Frontiers of Freedom, the Discovery Institute, the Institute for Policy Innovation and Eagle Forum.

The coalition letter concludes:

This was a bad idea a half century ago with gasoline line rationing, and it’s a bad idea today in health care. Something can only be affordable if it’s available to buy in the first place.

To read the entire letter and see all of its signers, click here.

Black America Responds to Improved Economy

Black America Responds to Improved Economy
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A new survey by Emerson Polling reports that 34.5 percent of black voters approve of Donald Trump’s performance as president. Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper said it is because black America is “interested in opportunity” and that “a real winning agenda… includ[es] jobs.”

President Trump has presided over unprecedented job growth in the black community. According to the last federal jobs report, black unemployment hit a record low of 5.4 percent. A Project 21 analysis of federal data found this to be the sixth such record low during the Trump Administration.

Yet liberals are downplaying this success for obvious political reasons. For example, radio host Charlamagne tha God said the current economic progress is “not worth it,” suggesting that the President is causing greater harm to civil rights – particularly in the black community.

During a panel discussion on the Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Horace said:

I laughed when I heard that people really think – if given a choice to be prosperous, to be successful or even rich – they would say “no, no, I want to make sure that there are laws on the books so that a landlord can’t say to a tenant that you’re a she when you think they’re a he.”

That’s supposed to be the priority for black America or any other group in America over success and prosperity? Get real!

Yet fellow panelist Leo Terrell doubled-down on the negative notion on progress. Downplaying the power of prosperity in creating equality, Terrell remarked: “I’d rather have dignity and equality instead of being a second-class citizen.”

Horace quickly responded:

Let me give you dignity.

Dignity is when your income starts to advance, and, in fact, advances faster than any racial group in America. That’s what happened in the last three years.

When your employment rate exceeds the expansion rate – exceeds that – of every group. In fact, the March on Washington that Martin Luther King spoke at, and the real purpose was jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.

And, in America, dignity comes from having a job. And that’s what Donald Trump is giving everyone. And that’s what black Americans say they want.

Horace was also asked to respond to singer Jennifer Lopez’s comment that it is “super important” for civil rights that Hispanic women such as she and fellow singer Shakira are performing the Super Bowl halftime show during the Trump presidency. Horace pointed out that this fixation on race is likely to lead to a backlash:

This identity politics is actually hurting the left and progressives. And her actions just fulfill that.

More and more Americans are saying, we’re just people.  We want to watch football. We want to enjoy Thanksgiving. Don’t divide us into these subsets.

Chick-fil-A’s Cathy Confronted by Conservative Leaders

Chick-fil-A’s Cathy Confronted by Conservative Leaders
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A group of 49 prominent conservatives – including Justin Danhof, Esq., the director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project – sent a letter to Chick-fil-A Chairman and CEO Dan T. Cathy yesterday to express how “tremendously disappointed” they are about the restauranteur’s “complicity in defaming the mission and intent of the Salvation Army.”

Chick-fil-A, which has until now been faithfully supported by conservatives and people of faith against continued attacks from the left, operates under a stated mission that charges the business “[t]o glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”

But, as Justin and the other signers – including Dr. David L. Black of 2nd Vote, Morton C. Blackwell of the Leadership Institute, Colin A. Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, Kay Cole James of The Heritage Foundation, Lisa B. Nelson of the American Legislative Exchange Council and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel – told Cathy:

[B]y bowing to the pressure of left-wing extremist groups, you’ve allowed those “faithful stewards” of the Salvation Army to be branded as “extremists,” likely triggering a series of future events detrimental to the organization and the millions of American poor they serve.

Chick-fil-A recently announced a reassessment of its charitable giving. Groups including the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) that have been attacked by the left because they will not endorse goals of the LGBTQ agenda like same-sex marriage will no longer be supported by the chicken chain. President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow that the company’s diversion comes as “we need to be clear about who we are” as it enters new markets.

