Monday, November 21, 2016

What I'm Doing

I spent Saturday sending emails to strangers.  Every time I hit SEND I smiled.  Big Cuter, comfortably ensconced on Douglas-the-Couch, wondered what was making me so happy.

I'm hitting him where it hurts the most, and it feels great.

What was it?

#GrabYourWallet was created last month in response to Trump's bragging about sexual assault. They created a spreadsheet of companies carrying Trump branded products and encouraged consumers to contact the retailers with this message:

I'm a customer/fan of your brand. Unfortunately, I'll no longer be able to shop there because you do business with the Trump family.  If you were no longer to do so I would consider returning as a customer. Since Ivanka has campaigned so passionately for her father, I feel that her brand, too, has become politicized.

This was something I could do, right then.  I wouldn't have to wait on hold, or be told that voice mailboxes were full (see tomorrow's post).  I could type and cut and paste and make a statement.  The boys were watching football; I had company as I made my voice heard.

I told Bed Bath and Beyond that I would miss them and their coupons and their friendly employees.  I told Zappos that I'd look elsewhere for Little Cuter's winter boots.  I complimented Nordstroms for delaying Christmas decorations  until after Thanksgiving but said that carrying Ivanka's jewelry was a deal-breaker for me.  I told Neiman-Marcus that their catalog went unopened into the recycling because I could not, in good conscience, shop with them this year.

Zappos! got back to me right away:

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to provide us with feedback! I respect your position on the Ivanka Trump brand, and I will certainly pass this feedback on to the appropriate teams for review. We take all feedback with open arms to help us improve our customer experience and learn and grow as a company.

HSN, which I glimpse only as I flip through, looking for Property Brothers, is sorry to lose me as a customer:

HSN is proud to be accepting of people with differing views and opinions. This is true of our customer base, and certainly the brands and personalities we bring to our wonderful customers.

I assure you that I have made the proper department aware of your concern and suggestion. Our marketing and management team always take our customers concerns very serious, and it will be reviewed.

We will definitely hate to see you go. You have been such a wonderful customer for so long.* I would greatly appreciate if you gave us another opportunity to provide you with quality merchandise that will exceed your expectations.

*Given that I've never been an HSN customer, I am skeptical of the veracity of the rest of their statement.  Still, my voice was counted. made me sad even as it engaged me.  I've written about them .  They are bright, kind, energetic young people but their ability to disconnect capitalism from politics was somewhat disheartening:

Thank you for reaching out to the Jet Heads in regards to your feedback.

We recognize that people really want their voices to be heard right now, and we appreciate you sharing your views with us. We don’t feel that offering a company’s product means taking a political position**, but of course we’ll respect the choice you make as to whether or not to continue shopping with us. We appreciate your business as well as your feedback!

**Of course it does,  You provide a platform for others to use.  You are the gatekeeper of that platform.  If something offends you, you have the right to refuse them.  If something offends you and you do nothing, you are acquiescent.... as am I if I continue to do business with you.   

There were 50 some companies on the boycott list.  There were also companies which could be complimented, companies like Home Depot which has Discontinued below every single Trump branded lamp on their website.  Their CEO may have supported Trump, but the company isn't doing business with him any more.

I only heard about it this weekend.

Even if DJT hadn't won the Presidency, I'd have abandoned those retailers for allowing a reprehensible human to enrich himself while using their platform.

I stopped buying Calvin Klein products when he popularized the heroin chic look.  I told Hanes that gentlemen might prefer them but I found their advertising offensive.

Once again, I can let my money speak for me.

Of course, Big Cuter wanted a new shower curtain ... and Bed Bath and Beyond is on the list.

Sigh.  I hate it when my principles crash up against my life.

And that must have been what the list's creators were thinking when they included on the spreadsheet.  Working parents have supplies delivered, grandparents have gifts delivered, everyone has something delivered so I was pretty sad about saying goodbye to Amazon until I searched and found Jeff Bezos's desire to send Trump into space.  He said that the President-elect's plans will erode democracy around the edges.  I was feeling encouraged.  I searched the site and found 7,252 results for prayer rugs.  I decided to write and express my feelings, but I can't separate myself from the Borg; I'm an Amazon Smile customer for life.

I'm doing what I can.  That's all that can be asked.


  1. I don't do boycotts of any sort for reasons that I won't list. I think there are meaningful things people can do that might help with the real fight which is not over hate but over what policies they want to carry out. Donate to Planned Parenthood. If you did before, donate more. Donate to Sierra Club or a similar wilderness and nature protector. They can advertise and convince Americans that those are their national forests and don't let them be privatized. Trump has enough money that you might hurt a business, cause them to go under, like say Bath Bed and Beyond, but you won't actually hurt him.

