Washington Monthly editor calls 'woke capital' problematic for progressives, conservatives

Washington Monthly Executive Editor Gilad Edelman said Tuesday that so-called “woke capitalism” is problematic for both progressives and conservatives alike.

Edelman told Hill.TV that on one hand, conservatives view companies taking a stand on seemingly progressive social and political issues as an affront to their freedoms, while progressives see such a move as giving corporations more economic control over the market. 

“There’s this term woke capital,” Edelman told Hill.TV.

“It’s beloved by Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonFormer Fox News anchor Shepard Smith donates 0,000 to independent journalism nonprofit Fox's Neil Cavuto rips into Trump over attacks on Chris Wallace's impeachment coverage CBS employee fired for allegedly leaking Robach hot mic clip denies she leaked the tape MORE on Fox News and other conservatives who are noticing this growing tendency of corporate America — supposedly their friends — to adopt progressive positions,” he said during an interview on “Rising.”

Edelman pointed to Walmart’s recent limit on gun sales as a prime example of this trend.

Earlier this month, the retail giant announced that it would formally end handgun sales, discontinue certain types of ammunition and ask customers not to openly carry firearms in its stores. The move came just one month after a gunman opened fire at a local Walmart in El Paso, killing 22 people and injuring dozens of others.

“We’ve also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer,” Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillion wrote in a statement. “It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable.”

Several conservatives and gun rights groups slammed the move. The National Rifle Association (NRA) issue a statement, calling the decision “shameful,” and accused Walmart of succumbing to the pressure of “anti-gun elites.”

In his interview with Hill.TV, Edelman maintained that corporations taking a stand on social issues is equally problematic for liberals.

“To the left, the problem is not the liberal positions taken by corporations,” he told Hill.TV. “The problem rather is the incredible economic power and control over the economy.”

Consumers, meanwhile, seem to be in favor of corporations not shying away from controversy and taking a stand on issues.

According to a 2018 Earned Brand study conducted by public relations firm Edelman, 67 percent of respondents identify as “belief-driven buyers,” and said that they bought a brand for the first time because of a company’s position on a controversial issue.

⁠—Tess Bonn