Boycotts, hunger strikes and demonstrations share one thing in common: they make the participant feel as if they are an activist for some cause and little else. But at the end of the day, who exactly does a boycott affect? It usually does not, except in a few cases, include the target of the boycott. And if the efforts are more common on the Left, it does not make them any more effective if instigated on the Right.
For example, because the CEO is not a proponent of same sex marriage, the LGBT community targeted Chick-Fil-A after some comments went public. Yet if my local Chick-Fil-A is any example (and I do not live in a particularly conservative area), there has been no effect on their sales. We do not really know if there has been an effect since the LGBT community targeted the business in 2011 and they are a private company, but the fact they are expanding nationally would seem to indicate that the boycott has fallen flat.
Speaking of targets, the Right has targeted Target stores over the transgender unisex bathroom controversy. This started earlier this year. According to some sources, the boycott has had an effect. In response to criticism over their bathroom policy, they are installing single-occupancy bathrooms at a cost of $20 million. In the first few months of the boycott, same-store traffic decreased 2.2%. Sales fell 7.2% to $16 billion, which is still a hefty sum of money all things considered. But one has to question how many innocent Target employees were let go because of declining sales?
I will mention another boycott- the BDS movement against Israeli occupation of the West Bank. This has largely taken hold on college campuses mainly in California. The only problem is that as the movement has grown, the GDP of Israel has doubled. For every lost sale and investment from sources here in the United States, Israel has found a willing buyer elsewhere in the world. Why? Because they are good investments.
Then there is the proposed boycott of the Broadway play Hamilton because the cast “lectured” Mike Pence (who had exited the building) and the behavior of the audience. Actually, the Trump supporters are overplaying their hand here by inflating reality. Regardless, the show is pretty much sold out through 2017 and when a ticket goes on sale, it usually only the 1% who can afford the $900 cost. Chances are a Trump supporter is not going to buy Hamilton merchandise of any kind regardless so it sounds great, but moot.
Finally, in the boycott area, there are those Trump supporters who feel slighted by comments made by the CEO of Pepsi. Again, one is not quite sure what effect this will have on Pepsi sales, but it could be potentially offset by putting the product on sale, especially at participating Target stores and Chick-Fil-A outlets. In short, the people calling for and participating in these boycotts all had their little feelings hurt.
In the area of boycotts, I have faith in the future. I once debated a social studies teacher who stated in front of 25 kids that he boycotts Wal-Mart because they sell clothes from China made by children. When asked my opinion, I said I buy at Wal-Mart because the socks are cheaper. After a back-and-forth, the vote among the 25 students was to shop at Wal-Mart…because the socks were cheaper. And I suspect the same thing happens with these boycotts. International investors will put their money in SodaStream because it is a good product at a reasonable price. People will take advantage of sales at Target and they will continue to buy Pepsi, especially if it is 2 cents cheaper than Coke.
As for hunger strikes, these are just attention-grabbing exercises that leave behind an emaciated human being that someone has to rehabilitate back into health, if they do not die first. It may bring attention in certain cases and Amnesty International may try to make the case for the hunger striker, but does anyone really care in the end? Look at the dredges of the earth being kept alive at Guantanamo. These people are so bad that no country is willing to risk taking them in. So, they are housed, fed, given prayer rugs, Korans, etc. at taxpayer expense. These ungrateful pigs have the audacity to turn their noses up at food?
In fact, that is a good way to close Guantanamo, Cuba- just let them all starve themselves to death. The Left is big on “choice” and these people are participating in a hunger strike by choice. Why not respect that choice and let nature take it’s course? Prisoners in California went on a hunger strike over conditions there. So what? That’s more food for the non-striker or a decrease in food expenditures- take your pick.
Finally, there are public demonstrations and, quite frankly, the Right does not demonstrate correctly. The Tea Party demonstrations are a perfect example where participants were seen picking up their trash and litter before going their own way. That is no way to demonstrate!
Compare that with some of the shenanigans at Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Rampant drug use, litter and filth, reports of rape…they even had demonstrators defecating on police cars!! Now that is a demonstration. Black Lives Matter also knows how to demonstrate because they usually turn into riots with honest-to-God looting, fires and throwing rocks at police. What a novel way to show your frustration with law enforcement: burn and loot your own community (or that of the nearest Asian) for some free booze, Pampers and a wig.
These people demonstrating against Trump’s election victory? I suppose it is better to vent your anger and frustration on the streets rather than curling up in the fetal position in some safe space somewhere. It’s a free country which means that if someone wants to publicly make an ass of themselves by demonstrating like this, then they have that right. Of course, we have seen this happen elsewhere…usually some backwards Latin American or African nation when an election result does not go the way the demonstrator expected. It isn’t that there is anything “rigged” about the election; they just disagree with the results. It’s also ironic that the Left are the ones violently protesting in the streets while accusing and suspecting their opposition to be doing just this very thing about three weeks ago. Actual elections have a funny manner of getting in the way.
But, that’s democracy, just like making an ass of yourself is democracy. Any way, the next time anyone on the Right proposes a boycott, demonstration or hunger strike (you don’t hear of too many conservative hunger strikers), just remember it isn’t that you are acting like “them” that it is annoying. It is that it is likely ineffective. You’d be better served by gobbling down some Chick-Fil-A with a big, cold Pepsi after a day of shopping at Target. After all, Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season is approaching. By the way, are “Black Friday” and “Christmas shopping“ still permissible in the English language?