Right Opinion

Gillette Comes Within a Whisker of Disaster

Tony Perkins · Aug. 12, 2019

“Your stupid boycotts will never make a dent in a company like P&G,” one liberal scoffed back in January. Turns out, they didn’t just make a dent. After a string of male-bashing, transgender shaving ads, the parent company of Gillette got nicked so badly, market experts wonder if the brand will survive. Gillette’s CEO insists the radical activism was “worth the price.” Let’s hope so — because so far, that price is a whopping $8 billion dollars.

To most customers, a razor company dabbling in gender politics never made sense in the first place. Gillette used to be “the best a man can get.” Now the company can’t even acknowledge what a man actually is! Things for the brand started to unravel earlier this year when P&G gave the green light to a controversial commercial about the culture’s “toxic masculinity.” The idea, CEO Gary Coombe said at the time, was to reach millennials. Weeks into the flop, even he admitted it backfired.

But instead of ditching its politically-charged messages, Gillette dug in deeper. On Father’s Day, the company finally went too far, launching an ad about a dad teaching his “son” — who happens to be a biological girl — how to shave. That did it. Conservative groups like One Million Moms activated, warning customers that unless they wanted their money to support an ideology Pediatricians call “child abuse,” they’d better find another razor.

Based on this quarter’s report, an astonishing number of Americans did. “P&G reported a net loss of about $5.24 billion, or $2.12 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, due to an $8 billion non-cash writedown of Gillette. For the same period last year,” Reuters explains, “P&G’s net income was $1.89 billion, or 72 cents per share.” At least for now, the company’s executives are refusing to blame their liberal politics. Instead, CFO Jon Moeller found another culprit: Beards. That’s right. P&G is actually writing off its monumental fail on the rise of facial hair. “Lower shaving frequency has reduced the size of the developed blades and razors market,” he tried to justify on a call with analysts.

Some shareholders might buy that, but most shoppers agree — it’s time for companies like Gillette to look in the mirror. Political activism never pays. Just look at the fanatics at Target and Nike, whose stocks took a nose-dive for offending Americans’ basic sense of decency and patriotism. Even so, some companies are pressing forward despite the fallout. Just last month, grocery giant Whole Foods surprised everyone by sponsoring drag queen story hour. Even Nabisco’s most famous cookies — Oreo and Chips Ahoy — have spent 2019 waving the transgender flag. But the reckoning isn’t just coming. It’s here.

So the next time someone tries to tell you that shopping your values doesn’t work, or one person can’t possibly make a difference, remember Gillette. It only takes a handful of committed shoppers to send a message. As former Walmart CEO Bill Simon explained on “Washington Watch,” the “very, very best way you can communicate your concern is with your wallet.” Companies are in the business to make money.

“When [a] company does something that you don’t agree with — or their product represents something that you don’t agree with — the simple answer is to not buy it or not participate. And that’s honestly the loudest voice that a customer can deliver to a company is, ‘I choose not to buy your product.’”

“A three percent change in sales of a company or a five percent change in the sales company will make a huge statement. It doesn’t take a lot of people to stop buying product or to stop going to a retailer or a restaurant — or whatever it is — for them to notice, because a couple of percentage points is win or lose for a company.”

Originally published here.

Google’s Firing Squad Sacks Conservative

Being a conservative won’t just get you censored at Google, it’ll get you fired. Just ask Kevin Cernekee. Unlike a lot of employees, he wasn’t afraid to challenge the company’s liberal culture. And after three years, it cost him his job.

After wrangling with human resources and other leaders inside Google, Kevin’s termination didn’t exactly come as a surprise. The reasons the tech giant gave him, however, were. The Wall Street Journal sat down with Kevin, who explained publicly — for the first time — that he was wrongly fired.

“Google told Mr. Cernekee in a termination letter that he was let go for multiple violations of company policies, including improperly downloading company information and misuse of the remote-access software system. Mr. Cernekee, who hasn’t spoken publicly before about his status at Google, denies that. He says he was fired for being an outspoken conservative in famously liberal Silicon Valley.”

