2017-02-17 / Commentary

Political Boycotting is Hard

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation


Mike Cox Mike Cox In this rugby scrum we call politics in America, things are deeply divided. Neither side can claim the high ground in poisonous accusations or Tweets against the opposition. As things deteriorate, we steadfastly scream louder and listen less to those we oppose. How can we do otherwise? We’re the Right Side.

Super Bowl weekend brought an interesting twist to all this. Budweiser unveiled a new commercial daring to claim we are a nation of immigrants and should appreciate them. Both Anheuser and Busch were immigrants from Europe; Busch was German, the designated evil foreigner group of that time. They met and began making beer.

Very surprising Budweiser didn’t see controversy brewing, cancel this commercial, and show horses playing football again. Offended immigrant haters and alt-history buffs demanded everyone immediately boycott the King of Beers. On Super Bowl Weekend. This story comes on the heels of another dust up featuring a large, American company.

One of the many L L Bean family members and business owners is an exuberant supporter of our new president. Liberal Twitter accounts and Michael Moore aficionados demanded an immediate cessation of buying those cool flannel shirts offered by LL Bean.

The problem in both cases is our deep-seated bigotry. We have no trouble distancing ourselves from the crazies in our constituency. We are all individuals. Those different from us; “them” aren’t allowed the same courtesy. All of “them” are “exactly the same.” This distinction resulted in comedy.

Most progressives consider Trump supporters to be ignorant rednecks who drive pickup trucks, spew racist vitriol, and drink Budweiser. So a Budweiser boycott, especially on one of the biggest annual excuses to drink beer, is funny to liberals.

By the same token, most conservatives think pointy headed liberals spend all their time sipping white wine, reading obscure historical novels, and listening to PBS radio while wearing stuff purchased from LL Bean.

Those folks probably are getting a kick out of imagining their more left-leaning opponents wringing their hands in a non-masculine way and trying to decide between Eddie Bauer and Urban Outfitters for that go-to outfit to wear while cruising the organic countryside in the Cayenne.

To add to this confusion, Cracker Barrel has gotten involved in a controversy. Some smart-elect filed a Change.org petition, supposedly in jest, claiming that cracker was a derogatory term and should be changed.

The uproar was confusing. The first report I saw accused liberals of being behind the lawsuit, but most liberals aren’t too worried about terms like cracker; many don’t know what it means.

More conservative people would likely be sensitive to the word cracker but they aren’t usually involved in changing politically insensitive language. Their attacks on free speech came centuries ago when most curse words were banned and religious beliefs became law. Now no one knows whether to boycott Cracker Barrel or eat there more often.

Add to this the President’s daughter’s troubles with Nordstrom and controversy between Under Armour and Nike over which side to support. What if your political beliefs clash with your football team’s choice of sponsor?

Politicians are among the most unpopular people in America. How did we let them do this to us?

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