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Resisting Trump 2 – Living in America Series

February 19, 2017

Living in America Series – Boycotting Trump companies is one way to resist

As the Trump administration continues to create a brand new political swamp in Washington, D.C., filled with billionaire alligators, the nation further divides into two camps. There are those who believe the one-month-old president is making America great again and those who watch in disbelief as he spits venomous tweets at the democratic traditions that are seen by many to be the bedrock of that greatness.

If you are in the latter category, one solution being proposed by several political observers might appeal. It is to mount boycotts of companies that support Trump and/or stock his products, including his daughter Ivanka’s clothing and jewelry line. Nordstrom, an upper-end retail outlet, led the way by pulling Ivanka items from its shelves, stating that they were not performing well. Other corporations have also begun to respond to the outlandish Trump statements that are fed daily into the news machine.

If you are interested in a such strategy to resist Trump, here is a list of the companies to consider boycotting: #grabyourwallet | Boycott These Companies

Sometimes boycotts work, sometimes they don’t. One thing they do accomplish is to give the participant the feeling that they are doing something to stop untenable, unfair, racist, and otherwise outrageous acts or at least slow them down.

My first experience with this type of resistance was the Kraft Boycott in the late 1960s. I don’t remember exactly what triggered it, but we all knew that we were making a statement against a major multinational corporation. I still don’t buy Kraft products.

My second experience was the United Farm Workers of America grape boycott led by Caesar Chavez and other courageous trade unionists in the early 1970s. The boycott was our way of taking a stand against the exploitation of farm workers. When I buy grapes now, I still habitually look to see if they came from California, the main site of the UFWA struggle. The memory of that successful boycott stays with me.

Now, faced with a U.S. administration that is pointing the country down the road to fascism (and I don’t use the word lightly but what else would you call it?), boycotting companies that support Trump and his family seems an obvious and effective way to resist in the same spirit that we did with Kraft and California grapes.

Today, I boycott Walmart and Hobby Lobby. I don’t shop Lowe’s anymore because I understand that Walmart owns it. I have not yet verified ownership, a task that is not always easy because of the many hidden cross-ownerhips that big corporations can devise these days. But when I do, and if I find that I have been mistaken, I will lift my boycott of Lowe’s and any company that can be shown not to support Trump’s policies by selling his products or donating to him.

Recently, I wrote to L.L. Bean, whose clothes I have often purchased online in the past, to demand that I be removed from their mailing lists. Linda Bean, another billionaire, supports Trump ergo I don’t support L.L. Bean. Given my record, noted above, for long-term boycott resistance, they have lost my business forever.

Will it bankrupt Linda Bean? No. But it feels so good to be able to take some small protest action against the undoing of a democratic America or at least a more democratic one than the corporate oligarchy now settling into the White House.

My hope is that the progressive voices in this, my adopted country, will mount a campaign against Trump and the Republican Party and embrace strategies that will make America reject their warped vision of America.

I’m waiting for the people who rose up to support Bernie Sanders to rise again to fight for the America that is described in the sign we now have on our lawn. I’m waiting for them to devise effective strategies and provide leadership to the resistance. So far, though, my weapons of resistance are the boycott and the sign posted above that describes the country I want America to be. Maddeningly, it is being guided in precisely the opposite direction.

Boycott Trump!

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