This has been an irritation that ranges from minor to major for me for quite some time, so I thought I would share my thoughts with you, dear VIP readers.
While I generally tend to avoid the outrage du jour in most cases, I always do when it comes to boycotts. My kid would say it’s my contrarian bent, and she may be right. It also has to do with the simple fact that I think boycotts are just plain useless and dumb.
First, there is the whole collective tantrum nature of boycotts. I avoid the outrage because I’m uncomfortable with mobs of any political persuasion, whether in real life or online. I’ve grown more weary of this as cancel culture has become more prevalent. Boycotts were cancel culture before cancel culture was cancel culture. The focus of the wrath merely shifted from corporations and businesses to individuals, which makes it insidious.
Big corporate boycotts are rarely effective anyway.
Leftists have been trying to shut down Chick-fil-A since shortly after the company sold its first chicken sandwich. When Chick-fil-A opened its first restaurant in Manhattan, Mayor Bill de Blasio implored New Yorkers to not eat there.
What kind of impact did that have?
The boycott failures are one of the few things in America that are bipartisan. Conservatives have hated Starbucks for years and two of them have opened up in my neighborhood in the two and a half years that I’ve lived here.
Right now, I’m supposed to be mad at Netflix and the NFL. I’ve barely paid any attention to the Netflix thing, to be honest. I know some people who have deals at Netflix who have been giving network higher-ups a lot of grief over Cuties but I still don’t know what the hell it’s about. And I don’t want to. Most importantly, I am not obligated to find out what it’s about just because people who I agree with politically are up in arms about it.
The NFL is a different situation. I’m a fan, the league is on my last nerve right now with all of the woke crap. Did I watch any football this past weekend?
Am I boycotting the NFL?
I will watch a game at some point in the next few weeks and not feel the slightest bit of remorse about. If I were boycotting, there would be some emotional baggage attached to that.
I spent all weekend not watching football but also not telling everyone that I wasn’t watching football (ok, there was one tweet about it), which leads me to where I’ve been going with this from the beginning. Personal choices to not use a product, not frequent an establishment, or cancel a subscription are great. I’m a conservative; I’m all about the power of the individual and personal choice. Once anybody tries to guilt me into becoming a member of the boycott collective, however, I’m not feeling it anymore.
The upside for you to my attitude is that I will never insist that you don’t like something simply because I don’t.
Let the leftists think they’ve ascended some moral high ground just because they’ve gotten together online and decided to not enjoy chicken.
Boycott the boycotts.
I feel a lot better now.
PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.