The story of how Budweiser went from a patriotic traditional values company to launching a creepy Bud Lite campaign featuring Dylan Mulvaney, a man who claims to be a little girl, began with the Bush administration when, after 150 years, Anheuser-Busch ceased to be an American company. Today it’s just another subsidiary of a Belgian-Brazilian multinational.
Except for its St. Louis employees, few noticed the difference when Anheuser-Busch became InBev, and the United States government failed to object to the hostile takeover. While the majority of Americans, and the governor of Missouri, opposed the move, the Bush administration did not. The media fashionably sneered at a campaign against the hostile takeover which called for fighting the “foreign invasion”. Eventually the company surrendered.
The Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed declaring, “Why John McCain Should Embrace Anheuser’s Foreign Takeover”. (Cindy McCain was a major shareholder.) The Journal urged, “free trade and globalization are in the national interest. So is the sale of Anheuser-Busch to InBev.” How does the national interest look now? Would the Journal care to rethink its position?
The Bush administration, staffed with Wall Street Journal readers, easily approved InBev’s takeover of Anheuser-Busch and another foreign deal that put 80% of America’s beers in the hands of foreign companies. As an article noted, “Suddenly, instead of 48 major brewers operating in the United States, there were two — albeit two offering consumers dozens of competing brands. Together, they accounted for nearly 80 percent of U.S. beer sales.”
Bush Republicans allowed America’s crown jewels to be sold off and taken over by foreign companies. Now they’re wondering why those companies seem hostile to American values.
Why wouldn’t they be? They’re not American. And they don’t even like us much.
AB InBev is a multinational monstrosity with major business interests in Cuba and China.
InBev CEO Michel Doukeris recently said that the market he’s most excited about is China. And while AB InBev won’t be marketing Mr. Mulvaney in China, they decided to respond to a fall in beer volume consumption in America by shaking up their brands with a woke makeover.
“DEI must be embedded into how we think, behave and operate,” AB InBev warns.
Every AB InBev brand has been pushing some sort of sexual identity campaign so that in, “Brazil, Skol’s ‘Respect is On” campaign applauds individual choices and differences” and “to show support for the LGBTQ+ community, Corona’s #OrgulloSinEtiquetas campaign urged consumers in Mexico to show their ‘pride without labels.’” Bringing in a man who pretends to be a little girl to push Bud Lite is just part of this grand DEI vision by a foreign company.
It’s not even about us. AB InBev is a global empire practicing woke values imperialism. We’re just one of the minor provinces it invaded and is setting fire to in the name of its ideology.
Transgender politics are a major priority for AB InBev. Jackie Senner, the company’s Global Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, who boasts that it offers, “gender affirming medical support for trans colleagues in the U.S. and name change support for colleagues in Brazil.”
And this philosophy comes from the top down with CEO Michael Doukeris heading up AB InBev’s Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council. But it’s also nothing personal. The multinational attacks local cultural values around the world. Or at least most of it.
American companies have also gone obnoxiously woke, but much of corporate wokeness is driven by foreign CEOs or owners across major companies. Unlike American companies, multinationals like AB InBev have no skin in the game. They don’t care about the cultural damage that they do because it doesn’t touch them. Rather than building relationships with individual consumers, they rely on massive marketing and ad campaigns to do it for them.
Anheuser-Busch’s origins in a saloon are far away from its current place in a roster of brands. Beer is not a product to AB InBev, it’s a brand, and the culture war is a way to boost its brands. AB InBev cares much more about its social responsibility score than it does about what midwestern customers think. Wokeness is a form of elite virtue signaling. Bringing in a man who pretends to be a little girl is a way to make a mocked corporate brand appear more upscale.
To AB InBev, the backlash against Bud Lite is a marketing victory. That might not have been the case if the company had any meaningful roots in the midwestern areas where companies are jettisoning its beer, but it doesn’t have them anymore or in America. Multinationals are based around major urban centers with no real commitment to any individual country or culture.
A lot of Budweiser drinkers still think of the company in terms of its 9/11 ad, but it’s no longer that company and hasn’t been in a long time. This Bud’s brought to you by Dylan Mulvaney, by the HRC campaign and by social responsibility metrics. It doesn’t make liquor, it makes ad campaigns that signal its political virtues. That’s what the Journal’s globalization gave us.
Globalism was catastrophic for our economy and our culture. It not only destroyed working class and middle class jobs, it turned over the commanding heights of our economy to foreign companies using familiar brand names with no American allegiances. Consumer choice has been one of the casualties with a handful of foreign companies controlling most brands.
Would the Wall Street Journal feel differently about Anheuser-Busch’s takeover today?
Americans have woken up to the dangers of globalism. The myth that some mythical goddess of the market would prevent globalization from wrecking the country has been put to bed. The devastation is all around us in a multitude of ways and politicians are starting to catch up.
As long as corporations have a great deal of control over our culture, they ought to remain in American hands. The path to a creepy man pretending to be a little girl pitching Bud Lite began with the globalism of the Bush administration. And our culture and values are paying the price.