In the era of Trump, boycott is the new black.
Whenever a company or a person who represents a company makes a clear political statement, those on the other side of the aisle always react with “boycott!” Let’s not pretend this type of behavior is specific to liberals or conservatives. Both have embraced such histrionics.
If you combine a president who is polarizing and companies that harbor liberal-leaning ideals, you’re bound to create incidents that enrage both sides into action. And that gets tiresome very quickly.
Boycotts are generally ridiculous, short-lived “purity” tests which don’t end up making any actual difference. I, and many others like me, don’t care if you’re giving up Starbucks, a movie, Kellogg’s, a Broadway musical, or shopping at Nordstrom. This is America. Knock yourself out. Just don’t demand that I join in, because I won’t.
Just this week, two annoying boycott campaigns sprang up on social media.
The first, #BoycottHawaii, was in response to Honolulu U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson’s blocking of the Trump executive order banning travelers from Muslim-majority countries. The specifics of his ruling have been dissected, and yes, his motives are indeed questionable. But reactions from Trump supporters have been predictably absurd—they’re calling for mainland Americans to boycott Hawaii.
Yeah, this will definitely change…everything:
On the other hand, Hawaiians and their supporters are pleased with the news:
Next came #BoycottMcDonalds, another display fueled by Trump supporters. This time they were mad at the fast-food chain for a Thursday morning tweet:
McDonald’s later stated that its social media account had been compromised and that they didn’t officially despise Donald Trump. Either way, MAGA fans are calling for Americans to give up their Big Macs:
Somehow, I doubt the fast-food giant will feel much of an impact from this.
Every time I see threats of “boycott!” no matter which side they originate on, I shake my head. It’s nothing but foot stomping. I think we can safely say that right now, there are plenty of bigger issues requiring our attention that have nothing to do with sandy beaches or Big Macs.
Proponents of boycotts, regardless of their politics, enjoy the drama and writhing about that their campaigns bring. Yet as good as it might feel to briefly stand against a powerful entity in such an obvious way, boycotts have little lasting effect. Perhaps in the boycotters’ limited spheres of influence, others will join in. However, the big picture usually tells a much different story, and things generally continue on as before.
At least until they organize their next boycott.