I once had a vision that I thought would be helpful. I was sick of listening to clips of a hundred different news sources, yet there was not one place to go to get the true facts.
Through social media I was of the belief that when businesses act out, take sides on political issues it would be easy to identify and list those businesses. What got me riled up was the way Paula Deen was treated and how businesses jumped on the bandwagon against her. In that case it was hard to keep track.
I was wanting to create a means by which, on these major issues, a business that takes side would be listed. Then people could go to one place to see where businesses stand on issues. I call it a Clearinghouse For Public Interest. It didn’t have to be a Left or Right thing. If it functioned correctly anyone could go in and nominate someone or some organization, citing why people may want to look for alternatives when shopping.
Hardly anyone I knew had the ability to keep up with everything going on and that was before the Cancel Culture Wars got started.
I was all hyped up to get something done, but with limited funding and name recognition I knew I needed help. A lot of help. The Value Voters Summit was coming up in early October of 2013 so I made up a simple one page handout explaining my idea and headed to Washington DC. I had registered to attend the summit, knowing a lot of I influential people would be there.
The big National Shutdown of 2013 happened at the exact same time. I listened to several of the speakers over the few days I was there, but I was there more to do the talking than the listening. Funny thing I talked to several everyday ordinary people, sitting in the hotel lobby and at the next table at breakfast. When I explained the reason for my visit to the Capitol of this great nation, they all pretty well understood where I was coming from and wished me well.
I didn’t get the same reaction for those entrench in the political world. I personally spoke to several Congressmen and Senators over a 2 to 3 day period. I had a chance to visit with Brent Bozell and a couple of others that are in the know in Washington.
I either didn’t have the skill set to get my point across or they couldn’t hear what I was saying, any of them, due to being blinded by their own agendas.
I felt that someone like The Media Research Center could take the idea and run with it. But what I kept hearing was “Boycotts Don’t Work”. They turn people off. My idea wasn’t so much an organized boycott of anyone. It was just a place so when stupid ideas are brought about, like the gender bathroom thing, a couple of years later, it would have been nice to highlight Target Stores and a few other businesses we spend money at, then people could better make an informed decision about.
I envisioned that this Clearinghouse could have enough clout that it would cause businesses to think twice before they act out.
When the Camper World CEO declared he didn’t want to do business with Trump Voters. I’m sure his remarks were completely lost on a lot of less than informed Republicans.
Like today with the Joe Rogan issue. If there was a place to browse to see where different musicians are at on this issue. I would love to have a place to obtain information on musicians that I know I would never buy their music.
It’s funny when I kept hearing about how boycotts don’t work, what is really happening when celebrities or businesses gangs up on someone, like Joe Rogan , isn’t that like a boycott?
All of this happened well before I ever heard of cancel culture. That term hadn’t even been invented. Look how effective this could have been during the Trump Years and since.
It was fortunate that the shutdown happened when I was there. It gave me much more access to people. We were all walking from one place to the other rather than riding the subway or taxi’s. I was able to talk to people as we were walking down the street.
One morning we were told of a big rally at the Capitol. Ted Cruz was going to speak about the shutdown. Other high profile politicians were going to be there and speak.
That time afforded me the opportunity to make my pitch to Senator Ted Cruz, Representative Louie Gumbert and Senator Mike Lee. They all three listened, but of course I never heard back from either of them. Nor did I expect to.
In fact after the rally, there was a big contingent of us that walked the length of the Washington Mall, picking up trash that had been strewn over the prior days, with no workers there to pick it up. Someone had the forethought to bring several boxes of large trash bags that they handed out.
I happened to be in a group that Senator Mike Lee was heading up. That gave me several minutes to explain where I was from and why I was there. I could tell he thought something needed to happen but he wished me well as we parted. We continued on as a group to the World War 2 Memorial.
We found it was barricaded off, closed. A couple of buses of veterans arrived there to see it. I think it’s call The Honor Flight Network that has organized this over the years, giving WW-2 Veterans their only chance to ever see their Monument.
Several of us took it upon ourselves to start dragging barricades out of the way, allowing members of the Greatest Generation to go inside and see their monument and be recognized and photographed.
I consider that act of defiance being one of the most significant things I’ve ever been a part of. Of course our act that day was not destructive in any way. I’m not so sure the same thing would be allowed today. But seeing the relief on the faces of the organizers and the veterans that traveled far and wide getting there, it wouldn’t have mattered. It was their Monument. Not some politicians.
Sadly that was all that I can really take away from my trip to Washington DC in 2013, but all wasn’t lost. There is the “What if I had found the right person”.