When the shocking events of last Jan. 6 finally drew to a close, there was hope the madness of Trumpism had reached its zenith.

As the last 12 months have shown, this was not to be. Indeed, as the nation marks the insurrection’s anniversary and enters the first congressional election year since President Joe Biden took office, our democracy feels more fragile than ever.

After Jan. 6, some of Washington state’s highest profile businesses refused campaign contributions to 139 Republican House members and eight senators, none from Washington, who had objected to certifying one or more states’ Electoral College votes. This was tantamount to trying to disenfranchise millions of Americans and overturning the results of the election.

Democracy needs corporate America to step up again as November’s congressional contests could prove even more disastrous. 

If mistrust and chaos over ballot results is bad for the republic, it is even worse for business. Self-interest is one reason why corporate America should stand up to phony election conspiracy theories. Paying back a nation that enabled so many to prosper is another. And then there’s basic respect for the Constitution.

“Given the unacceptable attempt to undermine a legitimate democratic process, the Amazon PAC has suspended contributions to any Member of Congress who voted to override the results of the U.S. Presidential election,” said an Amazon spokesman on Jan. 11, 2021.


According to various political money tracking websites, Amazon stayed true to its word. Of its PAC contributions of $5,000 and above to Republican lawmakers, none went to those who objected to certifying the Electoral College votes. Same too, with Microsoft. A company statement to the editorial board affirmed that the suspension would last for the duration of the 2022 election cycle and extend to state officials and organizations who supported overturning the election.

That stands in sharp contrast to companies that paid only lip service to preserving democracy.

At first, tobacco giant Altria condemned the insurrection and opposed voter suppression legislation. Then the Virginia-based company had a change of heart. In 2021, the company spent at least $84,500 on campaign contributions to those who voted against certifying the 2020 election.

Campaign contributions and the Electoral College vote is just one example of the role corporations play in our democracy. But it is important.

In November, this nation will be tested once again, and there is every indication that election results will be scrutinized and disputed and potentially overturned.

It is up to all of us — particularly those with the most access and greatest influence — to reject unfounded challenges of our electoral system that sow discord and weaken our democracy for partisan advantage.