Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

March 21, 2015

Hey. Does this soap box make my ass look fat?

Filed under: General — Vadasmaker @ 4:18 pm

I was driving somewhere with a friend and she asked what kind of music I like. I said my tastes were pretty eclectic, but probably leaned toward country rock. She said, “Like Hank Williams.” I said I liked Hank Williams, Sr., but that I didn’t listen to Hank Williams, Jr. When she asked why, I said it was because I didn’t like his politics or his behavior, and explained that he had compared the president to Hitler and referred to him as “that Muslim, “ and that offended me. 

“What’s that got to do with anything?” she asked. “He’s an artist. Who cares about his politics?”

Um, well, me? Why in the world would I support someone who’s made clear not that he dislikes President Obama, but that he hates him and has no respect for him at all? I would have felt the same way if he had spoken of former President Bush that way. Williams’ attitude speaks to his character, and I don’t like his character. I don’t shop at Hobby Lobby because I disagree with their politics. I don’t watch Mel Gibson movies because he’s a racist, and I don’t watch Tom Cruise movies because I think his public disdain for psychiatry and belief that mental illness doesn’t exist has done a great deal of harm. For me, having strong political opinions means I don’t just vote in an election booth. I vote with my wallet. Sometimes it hurts, but when at all possible, that’s what I do.

Take Chili’s for instance. It used to be one of my favorite places to eat. I don’t go there anymore, because I am not going to give money to a company that supports people and causes I oppose. The PAC of Chili’s parent company, Brinker, International, donates heavily to Republican causes. That in itself doesn’t put me off. However, Brinker funds Berman and Company, a lobbying group known for its attack ads and smear campaigns. Brinker has donated to one of Berman’s front groups, the Center for Consumer Freedom, which, according to the official Web site, “stands up to the food police, environmental scaremongers, neo-prohibitionists, meddling bureaucrats, and other self-anointed saints who claim to know what’s best for you.” Berman is backed by the tobacco and hospitality industries.  Not surprisingly, they like to lobby against both lowering the legal blood-alcohol levels and banning smoking in public places. In my opinion, such a stance is irresponsible and unjustifiable.

Among objectionable politicians Brinker supports are Eric Cantor, John Cronyn, and Mitch McConnell. If I have to explain why Cantor and McConnell are asses, you’re probably reading the wrong blog. John Cronyn’s ass-iness may be less well known. In 1999, when he was attorney general of Texas, 46 residents of Tulia, TX, were set up, arrested, convicted, and imprisoned, most as a result of the testimony of a single narcotics agent. Of the 46, all but 3 were black. Cronyn refused to order an investigation until 2002, when state and national media and civil rights groups applied so much pressure he had no choice. Fourteen of the 46 people are still in prison.

Also at issue are some statements that are in my opinion criminally disingenuousness or the result of profound stupidity. In an early release of a speech Cronyn was going to give to the Heritage Foundation, he wrote, “It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right…Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife.” To his credit, he did remove the ridiculous statement from the actual speech, but I’m sure it wasn’t without some pressure. Cronyn is also one of big oil’s top 10 favorite members of Congress. What a surprise.

Besides Chili’s, there are other big names I refuse to patronize. Anything manufactured by any Koch brothers company—Dixie Plates, Brawny paper towels, Quilted Northern toilet paper, Lycra, Dacron, Stainmaster carpet—if it puts money in their pockets, I don’t need it.

Do I buy from companies that support things I find objectionable? Probably. It takes a lot of work to find a company’s true bottom line, but, if you’re interested, here are some Web sites and posts that can help: http://votewithurwallet.wordpress.com/buy-blue/ 

http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2012/09/19/corporations-which-are-republican-which-democrat/#7427101=0 

http://www.opensecrets.org/

I guess I said all that to say that where you spend your money isn’t my business, and I wouldn’t presume to criticize you for your choices. By the same token, putting your money into companies that support causes you don’t is the same as stepping into a voting booth and filling in the little box beside their candidate’s name, enabling that person to make choices for you.  If you can’t be proud of the majority of their political actions, why help them do it?

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1 Comment »

  1. Amen, sister.

    Like

    Comment by pony-tale — March 23, 2015 @ 4:34 pm | Reply


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