    When lefties get down to figuring out what their story is and why it didn't register with more Americans, that might get them back the House or Senate. State legislatures are proving pivotal on many areas and many people pay no attention to those not in their own state. This country has a huge problem with poverty and it is going to get worse with more mechanization even IF we get a handle on unregulated immigration (another cause of low wages for the working poor).

    Another suggestion I have for those who may not already donate there-- Shriners and St. Jude's both who help children with debilitating problems.

    Rage is unhealthy but turning it into productive directions can help get a handle on it. And one site I read said that the left is going off on this to such a degree that when Trump really does something nobody will be listening

    1. Did I not mention earlier my recurring donations to NARAL and Planned Parenthood? I did that when I woke up the morning after the election.

      I think tweaking the beast is healthy - and Mr. Trump responds to tweaks. My money speaks loudly, more loudly than the plurality of votes Sec. Clinton received, I think.

      My local reps are Dems, with good hearts and open minds. I know them. They take my calls. My US Reps are Flake, McCain, and McSally; see tomorrow's post for my work on the legislature.

      Outrage is necessary. I promise that I will be listening, and that others will be listening. I will let the Democrats sort it out as I quietly support Cory Booker (again, see tomorrow's post and the one after that, too, I think) and No Labels and Arizona List (Emily's list here) and keep the pressure on.

      Harnessing the angst is important. Focusing on getting the President-Elect's attention is important. Since he seems to react to personalized protests, that's where I'm going.

      Not that I think it will do any good. Don't misunderstand me. I think we are royally and totally screwed. It hurts to think that our basic institutions - the courts and the system of checks and balances - are so out of whack that they may not be able to protect our democracy.

      So very glad that Pres. Obama appointed so many Federal Judges during his tenure. they are what stand between us and disaster.

    2. My daughter said that about the need for Democrats to have a story that resonates with voters. They did not this time. They made many people feel they were forgotten or something to throw charity at, give a $15 minimum wage but nothing that would really help (not when robots can take over some of those jobs), but doing something real like making colleges affordable again. Obama did a good thing with community college tuition but more needs to be done. And medical insurance costs have gone out of sight for too many families. I think the elites believed they had enough votes without needing fly over country. They are still trying to get Electors to not vote what their state did but vote what New York and California in giving her the million vote edge.

      I don't think you can hit Trump in the pocketbook but some of those businesses may be operating on a thin margin and you might drive them out of business. You can't really hurt Amazon or Home Depot probably. I just don't like boycotts and have felt that way for years-- whether it's lefties or righties doing it-- and both do.

      And what I said is increase the donations and hopefully you see the risk to our national forest and parks with a right wing controlled Congress and many states.

      What I meant on the state legislatures is caring beyond our own. Oregon is also one with Democratic governor and strongly controlled state legislature. But too many people are living in states that aren't... and what if they get that 2/3 majority in the states to change the Constitution? That impacts my state too. Despite what many lefties think, this is not just about Trump who is probably more of an Independent who used the Republican party to get elected. Get rid of him and you get Pence, who is a genuine smiling while he knives you ideologue. Now that's scary.

    3. Pence, a true believer, can at least keep his mouth shut. He scares me no end, and I don't want him, either.

    4. the fact that he can keep his mouth shut is the problem. At least with Trump, he is out front with what he wants to do, which enables fighting it on the issues. And on the issues is where elections must be won. If we can't convince voters we have better ideas, we will lose again and again. Rage might be emotionally satisfying for some. It also won't win elections

    5. I know and I totally agree. I cannot remember a single substantive conversation exposing different viewpoints (though Hillary and Bernie came close once or twice and Rand Paul and John Kasich tried their hardest to engage) and certainly the MSM was absent.

      Pence has been so well covered (friends and family in Indiana so he's been on my radar for a while) that his smiling good looks can only carry him so far.... unless those who oppose him stay silent, too.

  2. I was not happy when I saw Amazon on the list last week, BUT... it's one company that I cannot give-up on because well, you know why. ;) And also because I really like Jeff Bezos. I do think if enough people write to Amazon, they will do something about Trump merchandise on the site. I do know they took a stand when it came to Confederate flags.

    Many of the other ones on the list, I am not going to do business with. Was happy Macy's is dropping the Trump brand. They should have done it a while ago.

    I hadn't thought of writing letters, but I will do that too.

    Hope you had a great weekend.

    Megan xxx

    1. Didn't know about Macy's dropping the Trump brand; wonder why they were on the list. They are still selling Ivanka's lines ( though. Make your voice heard over and over and over again.

      As for Amazon, the new ad with the imam and the priest exchanging knee pads to make praying easier was a deal maker for me - THAT is my America, and I'm happy to do business with a company that shows us coming together.



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