“Historically, there’s been a lot of bullying at Google,” Kevin explained. “There’s a big political angle, and they treat the two sides very differently.” When the Journal contacted headquarters for a response, reporters got the same old line — that Google treats everyone fairly. “We enforce our workplace policies without regard to political viewpoint,” Jenn Kaiser insisted. Of course, users were told the same thing — only to learn that Google was privately scheming to marginalize certain voices and use their technology to hurt Donald Trump’s reelection chances.

And it’s not like the anti-conservative bias is lessening. Recently, Apple News kicked LifeSiteNews off its platform for its supposed “intolerance” toward certain people. On “Washington Watch,” Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen says it all adds up to a lot of widespread mistrust of Big Tech.

“The weird part is… I don’t know what kind of intolerance towards specific groups [they mean] — unless it’s Tim Cook’s definition of conservatives that he wants to kick off. He said a little while ago that he was not opposed to removing people, for instance, who are not on his side of the environmental debate from his platform. And maybe he’s now targeting all conservatives… Americans need to stand up now — or [lose] their free speech.”

Once it’s gone, it’ll be too late. Stand with LifeSiteNews and others who’ve been targeted by these online monopolies. Sign the petition to have Westen’s organization reinstated on Apple!

Originally published here.

Navy Unmoored by Latest SEAL Scandals

For most soldiers, the memo that they’re getting shipped home is good news. But for a platoon of Navy SEALs in Iraq, the departure was nothing to celebrate. The order came after “a deterioration of good order and discipline” — and unfortunately, Rear Admiral Collin Green says, this scandal isn’t the first.

“We have a problem,” the U.S. commander of all SEAL teams wrote. That’s an understatement, members of the military are now saying. After a series of controversies — from heavy drinking and sexual abuse to cocaine — top brass are sounding the alarm that these elite warriors are in desperate need of a wake-up call. “I don’t know yet if we have a culture problem, I do know that we have a good order and discipline problem that must be addressed immediately. Good order and discipline [are] the foundation for every military organization and it is a leadership responsibility. As Commander, I own it. As Commodores, you also own it.”

Another person who deserves to own it isn’t around. But after almost a decade of social experimentation in the military, Barack Obama is just as to blame for the decline of troop culture as anyone. From the minute he was elected, the 44th president set to work tearing down the moral standards that have kept our force focused and disciplined for more than 200 years. The fact that our troops can’t get their ethical bearings is a reflection of two terms of liberal leadership at the highest levels.

When Obama shoved faith, pride, and country to the background, it was only a matter of time before mission readiness and discipline collapsed too. Watching the SEALs crumble, one of the world’s most elite warrior classes, is more evidence that we’re finally reaping what the years of Obama extremism have sown. Vice Admiral Michael Gidlay, picked to head up Naval Operations, told the Senate during his confirmation hearing recently that these fundamental values have to be restored — and soon. “It’s especially important in combat,” he insisted, since as Special Operations Command Chief Master Sgt. Greg Smith pointed out, “these ethical breaches affect the entire command… and the credibility of our entire force.”

But just as it took time for Obama’s radicalism to take root, the Trump administration will need patience repairing the damage. What motivates the military, especially these top platoons, has to come from within. They have to have the moral restraint and commitment to carry out their jobs — or the entire country will pay. Fortunately, this commander-in chief has taken the opposite course — welcoming freedom and religion and the morality that flows from both. The simple fact that his commanders felt free to sound this alarm — without fear or political correctness holding them back — is a sign that the military is at least on the right road.

For three years, President Trump has been trying to restore the proud military tradition that existed before Barack Obama. We continue to be grateful that he had the backbone to roll back the gender confusion the last administration tried to inject into the military in 2016. But on some issues — like this one — it’s tough to put the genie back in the bottle. Thank goodness he has leaders who are willing to try.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC. The Washington Update is taking an August recess and will return in September.

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