Boycotts are almost always unethical, but the vicious partisan tactic of boycotting businesses because they or their owners support or contributed to the duly elected President of the United States make usual boycotts seem saintly in comparison. Spite, vengeance, an attack on political speech and individual autonomy, call it what you will, there is no other side to this tactic. It is wrong. It undermines democracy. It punishes speech. It is the heating oil seller who tells Trump voters to freeze, and the yarn shop owner who tells Democrats to feed their knitting elsewhere, but on a grand, self-righteous, societally destructive scale.
#GrabYourWallet is a website whose operators aim to hurt, injure and punish not only business owners who dare to have a different political view than they, but also their businesses employees, families and customers. This is the invidious outfit that bullied Nordstrom into dropping Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, because we must punish a young woman for supporting her father, who half the country chose to be President. This in turn led Kelly Ann Conway, the President’s spokesperson who is as much in over her head as a he is, to fall into the trap of violating the law by using her position to promote a product, because she chose an inartful way of telling decent Americans to reject the boycott.
Let me be as clear as Ethics Alarms can be.
#GrabYourWallet is an unethical website, devoted to bullying and harming the innocent for exercising their rights as citizens.
#GrabYourWallet is operated by bad people, who are bad citizens. They want to prevail by coercion and economic war, not be virtue of their ideas and position.
Anyone that follows the guidance of #GrabYourWallet is an unethical person, a bad citizen, and a nascent totalitarian who seeks to achieve political goals by threats and by inflicting tangible injury rather than by the legitimacy of ideas.
This is signature significance. Ethical people do not say, “Believe as we do, or we will destroy you.” Fair and responsible people do not say, “Oppose the nation’s elected leader, or we will make you beg for mercy and bend to our will.” Respectful and civic-minded people do not say, “I don’t agree with you, and thus you must be punished.”
Everyone connected with #GrabYourWallet and similar ventures, anyone who supports them, follows them, cheers them on, is a bad American, a bad neighbor, and an ethically warped, diseased human being. Not for what they think or say, for I may disagree with what they say, but will defend to the death for their right to say it. No, they are unfit for our society because of what they are doing: setting out to make dissent impossible, and indeed dangerous.
Even if I agreed with the political views of these awful people, I would not want to associate with them. They pose a threat to the United States, its values, its culture, and, should their methods by some doomsday mass ethics plague and brain rot be accepted, me, my family, and my business.
#GrabYourWallet and everyone who endorses their miserable methods and values must be called out, opposed, derided and shunned, as should any company without the guts, integrity and principles to sand up for this blazing threat to democracy.
And yes, damn it, Democrats and progressives, this crawled out of the stinking ooze on your side of the spectrum, and you are complicit and collaborators unless you reject such tactics expressly and unambiguously. Your unhinged and irresponsible rhetoric made #GrabYourWallet seem reasonable to the unreasonable and vile individuals who spawned it. I’m waiting to hear your condemnation.