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Voting With Your Wallet in the Era of Cancel Culture

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The recent “controversy” over the CEO of Goya praising Trump that sparked a boycott has me, and I’m sure many others, shaking our heads wondering if anything is immune from politics these days. Apparently not. When aren’t liberal snowflakes triggered by something and calling for a boycott? Last month several companies pulled their ads from Tucker Carlson Tonight because of comments he made about the Black Lives Matter movement. It didn’t exactly work, and Tucker Carlson’s show became the highest-rated program in cable new history.

Whoops.

Boycotts like this tend to backfire by having a galvanized effect on the supporters of the target. Goya is no exception. LifeZette reported on Saturday that Goya sales have “taken off” since the liberal boycott began.

Whoops again.

If liberals want to launch a national boycott of my book, I’m totally game. I’m always interested in more sales.

Anyway, while we generally see the political left behind these partisan boycotts of products, they don’t have a monopoly on the practice. In 2004, some conservatives refused to buy Heinz ketchup because John Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president, was married to Teresa Heinz. Does anyone actually make a better ketchup than Heinz? No. If you’ve ever gone to a restaurant that served something different, like Hunt’s ketchup, you know there’s something about the Heinz recipe that is unmatched. Find me a better testing brand of ketchup and I’ll buy it, regardless of who owns the company and what candidates they donate to. That’s just my way. Life’s too short to care about cross-referencing products of any kind with the politics of the presidents and CEOs of the company.

There have been other boycotts driven by the right. After Nike began a relationship with Colin Kaepernick, many conservatives stopped buying their products. However, many liberals were galvanized in support of Nike, more than offsetting whatever impact any boycott had.

Me, I’ve never been one for boycotts. Quite frankly, I don’t care about the politics of companies I buy products from.

I grew up in Massachusetts, and there’s a Dunkin Donuts (or at least used to be) a Dunkin Donuts almost everywhere. So, for a long time that’s the coffee I mostly drank. Until I discovered Starbucks and learned what good coffee tastes like. Some people hate Starbucks, thinking it’s too strong, or too bitter. To me, it’s got flavor and Dunkin’ Donuts (or I guess now just Dunkin’) doesn’t. I haven’t looked back. I have no idea what the politics of Dunkin’ is. Frankly, I don’t care. Their CEO could be the most die-hard, conservative, Trump lovin’ person in the country, and I ain’t switching to what they consider coffee.

Starbucks, as most people know, is a liberal company with liberal leadership. They still make a good cup of coffee and I can only imagine how much of my hard-earned money has been spent on drip coffee, espresso drinks, and whole bean coffee over the years. Every year, I take my son there for a Father’s Day outing. I have a modest collection of Starbucks mugs. That’s how little I care about the politics of the company.

Over the years, I’ve discovered some comparable alternatives. Peet’s Coffee & Tea is one I find acceptable and occasionally get. Black Rifle Coffee Company is another place I also buy coffee from—and highly recommend. As a veteran-owned, conservative company, if ever there was a company I’d ditch Starbucks for, it would be them. But, Starbucks Coffee can be bought in the local supermarket and has locations all over. So convenience keeps me supporting both.

We’re all free to vote with our wallets if we choose to, but boycotts clearly don’t work. Drawing attention to your partisan gripes in this hyperpartisan climate where cancel culture is running amok doesn’t seem to work. And, it’s just driving the political left and political right further apart, where each side has its own entertainment and commodities and any deviation from this politically homogenized commerce will leave you nowhere to go because neither side will have you.

Eat the beans you want. Drink the coffee you like. Buy the clothes and shoes that work for you. Watch whatever entertains you. Just stop bringing politics into everything. Seriously, your morning brew doesn’t have to be a political act. You shouldn’t have to buy a different brand of canned goods to make a political statement. Liberals, you don’t need to boycott anything.

Except my book. Boycott it, please. Boycott all of them.

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Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis