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Conservative commentator Larry Elder joined country music legend John Rich and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson in purchasing a bank meant to safeguard customers from the modern financial system’s tendency to censor and cancel dissidents.
The three co-founders and stockholders, accompanied by former Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, recently cleared regulatory hurdles to acquire First State Bank of Elmore City, Oklahoma, the state’s first and oldest bank, and renamed the financial institution Old Glory Bank. Elder remarked during an interview with The Daily Wire that the organization seeks to promote genuine American values in the marketplace.
“We cannot rely on big companies to stand with middle America when it really matters,” the seasoned radio and talk show host commented. “My co-founders and I, along with some very smart executives in banking and technology, got together to do our own thing.”
The bank, which will be backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, plans to support first responders and the military, as well as offer no-fee accounts, free overdraft protection, and early direct deposit access. The company also created Old Glory Pay; Elder, a recent gubernatorial candidate in California, said that the payment system means the bank does not rely upon third-party entities to send or receive money, rendering customers truly “cancel proof.”
“If the hard Left shuts down payments and banking for middle America, they win and we lose,” the Sage of South Central added. “As my partner John Rich always says, ‘We have to run for the hills, but first, we have to build it’ … Middle America now has a ‘real’ bank that identifies with their values. Middle America also now has a payment solution that will never cancel them for their lawful activities.”
When asked how many customers have registered for accounts, Elder declined to share specifics, but asserted that interest thus far aligns with the team’s “expectation of the pent-up demand by those who have felt marginalized.”
News of established banking entities and payment platforms violating the principles of free expression have made national headlines. PayPal, which has deplatformed several organizations and commentators for their political views, recently unveiled a change to its acceptable use policy that would have banned the promotion of “misinformation” and drawn $2,500 penalties from account holders deemed to be in violation. Within one day of The Daily Wire reporting on the change, however, PayPal reversed the guidelines and insisted that the document had been published “in error.”
Elder remarked that large corporations and other institutions, such as academia, the entertainment industry, and the legacy media, can justify suppressing conservative content and their “ability to freely engage in commerce as an act of patriotism” by labeling those outside of leftist orthodoxy as “semi-fascists” and other pejoratives. “What ‘big’ companies continue to show us is that their loud and woke employees can tip the scales of leadership’s major decisions,” he continued. “We saw this at Disney. We see this at Facebook. We knew this was happening at Twitter, and now Elon has confirmed it. And, we see this is happening at banks and payment processors.”
Companies such as Amazon and Facebook have sanctioned conservatives over their stances on controversial social issues, including the LGBTQ movement and vaccine mandates. GoFundMe seized funds raised for trucker protests in Canada earlier this year, while Google began suppressing search results for crisis pregnancy centers. Only 40% of Republicans presently believe that banks and large corporations have a positive effect on the nation, marking an 18% decline from three years ago, according to a survey from Pew Research Center.
“Banking does not have to be a commodity; you should be able to bank with a bank that shares your pro-American values,” Elder contended.