BOSTON (CBS) – This is a sensitive time in our political lives, I get it. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t encounter folks anxious or angry about the situation in Washington, and that includes both Trump opponents and supporters.
But when people start promoting a boycott of the products of a great New England company like L.L. Bean because a single member of the large family behind the business is a big Trump donor, you wonder if things have gone too far.
No one is arguing that people don’t have the absolute right to spend their dollars how and where they wish and to use that leverage to promote or object to politicians and their causes.
But the folks behind the L.L. Bean boycott should ask themselves – at what point do we cross the line between advocacy and bullying?
This same group, called “Grab Your Wallet,” posts a long list of retailers that sell Ivanka Trump’s product lines or do business with the Trump family in other ways, and that’s fair game. Ivanka and her adult brothers are active political allies of their father, and if you choose to punish them financially for it, that’s your prerogative.
But is it right or fair to hurt a business because of the actions of one person connected with it? Don’t their First Amendment rights have as much value as those of the boycotters? What about the potential innocent victims of such a boycott, people who might lose wages or jobs?
Targeted boycotts make sense; overkill like the attack on a socially-responsible company like L.L. Bean does not.
Hey “Grab Your Wallet” – you need to grab some perspective.