Pointing out how this betrays the good work of the Salvation Army as well as the conservatives who have stood by Chick-fil-A, the letter stated:

But, your latest decisions to withdraw charitable giving to the Salvation Army and other Christian charities has betrayed the very people who stood with you. You have instead allied yourself with a bully-tactic leftist movement that will never be satisfied with your compromises. There is a growing list of American corporations that have discovered, with each new compromise, leftists only become more emboldened in their attacks.

We stand firm with the Salvation Army and others who truly are “faithful stewards” of the heritage entrusted to them and all Americans. We urge you to immediately reverse course and reconfirm your commitment to America’s families by rejoining us in support of these groups.

To read the entire letter and see all of its signers and their affiliations, click here. The letter was also covered by the Washington Times.

The National Center has already done interviews about Chick-fil-A’s abandonment of the Salvation Army and other prominent charities on radio stations such as KTKZ-Sacramento and WAEB-Allentown.

In an interview with Chris Woodward of the American Family Radio network’s OneNewsNow, National Center Vice President David W. Almasi called the move a “gut punch” to Chick-fil-A’s supporters that is “going to hurt the chain more than it’s going to help it, despite what they say.”

Discussing how Chick-fil-A’s previous rejection of “cancel culture” was valued by its followers, David added:

It was refreshing to see a corporation that didn’t give into the leftist pressure campaigns, [but] that’s what they did – no matter what they say.

“Woke” Companies Risk Going Broke

“Woke” Companies Risk Going Broke
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As the nation becomes more politically polarized, corporations are making the surprising choice to take sides. And, predictably, politics is having an impact on their bottom lines.

Justin Danhof

Justin Danhof

In a Wall Street Journal report on this very troubling business model, reporters Suzanne Kapner and Dante Chinni highlight “a new, more partisan American consumer culture, one where the red/blue divisions that have come to define national politics have drifted into the world of shopping malls and online stores.” And in that article, Justin Danhof, Esq. – the director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project – talks about how he is trying to help corporations find a way out.

“We want them to get out of the culture wars,” Justin tells the Journal.

This can be tough when CEOs such as Levi’s Chip Bergh and Apple’s Tim Cook – when confronted about the prospect of alienating approximately half of their consumer base by doing things like speaking out against guns or promoting special rights for certain people – have told conscientious investors to sell their shares.

But this sober advice from those with a fiduciary interest in the company is right:

According to the Journal, nearly 60 percent of 1,000 Americans surveyed by [the public relations firm] Edelman last year said they would choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues. That is up from 47 percent in 2017.

While virtue signaling may attract some customers to a company – which is what executives claim – it’s also going to turn off a lot of existing and potential ones.

This notion is supported by a Journal analysis of consumer surveys that found that Levi’s, which has taken a prominent position against gun ownership, has lost market share among Republican voters. According to the report, Republican purchases of rival Wrangler jeans rose by 13 percent over the past 15 years. Among Democrats, Levi’s only increased three percent.

Furthermore, at the Levi’s shareholder meeting earlier this year, FEP presented its own polling that found that an overall 89 percent total favorability rating for Levi’s, Dockers and Denizen clothing fell to 63 percent after those surveyed learned of Levi’s involvement in anti-Second Amendment activism. After learning about Levi’s opposition to gun rights and its participation in and funding of anti-gun activism, 63 percent of overall respondents added that they were less likely to purchase Levi’s products.

The Journal article also notes how FEP recently took on Proctor & Gamble for its risky activism:

Proctor & Gamble Co. created an uproar this year with Gillette ads that questioned “toxic masculinity” and featured a transgender man learning to shave from his father.

P&G CEO David Taylor defended the ads at the company’s shareholder meeting in October when challenged by Justin Danhof, general counsel of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank that says it aims to preserve personal liberties. “How do you intend to win back the consumer base you have spent the better part of the year offending?” Mr. Danhof said.

While Taylor tried to explain that some consumers now “expect a brand to take a stand,” it has been reported that the Gillette brand has lost billions in the wake of that ad campaign.

Similarly, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods – who was questioned by FEP after the retailer began restricting gun sales and advocating against Second Amendment protections – admitted the company had lost around a quarter of a million dollars due to its advocacy.

