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July 26, 2012 - 2:13 pm

I’m old enough to remember when liberals found out that the then-owner of Domino’s Pizza was a pro-life Catholic activist who donated some of the profits from Domino’s to Catholic and anti-abortion charities. The reaction was sudden and furious: in an instant there were calls for a nationwide boycott of Domino’s, and of anyone who accepted ads from Domino’s; picket lines sprung up outside pizza shops across the country; and in general things looked grim for Domino’s.

Until, that is, about a month later, when the mob’s attention was drawn elsewhere, and the whole boycott thing evaporated.

What made the flash flood of outrage so mystifying is that the owner of Domino’s had never hidden his beliefs; nothing changed to precipitate the boycott except that the Left for the first time learned about an existing fact.

The exact same process is now happening with Chick-fil-A: it’s not that the owners suddenly came out of the conservative closet. In reality, they’ve been public Christians and openly conservative for their entire business careers. All that happened is that their views entered onto the liberal radar by chance one day, and the word quickly went out on the Alinsky grapevine: This is the next target we will freeze, personalize and polarize.

I’m quite sure that the Chick-fil-A boycott will fade away soon enough, as such things always do, but it raises a larger question: Why become outraged spasmodically like this, in fits and starts? Why not simply made a permanent list of every business’s political preferences, and conduct one’s economic choices accordingly?

Since conservatives as well have on occasion chosen to avoid giving money to famously leftist businesses, we can stop this bipolar boycott binge behavior and just declare a permanent cleavage in America’s shopping habits to match our political preferences. THIS IS WAR!

But the problem is that each side only ever gets obsessed with the other side’s “villains,” and there’s no one-stop bipartisan handy list of whom you should boycott and whom you should patronize, according to your politics.

Time to rectify that!

I hereby declare permanent mutual Economic Civil War between the left and the right. You don’t want your money going to fund ideologies you hate, do you? Of course not!

I’ll get the ball rolling with a few entries on both sides, but please feel free to make suggestions and additions in the comments section, and I’ll be updating the lists to make them more comprehensive throughout the day:

EVIL CONSERVATIVE COMPANIES

If you are liberal, you must forever boycott and shun the following businesses, all of which are known or suspected of either being controlled by conservatives or donating profits to conservative causes, now or in the past:

Chick-fil-A
Staples
Marriott Hotels
Walmart
Georgia-Pacific (Koch Industries)
Target
Halliburton
Heinz
Domino’s Pizza
Monsanto
McDonald’s
Denny’s
White Castle
Coors Brewing Company
Abercrombie & Fitch
Melaleuca, Inc.
Gold’s Gym
Snapple (Dr. Pepper Group)
Carl’s Jr.
Ahava Dead Sea Cosmetics
Nestle
GE

Industry-wide “general principles” boycotts:
All corporate donors to right-wing SuperPACS
The oil industry
Tobacco companies

EVIL LIBERAL COMPANIES

If you are conservative, you must forever boycott and shun the following businesses, all of which are known or suspected of either being controlled by liberals or donating profits to liberal causes, now or in the past:

Ben & Jerry’s
Google
Facebook
Best Buy
Arby’s
Progressive Insurance
Home Depot
GE
GM
Van de Kamp
JCPenney

Industry-wide “general principles” boycotts:
The motion picture industry (“Hollywood”)
The mainstream media
Former Glenn Beck advertisers

 

Update I: One difficulty in compiling such a comprehensive list is that some companies have changed political orientations over time, and at various phases in history there has been unhappiness in both political camps with certain companies. Disney, for example, was reviled as a “conservative company” for decades, especially in the ’50s and ’60s, since Walt Disney himself was conservative and since Disney cartoons and films and parks promoted all-American values. But that was then; now, Disney is often accused of being too politically correct and of owning media outlets which overtly skew left; and at the same time, liberals still bash Disney for being unashamedly capitalistic. In short: Ya just can’t win.

To avoid this problem, I’m mostly seeking the names of companies which are either currently facing an official or unofficial boycott, or which faced one in the past and have not noticeably changed their politics since then.

Update II: This list is specifically about the political leanings of companies, and not about “bad business practices.” Therefore, excluded from the list will be boycotts called due to poor conditions in overseas factories (Adidas, Nike) except in those cases where there is a claimed or apparent close connection between the bad business practices and the companies’ declared ideology.

Update III: The more extreme anti-capitalist activists essentially hate every corporation, for the mere reason of being a for-profit capitalistic enterprise. Therefore, also excluded from this list will be boycotts declared simply because a company is successful. (Though it could be argued that many of the well-known boycotts originated for just this reason: Resentment of success and opposition to profit comes first, and then later some flimsy justification for a boycott is ginned up as an excuse to protest.)

Update IV: An interesting thought experiment: What would life be like in both LiberalLand and ConservativeLand if all members of each ideology strictly hewed to their boycotts — especially the industry-wide boycotts? Liberals would not only have to live without certain kinds of fast food, various hotels, paper products and fertilizer-grown plants, but also without oil and gas. Conservatives would not only have to forego Google, Facebook and Arby’s, but also films and newspapers. Two different Americas indeed!

Update V: Both GoodGuide and BargainBabe feature an interactive infographic slider which allows you see the political leanings of 153 major consumer brands. Maybe not each one is boycott-worthy, but if you’re trying to decide between Shiseido and Liz Claiborne at the cosmetics counter, it might be useful to know that Liz Claiborne is run by a bunch of commies while Shiseido are fascist reactionaries!

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