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boycottI remember talking with a neighbor back in 1970 or so, telling him how my wife had written this blistering letter taking Sears, Roebuck to task for their immoral and incompetent handling of our account. He said, “That’ll show ‘em.” If you are truly an Imaginative Conservative, you will understand that he was right, despite being sarcastic. Where is Sears now? Helen’s letter probably threw them over the edge.

This came back to me this morning as I was reading Fr. Schall’s lovely little essay on The Catholic Thing about skepticism, and came across a link to 379 companies that filed friendly briefs to the Supreme Court on behalf of homosexual marriage. My first thought, as an Outraged Conservative, was to write letters even more blistering than my wife’s letter to Sears. But, discovering that Apple, Comcast, Facebook, Google, and Verizon were on the The List, it seemed that perhaps I should look for more imaginative ways of dealing with the essential amorality of major corporations.

Aha! Boycott them! Well, boycotts hurt—but only when one has the capacity to hurt. I will do this to Alcoa, AT&T, Barclays, Barnes & Noble, Capital One, CBS (except for their golf coverage on TV), Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Dow Chemical, General Mills, Hewlett-Packard (although they once were heroes), Miller-Coors (their beers are lousy), Starbucks (I’ve been waiting for a reason to boycott them), and Xerox (despite the fact that the man who built their empire was Joe Willson, the exact name of my youngest brother, who never worked there). No harm, no foul. That’ll show ‘em.

Arianna Huffington

Arriana Huffington

The list appeared in the Huffington Post, the creation of the remarkable Arianna Huffington, who when I met her many years ago was in a trendy conservative phase, one of many trendy phases she has managed to parlay through modestly trendy good looks, modest talent, superhuman ambition, strategic marriage, and a truly great sense for the next trend into great wealth and modest influence. The HP, of course, wants us to applaud the companies on The List. I wish to call them what they are, and to say joyfully that if I were to have the right button to delete them all, there would not be even the slightest twinge of conscience.

That not being the case let me just alert the more imaginative among my conservative friends. Do you really want to support J. P. Morgan Chase or Morgan Stanley or Marriott International any more than, for example the IRS or the Department of Education? How about Pepsico, Proctor & Gamble, or Walt Disney in addition to the EPA or the FDA? The only place on the list is The City of Ann Arbor, Michigan; to paraphrase W.C. Fields, “I’d rather be in Hillsdale.”

There are sports franchises on The List. The San Francisco Giants is no surprise, but how about the New England Patriots? Can you imagine Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady sitting down and saying “Employers are better served by a uniform marriage rule that gives equal dignity to employee relationships?” Or, “Allowing same-sex couples to marry improves employee morale and productivity?” We have crossed through the looking glass. Arianna must be proud.

Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

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4 replies to this post
  1. There is some ominous body of insatiable trolls behind hammering out same-sex marriage mandates, which drones on and on, without media rest or civil peace. Who/ what is behind this, and why? I’ll concede that same-sex “committed partners” have a legal, ethical right to their civil rights benefits-which they’ve won and received. Do they have moral rights standing on a moral ground? No, from the universal natural law which does not change, LGBT screamers do not operate from a morality perspective, but from an amoral one, as this article correctly addresses about face-less corporations. The (not) Supreme Court now operates from the same amoral politically corrupt private agenda dictates. Even with recent legalities in place, the gay issue never seems to shut up or go back to living their “committed partner” lives, if enough of them are and stay committed. These insatiable gay-activist trolls and rabid media whores keep ramming it down our throats. It never ends and never rests. This only serves to convince me that openly promiscuous and self-flaunting homosexual behaviors really are gravely disordered, psychically disturbed, un-naturally arrested in development and pathologically narcissistic. For these, there is no shared committed life or sacrifice for what is “life-giving” here, nothing beyond their own depraved, confused hedonism. This applies to hetero-sexual sicko-trolls as well. Their innate confusion is not my confusion. It has essentially monopolized and sucked up the airways and this air-time should be severely rationed now. What would be constuctive now would be to engage with gay folks who present and engage a life of the mind and spirit, a moral imagination, a civic responsibility, creative service, those who quietly or publically do good work, those who give themselves away–like so many mainstream folks do. Not those who are so myopically overly-identified and self-oppressed with being LGBT. Without a moral shame or guilt, you are not an evolved human person or citizen (the faceless amoral corporations again). Don’t expect any patience or acceptance from me about hedonistic LGBT death-styles which I tune out and shut off in a nanosecond. If I hear authentic threads of life-giving human committment and sacrifice from you, you’ll get a fair hearing from me, more than a fair hearing. I’ll consider you my pilgrim brothers and sisters. Thats more than the Non-Supreme Court would ever give you!

  2. >>”Do you really want to support J. P. Morgan Chase or Morgan Stanley or Marriott International any more than, for example the IRS or the Department of Education? How about Pepsico, Proctor & Gamble, or Walt Disney in addition to the EPA or the FDA?”

    Thanks– the public and private bureaucracies are indistinguishable and symbiotic. There is an inexorable result to every trial, before the neocon/neoliberal taskmasters. Will we all simply submit, to our Kafkaesque fate?

  3. And here I was, thinking no one else had noticed.
    It has been obvious for some time, the big corporations have been behind this drive. (Corporations are not capitalist, BTW, unless one is referring to State Capitalism) It is much to their advantage to have employees living in a homosexual relationship. A) With both working, no “benefits” are wasted on the non-working spouse. B) Less chance for children in the home, again reducing the cost of “benefits”. c) More likelihood of “encouraging” the employee to work longer hours (for the same pay) without a traditional family to go home to — and feel guilt if not.
    Back in the late Sixties, John Brunner wrote a sci-fi dystopia (Brad Birzer take note) titled “Stand on Zanzibar”. One of the throwaway ideas was that corporations approved of homosexual workers for the reasons I alluded to.
    Like the fella said, “I can take care of my enemies, God save me from my friends.”

  4. Where’s the list and the website? Sign me up! Companies know that one angry letter stands for thousands just as upset, and boyotts moreso. Where’s the conservative youngster looking to found a cause? She’ll be interviewed at each annual corporate board meeting.

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