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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Progressive Boycott Freaks Out Republicans

It probably won’t break your heart that the “Owner of SoulCycle and the Miami Dolphins faces outrage and calls for boycott over Trump fundraiser,” as Brian Ries reports at CNN Politics. What it ought to do is gladden the hearts of, not just Democrats, but every sentient being who cares about American democracy and human decency.

As Ries, writes,

The billionaire owner of Equinox is planning a high-dollar Hamptons fundraiser for President Donald Trump, leading to calls for a boycott of the luxury gym and its associated businesses SoulCycle and Blink Fitness.

Real estate developer Stephen Ross — who is chairman and majority owner of the Related Companies, which oversees Equinox Fitness — will host a luncheon on Friday, according to the invitation, at which attendees will pay up to $100,000 for a picture with the President and $250,000 to listen in on a roundtable discussion.
The Washington Post first reported the fundraiser, sparking the outrage. The news didn’t sit well with some people who frequent the gym, who assailed it as supporting a President whose inflammatory rhetoric and policies targeting people of color are out of sync with the gym’s progressive and oftentimes famous clientele.

Related Companies Chairman Stephen Ross tried to minimize his suport of Trump, parroting a lot of yada yada about his embrace of diversity etc. But hosting and organizing a Trump fund-raiser is a lot worse than writing Trump’s campaign a check, which alone would merit a progressive boycott.

For too long, Democrats have forfeited one of their most potentially powerful tools for social and economic progress — economic withdrawall. However, we live in a political climate that allows the Republican President of the U.S. and members of his administration to boycott congressional subpoenas and refuse all requests for information. The Republican Senate Majority Leader also feels free to unilaterally stonewall all progressive legislation and prevent meetings and hearings with a Democratic president’s nominee to the U. S. Supreme Court. Isn’t it time for Democratic rank and file to leverage their dormant power as consumers to achieve needed reforms?

Yes, boycotts are problematic. For one thing, it’s important to make sure that affected labor unions are OK with it. And it’s tough to get a critical mass of awakened consumers mobilized enough to have an effect.

But, you know what is even more problematic? Funding politicians who actively promote racism,  bigotry and white supremacy. Also, Democrats bankrolling a presidential campaign that would screw millions of Americans who have serious health problems, and cheat hard-working Americans of all races out of a living wage. Progressives Financing a reckless president to deny the climate crisis and grease the skids for polluting industries is also a big problem.

The way it is now, the GOP’s sugar daddies get a free ride. They support Trump’s worst initiatives with their hefty contributions, while paying no price whatsoever in term of public opinion. The day that this free ride comes to a halt is the day that American democracy will be renewed and energized. It’s a challenge that must be met by progressive consumers, as well as voters.

One comment on “Progressive Boycott Freaks Out Republicans

  1. Martin Lawford on

    “What it ought to do is gladden the hearts of, not just Democrats, but every sentient being who cares about American democracy and human decency.” The logical extension of a boycott against Soul Cycle and the Miami Dolphins would be a shopping list of companies to boycott and a second list of companies to patronize, according to the political donations of their owners and their sponsorship of right-wing broadcasting.


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