At times, the anti-Trump crowd truly is good for a laugh. They hate Trump enough to create a boycott list containing companies that are allegedly pro-Trump and/or offer Trump-branded merchandise, for use as a guide on which companies to avoid when purchasing consumer goods. But the boycott list the #GrabYourWallet group put together includes the country’s two largest retailers, who just so happen to have actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump.
Working under a .org website titled and marketed under the hashtag #GrabYourWallet, the group’s homepage contains a spreadsheet detailing retailers that should be boycotted, which Trump merchandise the particular retailers carry, the best contact points to reach the retailers in question, and what to say when contacting the retailers.
The website is as amusing as it is indicative of liberal hubris, as the whole charade is actually just another item in the long list of private enterprise collaborations with government that have turned into colossal failures. Just take a look at a segment of #GrabYourWallet’s mission statement which describes its history:
The hashtag and the movement exploded on social media and has been viewed over 350 million times. No longer just a boycott, #GrabYourWallet has evolved into a movement and central resource for the flexing of consumer power in favor of a more respectful, inclusive society. It’s been reported on by The New York Times, Vogue, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, CNN, MSNBC, Nightline, and BBC among dozens of other media outlets (see below). Notable figures who have amplified or supported the movement include Don Cheadle, Greg Louganis, Lucy Lawless, Roseanne Cash, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Reich, Pam Grier, Ben Cohen, and Joy Reid.
The group appears more concerned with detailing the publicity created by the hashtag/movement than they are at sharing anything the group has actually accomplished. If you take a look at the group’s accomplishments in another page within their website, you can see that their latest accomplishment was on 11/20/16, almost two months ago.
More importantly, at least half of the group’s “accomplishments” cannot even be verified to be as a result of the group’s influence. Notably, Jenny Craig is listed as being dropped from the boycott list, but it appears they were only on the list as the result of an error by #GrabYourWallet:
Bloomberg incorrectly lists Ms. Craig, a Trump fundraiser, as a current board member of Jenny Craig. Jenny Craig’s PR team reached out to indicate that she is no longer a board member at which point the company was removed from the list and a correction issued via Twitter.
Of the other companies dropped from their list, two of the five have lines have their reason for removal as, “Line is simply no longer available”. The quotation makes me wonder if they were even rightfully on the list in the first place, or if the line was previously set to be phased out of retail inventory without #GrabYourWallet interference.
So, who is still on the list? Somehow, Amazon. Of course, Amazon is owned by Jeff Bezos, who also owns the virulently anti-Trump Washington Post, which provided a slew of commentary in support of Hillary Clinton, and continues an ongoing campaign against the President-Elect. Bezos himself has made a litany of inflammatory remarks regarding Trump, and Amazon itself went out of its way to put in its own personal fix for Hillary Clinton.
Amazon is hardly the sort of retailer the anti-Trump crowd should want to boycott, right? Apparently, they are so upset that a few of the over 480 million products that Amazon sells just so happen to be affiliated with the Trump family, they are prepared to boycott the entire company as a result. This, despite the founder/CEO’s stumping against Trump, and ownership of a newspaper that is to this day one of the primary media outlets publishing rhetoric against the incoming administration.
Perhaps the group is upset that Bezos chose to attend Trump’s technology conference on December 14th of last year. However, it appears Bezos himself was more disappointed in his attendance at the conference than anyone else.
Also on #GrabYourWallet’s list of retailers to boycott is Walmart. The same reason is given for Walmart’s inclusion: “Retailer that does business w/ Trump family and/or sells Trump Family Products”, with absolutely no deviation whatsoever from Amazon. Yet, the only difference between the CEO’s of Walmart and Amazon appears to be the exact dollar amount and type of support given to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The Walton family, who have long been deeply tied to the Clinton family, donated $714,000 this election to Hillary’s campaign. Hillary herself was a member of Walmart’s board of directors for six years, from 1986-1992. And, despite some liberals being disappointed with Hillary’s close ties with Walmart, others gleefully embrace their relationship as just another part of capitalism, seeing Walmart as both good for the consumer and good for the Democratic party.
Yet, despite Walmart offering over 16 million products for sale online and far more at their many retail locations, #GrabYourWallet is so incensed by Walmart offering one line of Ivanka Trump’s products that they are organizing a boycott against the entire company. How can #GrabYourWallet expect the executives of Walmart or Amazon to even be aware of exactly what products they offer for sale, given the size and scope of their business?
Quite amusing, isn’t it? #GrabYourWallet is targeting the two biggest retailers in America, who have both donated to and campaigned for Hillary Clinton. In the case of Amazon, the CEO has purchased a newspaper with a $250 million price tag early in 2016, for what appears to be the specific purpose of working to subvert Trump.
And these are the enemies of #GrabYourWallet; the most pro-Hillary, anti-Trump companies of them all. Is it any wonder that their campaign has had such limited success?
#GrabYourWallet managed to regain headlines yesterday, when news came out that the group was adding L.L. Bean to their list. The reason for L.L. Bean’s inclusion is board member Linda Bean’s donation of $60,000 to a pro-Trump PAC. To be fair, that is at least a legitimate reason to be on #GrabYourWallet’s boycott list. Still, as L.L. Bean pointed out in their response, Linda is the only one of 50+ family members involved in the business. And it appears that she is the only board member to actively support Trump’s candidacy.
Still, the leader of #GrabYourWallet, Shannon Coulter, has stated that the group will not remove L.L. Bean from their boycott list until Linda Bean is no longer on the board.
“Rather than devote their energies to crafting long, carefully constructed PR statements, we recommend L.L. Bean think long and hard about whether or not Linda Bean’s continued presence on the board is worth losing the volume of consumers the company will continue to lose for as long as she retains formal ties to the company,” Coulter said.
With 69 companies currently on their boycott list, and only six groups removed, half of whom probably did not belong on the list in the first place, depending on whether those removals are included or not, the movement has between a 4 and 8 percent success rate, which again uses their dubious claims regarding removal.
Seeing the steep demands that #GrabYourWallet has placed upon L.L. Bean, and the group’s questionable successes and lack of any legitimate progress, it is safe to say that Linda Bean will not be removed from the board. And, if #GrabYourWallet is hoping to put a dent in L.L. Bean’s business, their campaign could end up having the exact opposite effect.
After all, L.L. bean does employ 450 people at their factory in Brunswick, Maine. Seeing the considerable amount of people the company employs in the USA, isn’t L.L. Bean the sort of company Trump voters should want to purchase consumer goods from? The publicity created by #GrabYourWallet regarding L.L. Bean could ultimately end up leading to a surge in pro-Trump consumers purchasing goods from L.L. Bean in opposition to #GrabYourWallet.
One thing is for certain; I don’t own any L.L. Bean merchandise, but because #GrabYourWallet brought the company into the news, now I’m looking through what kinds of boots they offer, since I need a new pair. I won’t buy them unless I like them, but the fact that I’m even considering it, when I wasn’t before, demonstrates how much of a failure the #GrabYourWallet movement really is.
After all, they oppose the exact retail giants who opposed Trump’s election, that they should actually be in support of. If this group really wants to take this angle in its campaign, best of luck to them. With leaders like Shannon Coulter, the group is going to need all the luck it can get.