Another annoying development stemming from the rise of social media is the recent proliferation of boycotts.
On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we’re constantly exhorted to stop buying this product or frequenting that establishment because of what some corporate big-wig said or did.
Enough. I’m an American. I’m going to buy what I want, eat where I want, and shop where I want. From now on, the only thing I’ll be boycotting is boycotts themselves.
After all, boycotting businesses is an age-old tactic of the left, a way for the proletariat to stick it to the bourgeoisie. It’s essentially anti-freedom, seeking to punish people economically for expressing their political opinions. That’s not a position conservatives should embrace.
Remember, corporations like Nike, Target and Starbucks are, in the final analysis, capitalist enterprises. Whatever politics they might espouse at the moment, usually in an attempt to woo some particular demographic, they ultimately make decisions based on the bottom line.
For example, many patriotic Americans were offended when Nike hired ex-NFL anthem-kneeler Colin Kaepernick as a spokesperson, vowing to forevermore spurn the swoosh. Nike didn’t care. Their sales went through the roof.
What good was our feeble “boycott”?
Which brings me to my next point: If punishing corporate “enemies” is the goal, boycotts seldom work. Just ask Chick-Fil-A, which became the most profitable fast-food franchise in the country — after being targeted by the LGBT community, who disagreed with CEO Dan Cathy’s position on marriage.
Moreover, when we boycott a corporation, who are we really hurting? The owner, CEO or board chair? Nope. They’re already fabulously wealthy. If anybody is penalized, it’s going to be the hourly wage workers and salaried managers — our friends and neighbors — who have no control over corporate policy.
Mostly, though, I’ve just decided that I’m not going to let Colin Kaepernick or anyone else determine what I wear or where I eat.
Yes, I think Kaep is a fool and an ignoramus — but let’s not underestimate his raw cunning. By manufacturing protests over imaginary injustices, he has made himself the most relevant — and highest paid — failed quarterback in history.
Here we are, with another NFL season fast approaching, and we’re talking about him instead of Patrick Mahomes or Kyler Murray (or, this being Atlanta, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones). Gotta tip your Braves replica cap to the guy.
I simply don’t care what he thinks. He’s entitled to his opinions, as I am to mine — and one of my opinions is that I like Nike shoes. I like the way they fit. I like the way they look with Levi’s (which I’m also, apparently, supposed to be boycotting).
If you don’t like ’em, don’t buy ’em. If you don’t want to shop at Target or drink Starbucks coffee, that’s your choice. Just don’t treat me like a sell-out because I reward well-run companies for being well-run. That’s why it’s called the free market.