Unilever CEO Alan Jope told the Journal that he “profoundly believe[s]” that finding a “mushy middle ground” is “not how the world is anymore.” Perhaps, after looking at the facts and the trends, he might come to realize the wisdom of a popular slogan that consumers with traditional and conservative values are using these days: “Get woke, go broke.”

Identity Politics Favors LGBTQ Activism Over Black Progress

Identity Politics Favors LGBTQ Activism Over Black Progress
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On the left, the intersectional pecking order is marginalizing the black community.

In a panel discussion on the Fox News Channel program “The Ingraham Angle,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper said the leftist establishment has chosen to embrace the “new idea” of LGBTQ activism over the concerns of black Americans. As a result, he remarked:

Blacks – you just get to the back of the political bus.

Could this lead to a political realignment? After all, blacks have been doing quite well under the regulatory and economic policies of the Trump Administration.

Horace, the author of the upcoming book How Trump is Making Black America Great Again: The Untold Story of Black Advancement in the Era of Trump, remarked that factors such as lower black unemployment and higher black incomes are becoming more noticeable:

There are a lot of Americans who happen to be black who are going to look around and say – hey, there’s more money in my checking account… $5,000, on average.

As the holiday season begins, this newfound prosperity and opportunity will be more evident. These advances, along with the left’s increasing disinterest in the black community outside of a tool to provoke racial strife, will undoubtedly begin to have an impact on the political landscape. Horace noted:

There are more black Americans who are going to go home for Thanksgiving than we have seen in the last 13 years. There are more black Americans who are gonna have pickup trucks than we have seen in the last ten years.

The point about it is this… The other side should be trying to come up with a good record, but instead they’re stuck on identity politics.

Addressing the Chinese Threat to America

Addressing the Chinese Threat to America
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Russia, Russia, Russia!

While the media and lawmakers have been spending too much “wasted time” on Russia, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper argues that America has paid too little attention to the threat posed by China.

On a recent edition of the nationally-syndicated “Armstrong Williams Show,” Horace and the panel were asked to comment on an interview in which Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai suggested that the NBA’s recent capitulation to China indicated that the Chinese might also be able to “export their censorship, their anti-Democratic values and ultimately their control” if they leverage their economic, technological and military might against the United States.

Horace, with no protest from the panel, noted:

Our international threat comes from China. And, if we want to have a business partnership, it needs to be redefined – this relationship. It need to be redefined. And – presently – it is a one-way street in which one person is enriched and the other party is not.

And we – too many of our representatives, too many of our businesses, too many of our organizations – are so interested in getting a little piece of the China pie that we give up a lot.

To counter this threat, Horace advised that there needs to be a sea-change in the way America as a nation perceives and deals with the Chinese threat. He said:

We haven’t seen any pushback whatsoever. What we’ve seen is a red carpet…

It’s time that the American people and our government and our business community come together and recognize there are serious threats that go beyond a short-term penny gain today.

When the conversation turned to Syria, Horace said he is “not bothered” by President Donald Trump’s decision to pull American forces out of there.

Noting that the United States does not have to be the world’s sole policeman, nor does it need to be involved in every conflict, Horace remarked about the Syria situation:

We’ve had a conversation since 2001 about how we operate as the police force of the world. And we have gotten very little positive response. People don’t pay their NATO dues. People won’t send their support in terms of military equipment and in terms of soldiers.

If Syria is the problem that they say it is, I’m curious why there was so little blowback when our former president drew a red line and allowed it to be trampled over. Very little blowback over that.

But where is the French army? Where is the United Kingdom – who objected specifically, called directly to the White House about the Syria decision? Where are their manpower and equipment?

The chocolate makers of Europe apparently do what they do best. They sit back and expect us to do it. If it’s that important, then let’s see some of their commitment.

When it was suggested that the United States still needs to be heavily involved in international affairs – both militarily and supportive like during the Marshall Plan era – Horace noted that true allies such as Israel and Australia understand and appreciate us. They do not need constant reassurance or shows of allegiance.

