We have many tools at our disposal as we react to the taking away of our marriage rights in California. National protests. Lawsuits. A new ballot amendment. Lobbying legislators. Wearing the White Knot. But there's one popular tool that's more of a blunt instrument than a lever: boycotts on businesses because their CEO or other employees gave personal money to Yes on 8.
There are good boycotts and bad ones. This is the bad kind....
Why is it a bad boycott? First, because it makes no sense. It's as if we are punishing an entire family because one member let loose a racial slur. And unfair, overzealous actions like this tend to lead to backlashes. Second, because it is likely to fail. Boycotts are tough to sustain (look at the way Baptists tried to boycott Disney); and when they wind up having no significant impact, it makes the group boycotting seem less powerful. Third — and most importantly — this sort of boycott is bad even if it succeeds. It's bad because companies are very reactive to losing business, especially in hard economic times. And corporations do a lot to protect themselves. I fear that the result of these sorts boycotts — if they are successful — will be for companies to add a "no personal political or campaign donations" clause to their employment contracts....
Boycotting is a blunt instrument. Let's not smash through our own interests accidentally.
Friday, December 5, 2008
I have argued that the "Mormon boycott" resulting from the passage of California Proposition 8 is both unjustifiable and harmful to the cause of gay marriage. (See my article at American Thinker and post immediately below). In an article titled Boycotts That Backfire, Jennifer Vanasco does not address the anti-Mormon nature of the boycotts, but makes some good points:
Posted by William A. Jacobson at 2:12 PM