Very often when Republicans talk about our economy you’ll hear many of them talk about letting consumer power decide things. The theory behind this absurd notion is that businesses will be forced to behave ethically and morally because “the consumer” will force them to. It’s one of those theories that sounds great, but almost never works.
The key word there is “almost.” You see, often times the consumer is completely oblivious as to what’s really going on within these various corporations before it’s too late and the damage is already done. I’m not sure how the consumer could have prevented the BP oil spill, the chemical spill in West Virginia that contaminated the drinking water for thousands of residents in the state or the fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX.
But as it just so happens, the recent situation in Indiana, and the very public backlash over the state passing the so-called “religious freedom” bill, has shown what “consumer power” can do if consumers are properly informed.
You see, due to the overwhelmingly negative public backlash over this law, several corporations and organizations have threatened to pull out of the state or cancel future plans within the state due to the bigoted stance the law took against homosexuals. While most Republicans claimed it did nothing more than protect the rights of religious people, it’s clear these sorts of laws are specifically passed to give business owners the right to discriminate against homosexuals without facing any kind of legal ramifications for doing so.
So, the response we’ve seen from millions of Americans and several businesses toward Indiana following the passage of the law is essentially “consumer power” and capitalism at its finest. It is the truest form of us, the consumer, using our “power” to show our displeasure about something that the majority of Americans find highly offensive. And guess what? It worked. Other states have already halted the passage of similar laws or changed their wording to make sure people can’t discriminate against LGBT people, and Indiana itself added language to their law that specifically prevents businesses from being able to discriminate.
That being said, one would think most Republicans would be celebrating this strong showing of consumerism, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, several have publicly condemned those of us who’ve put pressure on these businesses, organizations and the state of Indiana itself to reverse course on this discriminatory law. Instead of being celebrated as a moment where consumers showed off the freedom of capitalism, those of us who’ve voiced our displeasure about the law have been called such things as “militants” by Mike Huckabee and a “lynch mob” by Newt Gingrich.
Amazing, isn’t it? All I ever hear from Republicans is how we need fewer regulations because the consumer will regulate business and commerce, then when that happens – they throw a hissy fit because it seems consumers aren’t exactly thrilled with their prejudice and bigotry. Not only that, but they are the ones pushing for “big government” by passing these sorts of laws to give businesses the legal right to discriminate against members of the LGBT community.
It is hypocrisy defined. But then again – when aren’t Republicans hypocrites?
This is just another example where the “small government” Republicans show off their love of big government, as long as they can use that government to support their ignorance.