Expressing your political views is a corner stone of America, and throughout the years we’ve found more creative and interesting ways of expressing those opinions, including, through our wallets. Political views are melding with consumer advocacy; that is advocacy by consumers, not just for consumers.
In recent months, as America has become increasingly more politically charged, a campaign called #grabyourwallet has targeted and boycotted brands associated with President Trump, with Trump responding to the campaign in kind by offering support for those brands listed to boycott (or, in this case, “Buycott”)
Neeru Paharia, a researcher at Georgetown University, notes that this style of economic expression can make us feel especially powerful in today’s political climate.
“It seems like people are a little fed up and disillusioned with conventional political channels,” Paharia says. “In the absence of that legitimacy there has been sort of a rise in political consumerism.”
Paharia notes that money doesn’t just satisfy our economic needs, but our psychological needs as well, whether that be driving a fancy car to show off social status, or buying coffee at a local store instead of a chain to express moral status. And, although we do enjoy using this “power”, we are often selective as to when we use it, and also when we ignore it, sometimes clouding our message.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that my family buys with their conscience each and every day. Take Monsanto for instance; you won’t find any products tainted by GMO products in our house, at least not on-purpose. I am proud to know Dr. Paharia and to encourage others to read Dr. Paharia’s work.