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Many right wing businesses work in a two-faced manner - catering to the mainstream and using profits to support marginal right-wing causes. The recent Frank Rich article captures this phenomenon quite succinctly. We, as the mainstream, are complicit if we remain ignorant of this practice and choose to support this kind of exploitation. In the coming years it will be important for us to use our economic power to choke off those who seek to use our dollars to limit our freedoms.

I recently was told that the maker of "Tom's of Maine Toothpaste" was extremely right-wing. I am embarrassed to say that I buy their toothpaste - it is good stuff - and as such have presumably supported the diminution of my own freedoms. I can and will fix this consumer mistake but it seems to me that we need a better organized way of targeting this kind of exploitation. The Sinclair Broadcasting episode is a great example of a fast attack that had immediate results. It seems to me that sustained efforts of this kind might help choke off the flow of money to organizations that attack our freedoms. We need to demonstrate to businesses that they will need to be careful with the way they use our money for political purposes or they will pay in the bottom line. In this way individuals in power who may try to use their organizations to support their extreme causes will have to think twice.

To be specific, it seems that a forum like Kos might be the seed point for targeted attacks on this kind of behavior - a clearinghouse if you will for group action. Kos's dozen compelled me to give money to candidates who I would otherwise not be aware of. Similarly, creating a list of the top businesses to boycott might raise the pressure on such organizations to reform. The criterion need to be crisp and the reason for going after them clear. For example, organizations that direct corporate money to extreme causes or pay extreme employees excessively seem like reasonable candidates. The list needs to be short and clear and the businesses sufficiently vulnerable to consumer action (sadly, Halliburton is probably a poor candidate). It should also be clear what the business needs to do to get off of the list.

The blogsphere has shown itself to be a powerful forum for action and boycotts are a powerful way to get businesses to reform bad behavior. Combining blog and boycott is one way to change the economic avenues used by extremists to attack our freedoms.

Originally posted to robwell on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 10:40 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As a matter of fact... (none)
    ... there are some plans in the works to do exactly that.  Directly after the election someone started this diary: where the idea was started.

    A group of us have since taken it offline and are working to make it happen.  We are calling for volunteers here:

    Check it out if you'd like :)

    "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." -Aesop

    by Raven Brooks on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 10:37:21 PM PST

    •  A more modest and focused proposal is in order (none)
      I think a more modest proposal is in order. A carefully selected few seems better then an exhaustive list. Choosing 5 of the worst offenders who are vulnerable seems more effective then having a list of 1000 with a dozen search criterion. For example, going after a company mostly owned by some right-wing nut will have little effect - the company is a reflection of the nuts desires and you are unlikely to change the desires. So, even though such a company might be a gross offender, it might be a poor choice for boycott. A better choice is a company like Sinclair - publicly owned with a leader who is a nut. He cannot do anything he wants without facing shareholder lawsuits. Like Kos dozen it seems to me that someone needs to make an educated guess at five or so companies, mobilize people around those five, and see if the mobilization has any effect. It would be a shame to spend a ton of activist energy only to find out that the idea does not work. I am not saying that one conceals or obscures anything about the selected few just that someone who has stature in the blogworld makes the pitch. Kos, for example, has a lot of stature; Atrios has stature; and these people have the ability to convince. I am not sure a separate site would have the same effect (perhaps I am wrong).
  •  Good idea. So good... (none)
    ...a similar diary was quite quite popular a week or two ago.  In fact, it seems that some work has been started on it since exists, though there's not much of anything there, yet.

    In my search for the earlier diary, I also see there is a more recent one asking for volunteers for that I hadn't seen yet.

  •  If you think about it. (none)
    This could work. I'd like to see a comparison made between how much of foreign products conservatives buy compared to liberals. Could be interesting and show if we really have a bigger sway than we think.

    "In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners." -Albert Camus.

    by BrianL on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 10:55:06 PM PST

  •  If you like the idea... (none)
    ...Please do recommend the volunteer request diary so that all Kossacks will catch it and we might be able to recruit a few more folks.

    "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." -Aesop

    by Raven Brooks on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 11:00:26 PM PST

  •  Take it further... (none)
    Buy only Union made products and services that are American as much as possible- you can find this out by simply asking the companies or searching Union websites.

    If it means paying a little bit more, be comforted that you're supporting a living wage and benefits for workers.

    Blogs need to support the labor movement, I find that many in the liberal/intellectual/web hemisphere aren't showing enough support for Labor.

    "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry, 1971

    by Demise on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 11:24:58 PM PST

    •  BTW (none)
      If a company or service you currently buy from isn't Union and you intend to leave it or stop buying the product, let it be known that their lack of a Union is the reason.

      "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry, 1971

      by Demise on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 11:25:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't buy stuff (none)
    Iraq Open Thread  (War, dKos)
    posted by DemFromCT on 11/08/2004 05:46:27 PST
    94 comments (94 new)
    Rank: 1.86

    2. Sinclair  (Media, dKos)
    posted by kos on 10/23/2004 11:38:57 PST
    108 comments (108 new)
    Rank: 2.83

    3. Some Dare Call It Journalism  (Media, dKos)
    posted by Meteor Blades on 10/22/2004 13:01:03 PST
    86 comments (86 new)
    Rank: 0.94

    4. Freedom vaccines on their way  (Bush Administration, dKos)
    posted by kos on 10/20/2004 22:17:38 PST
    60 comments (60 new)
    Rank: 2.62

    5. Sinclair: the free-fall continues  (Media, dKos)
    posted by kos on 10/19/2004 11:10:38 PST
    205 comments (205 new)
    Rank: 2.24

    6. Weekend Elections in Australia And Afghanistan  (General 2004, dKos)
    posted by DemFromCT on 10/09/2004 09:15:40 PST
    40 comments (40 new)
    Rank: 2.03

    7. Two chains bar F911  (Media, dKos)
    posted by kos on 07/06/2004 10:56:15 PST
    121 comments ( new)
    Rank: 1.69

    8. The Muhammad Horton ad  (Bush Administration, dKos)
    posted by kos on 03/11/2004 21:19:52 PST
    112 comments ( new)
    Rank: 2.55

    9. A Uniter Not a Divider?  (Misc, dKos)
    posted by Melanie on 11/02/2003 18:45:37 PST
    249 comments ( new)
    Rank: 0.88

    10. DNC responds  (Democrats, All Topics)
    posted by kos on 10/28/2003 15:14:36 PST
    47 comments ( new)
    Rank: 1.20

    11. I have pulled ePatriots from the site  (Democrats, All Topics)
    posted by kos on 10/28/2003 07:55:25 PST
    93 comments ( new)
    Rank: 3.81

    12. Florida straw poll: when is a boycott not a boycott?  (Democratic Primary, All Topics)
    posted by kos on 10/28/2003 06:56:13 PST
    61 comments ( new)
    Rank: 3.88

  •  First and foremost (none)
    those who advertise on Fox News. . .

    Frame it as

    1.   we are against news as propaganda
    2.  we are against hypocracy in the form of phone sex.

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