Last winter in the “Citizens United” case, the US Supreme Court ruled that banning corporate spending on behalf of political candidates was unconstitutional. Many fear that the resulting flow of corporate money into political campaigns will further tilt the balance in American society away from the individual and towards big business. To counter the influence of unrestrained political spending by corporations, I think it’s critical that we all pay close attention to the political activities of businesses we frequent and, if these businesses act contrary to our own beliefs, to take our commerce elsewhere. Corporations may have a First Amendment right to participate in the political process; but I have a corresponding right to not shop at their stores.
Target Corporation, which is based in Minnesota, recently donated $150,000 to a political action committee that is now running ads in favor of Tom Emmer, the Republican candidate for governor of that state. Emmer holds what I consider to be radical views on the role of government, favors business over the individual, and is a staunch opponent of many individual rights including same sex marriage. I think the election of Emmer and people of like political philosophy would be harmful to the country. I have no problem with individuals who support Emmer – they are free to hold their own views on what’s best for them and the country. But I certainly don’t want to do anything to help elect Emmer and now I feel that if I shop at Target I’m promoting Emmer by proxy.
Here’s a link to Emmer’s website. If you like what you see, keep shopping at Target. If you disagree with him, consider shopping at another store.