Reiterating that the United States does not need to “own” and be involved across the globe, Horace reminded the panel:

You do not have a military to be the police force for the world. You have a military to protect the national security interests of the United States. Ronald Reagan demonstrated that…

It’s just not the case that every foreign policy conflict that appears on the plant – we’re supposed to own.

Chick-fil-A Boss has Egg on His Face

Chick-fil-A Boss has Egg on His Face
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After years of protests, and loyal support from customers who celebrated the chain’s faith-based values, Chick-fil-A has given in to the social justice warriors. It will no longer give to certain charities that are targeted by the “woke” crowd.

Asserting that the chicken chain “will never gain a foothold” among those who have protested it for so many years, National Center Vice President David W. Almasi told PR Week that “[g]iving in to the social justice bullies hurts Chick-fil-A.”

Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow that “we need to be clear about who we are” as the fast-rising fast food restaurant enters new markets. It has faced challenges from liberal activists and politicians, due to the traditional Christian beliefs of its founder, in cities such as Washington, Chicago and Boston. Yet all those cities now have, or will soon have, Chick-fil-A restaurants.

Conservatives, who have supported Chick-fil-A in the past amid the protests, are angry that it will no longer support the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) – which are targets of liberal protests because they oppose same-sex marriage. Conservative pundit Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted that Chick-fil-A “abandoned the only people who were defending them against these insatiable woke wolves.” Governor Mike Huckabee, who created a movement to support the chain in 2012, tweeted that the chain “betrayed loyal customers for $$.”

With its steadfast supporters disappointed, Chick-fil-A doesn’t seem to have made any new friends. In the wake of the announcement, the left just demanded more. Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Director of Campaigns Drew Anderson said: “Chick-fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents.” He also called for “further transparency” in the chain’s dealings as a means of getting it to break any and all ties to the conservative group Focus on the Family.

Chick-fil-A has used cows as mascots for years. Some people now think chickens would be a more appropriate mascot.

To read all of the PR Week article quoting David, click here.

Beating Back the Leftist Assault on Corporate America

Beating Back the Leftist Assault on Corporate America
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A new video produced and distributed by the Capital Research Center warns about how political warfare has advanced into corporate America. And, as the National Center’s Justin Danhof – who narrated the video – points out, the left currently holds the upper hand.

Justin remarks:

The left’s war to conquer American culture does not stop with government and the media.

They’re now moving upon all of America’s businesses with unprecedented success, compelling corporate America to actively support liberal positions on political, economic and social issues.

But Justin, who leads the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project as the top conservative shareholder voice in America, says conservative Americans can swing boardrooms back to neutral by using their power as consumers to “pressure corporate America to do what’s right.”

The left – utilizing Big Labor, activist groups and liberal-controlled public pension funds, among other resources – has co-opted segments of corporate America to be its political muscle to do things it cannot legislate or litigate. Examples of its successes include hindering gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association, pushing LGBTQ preferences such as genderless bathrooms, and requiring race and sex to be considered for corporate leadership positions.

Part of this success comes from the left taking over the groups that advise shareholders, allowing it to exert enormous influence over the investor community while promoting its political agenda. Justin explains:

Just a decade ago, most of the activist left’s shareholder proposals went nowhere. But, about five years ago, the companies that help average investors vote on shareholder proposals got captured by the woke crowd. And ever since, they’ve had unprecedented successes.

Some business groups have also abandoned support for the basic fiduciary responsibility that companies have to investors. They are now suggesting businesses consider the concerns of “stakeholders” – putting activists with a political agenda on the same level as those with a financial interest.

To beat back this co-opting of the business community, Justin urges conservative and traditional Americans to demand attention from corporate America by taking a page from the leftist playbook and flexing their muscles as stakeholders and shareholders:

The right needs to get into this battle. If we engage in the same way that the left does, we can have just as much impact.

In its first week on YouTube, CRC’s “The Left is Capturing Corporate America” has been viewed over 67,000 times.


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The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors.