In Defense Of Boycotts

Boycotts are ridiculous except when they’re not.

How do you explain not wanting to see Florence Foster Jenkins because Meryl Streep gave a stupid anti-Trump speech at the Golden Globes? Do you really care what she says? What about the Target boycott? Or the Kellogg’s boycott? Where do the boycotts end? Don’t you just want to live your life and save your mental energy for things that actually matter, like where to send your kids to college or whether to order the onion rings or the French fries with that bacon cheeseburger?

Yes…and no.

It’s dumb to boycott Hollywood over what Meryl Streep said about Donald Trump. Trump’s a big boy: he can handle himself. Just look at Twitter. Not only that, but every single Hollywood awards ceremony is staffed, presided over, and attended by hard-core progressive leftists (except for those few less-progressive actors we’re supposed to love and support). What did you think these emotional children were going to say on an open mic? Watching the Golden Globes and getting mad at the progressive pabulum therein is like going to a vegan restaurant and bitching about the lack of steak on the menu. These events are circle-jerks for the most entitled coterie of self-licking ice cream cones in human history. Don’t you have anything better to do than watch them give each other trophies for the biggest load and shortest trigger time? They don’t agree with you. Move on.

It gets different when an actor like Michael Shannon says, “This country’s filled with ignorant jackasses. The big red dildo running through the middle of our country needs to be annexed to be its own country of moronic assholes. You can call it the United States of Moronic Fucking Assholes.” This guy’s talking about you personally. He’s calling you a moronic fucking asshole because you have a difference of opinion. Are you really going to take that from him? Maybe your husband voted Trump. Maybe your mom did. Or your son. I don’t care what he thinks about me, but he needs to learn that there are real consequences to calling my wife a moronic fucking asshole. So yeah, it’s right and proper and good to tell him and his employer that you’re not going to reward that kind of unacceptable behavior with your entertainment dollars. To do otherwise would be to tacitly accept (or, to use the new buzzword normalize) his point of view.

As Americans we used to understand that not everybody we meet is going to share our values, but we did business with them anyway. Are you going to avoid shopping at the Safeway because the produce guy supports gay marriage or the cashier voted for Bernie Sanders? Of course not. That’s stupid. We’re all much, much bigger than our politics.

I said we used to understand this, because we don’t anymore. Now companies have to burnish their moral bona-fides (AKA virtue-signal) at every turn. It wasn’t enough for Target to just allow men into women’s private areas if they feel like women: Target had to tell the world about it. Kellogg’s couldn’t simply pull its advertising from Breitbart.com: they made a big announcement. These companies are shoving their progressive politics into your face, and whether you agree with them or not, they’re setting unacceptable terms for business practice. If you don’t push back, that’s going to be normalized (that term again). They’re making your breakfast choices a matter of politics. Don’t let them do that to you. If they’re brave enough to tell you that they hold you in such little regard, you have to be strong enough to tell them to go to hell.

This is not a question of changing corporate policy: it’s ludicrous to claim that the Kellogg’s boycott is intended to make the Kellogg’s company put Frosted Flakes ads back on Breitbart. Nobody cares that Meryl Streep and Michael Shannon disagree with them on immigration. What we’d like with the boycotts is for these loud, insulting, shallow-thinking entities to stop inserting their emotionally-derived, infantile politics into every aspect of American life. We’d like to relax in front of the tube with a bowl of Raisin Bran and watch Nocturnal Animals, but the lead actor just called us assholes and the cereal company won’t do business with people who aren’t progressive enough. Isn’t that stupid?

We didn’t ask for this. They started it. Progressives have always thought themselves entitled to your money, but they used to be more coy about it. It’s long past time to remind them that you have other shopping and entertainment choices. Not because you only want to buy from true-blue conservative ideologues, but because you don’t want to fork over your hard-earned money to people who have achieved a comfort level with calling you a moron.

Are boycotts going to change the world? Of course not. They’re not going to change minds, either. But damn it, if the American left is going to make every mundane life decision a moral choice, then don’t choose them. Pulling a lever at the ballot box isn’t enough: the war they started is fought on multiple fronts, including the culture. Remind them that this is your culture, not theirs. They’re in the minority. They’re the extremists who redefine deviance into inclusivity and tolerance. Take your culture back.

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