Sick of everything being political? Make sure you’re not yelling at the wrong person about it. You could be hating on the wrong people.
Chick-fil-a’s CEO said he doesn’t thing gays should be allowed to marry, so nobody should ever buy a chicken sandwich from them again. Target donated to an anti-gay Republican candidate, so don’t go there anymore. Starbucks said guns were welcome in their facilities, so don’t go… oh wait… they took it back, so go there! Don’t forget to shop at Macy’s because they had drag queens dancing in their holiday parade which children could see, and it upset the religious right!
Are you sick of being told these things? Are you tired of having to check a business’s political history to know whether you can or cannot buy there without upsetting your gay relative? I guess I can understand that. But here’s the problem. It may just make you a hypocrite to say so, if you have also held a different opinion.
Have you ever said to yourself that voting just feels like a waste of effort? Have you ever wished there was something more you could do than just elect someone who may or may not do what needs to be done, and then watch as they don’t do anything that they promised? If this is something you’ve felt, then you should quit your bitching when others are encouraging you to spend your money in such a way that reflects your views. Voting no longer is a strong enough expression of Democracy. So if you are sick of being told how to shop, then you’re just saying you want to let democracy rely on that single vote you make every two or four years. Make up your mind.
Rightwing people love to remind us that this isn’t actually a Democracy. It’s actually one of Rush Limbaugh’s favorite talking points, as well as one that’s echoed blindly by gun-nuts, fundamentalist Christian activists, and antigay organizations. This is a Representative Republic, they’d say, and this means that it was never meant to be mob rules. Of course then they’d demand a vote by the people against the rights of the people they hate if they know the majority also hate them, but who’s counting? These are the people trying to take away your right to vote at every opportunity, if you’re a minority, or in a demographic most likely to vote Democrat. They are obviously enemies of actual Democracy. But they have lots of money, and they are constantly voting with every dollar. If you don’t think this is so, just look how quickly they try to boycott Home Depot when it doesn’t discriminate against gays like they think they should, and how they flocked in massive mobs at Huckabee’s beckoning to support Chick-Fil-A for hating on the gays. They’re voting with money. Why shouldn’t you?
And furthermore, that vote against the gays was more damaging than you may have realized. Dan Cathy of Chick-Fil-A infamy did not end up being protested because he bravely stood up for marriage, as the talking point goes. In fact, he was an antigay coward for years. The protest that happened was not because he spoke out and said something. It was in no way a punishment for what he said, and therefore, not a free speech issue. It was for what he didn’t say, and harmful actions that he committed with his dollars.
The protest had been planned for a good long time, taking quite some time to plan and organize. Dan Cathy had never said anything on the issue other than to say everyone was welcome to his store. However, he donated millions of dollars to religious hate groups with nice sounding names, like Focus on the Family, and American Family Association (which I prefer to call FAMBLA). They sound like harmless groups of good Christian people, but their every article is constantly crying about how persecuted they are because gays might be given some equal rights. Make no mistake, they are hate groups. And not harmless ones either. Their funds worked towards the campaigning of Proposition 8 which almost stripped the equal rights of Californian same-sex couples. That’s harmful enough, but it doesn’t stop there. Those same funds even went to help American politicians in their international campaign that brought about the Kill-the-Gays bill in Uganda. Yes, their money helped bring about the legalization of murdering people. YES. MURDER OF GAY PEOPLE.
So when the protest was about to come about, Dan Cathy pulled a fast one. He decided to “bravely” speak out (finally) about his “bold stance” so that when we protested, it would appear, and be reported, as nothing more than our sudden opposition against his words. Just words. And in those constant news stories, you heard not one damned word about his millions in donations to hate groups and the harm they caused, did you?
Even seemingly liberal sources went on and asked why we’d tell people not to each chicken just because we disagree with a guy. Cathy made millions in just those days when haters mobbed for chicken sandwiches just to stick it to the faggots and lesbos of the world. I wished Bill Maher and Jon Stewart would’ve taken a second to learn the truth about this, but they didn’t.
So when you are criticizing people for not wanting to get a chicken sandwich with you, saying it’s somehow a denial of First Amendment rights or a persecution against Christians, you need to ask yourself who was doing the real hating and harm, and who was just trying to bring awareness. Are you criticizing the right people?
If it bothers you that people might suggest you spend your money democratically, keep in mind that the haters and the Right never hesitate to do the same. They spend billions in ways that thwart your vote and your rights every day. Don’t believe me? Try this.
Roe vs. Wade’s decision made it clear that a woman’s right to reproductive freedom is in no way unconstitutional. When they can’t win to destroy women’s right to choose, they’ve instead used their millions to bribe and cajole so that there are crazy laws on the books not against abortion, but on what Planned Parenthood clinics have to follow to prevent being shut down. And for this reason, women’s rights, completely in legality, are destroyed not for any other reason than lack of funds to comply with ridiculous rules. Clinics are vanishing!
And this leaves women without a way of fighting back for their rights. After all, who are they going to vote for that can bring an end to this? Also, they’re using money to lock people up and take away their freedoms, because prisons are good money to evil people, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of how money is being used to destroy your rights. Your vote won’t do much of anything. The rich don’t care who you put into office. They’ll only defeat you with their dollars. You have to fight back.
If you are angry with being told where you spend your money means something political, you need to be angry not with the person who brings it to your attention what those businesses are doing to you, but to the business who does it to you. Be angry at the right person. Otherwise you’re displaying just the kind of apathy that kills Democracy. And then when you whine about how meaningless your vote is, you’ll have nobody to blame but yourself. And we’ll be able to say we warned you. IF we’re not in prison.