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.