In the wake of the US election, Trump supporters have been calling for boycotts of companies and products whose ideals they feel do not align with the President-elect’s. The number and importance of those services grows more expansive with each passing day — and includes the vast majority of popular internet services.
CEO Matt Maloney was the first to fall under Trump supporters’ crosshairs. Maloney, co-founder or food delivery services GrubHub and Seamless, sent an all-staff memo last week calling for the resignation of employees who espouse bigoted attitudes. “I absolutely reject the nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics of Donald Trump… If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here,” the email read. In turn, Trump supporters took to Twitter under the hashtag #BoycottGrubHub.
Today, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi came under fire for the mere mention that many of her employees were concerned by Trump’s stated platform of intolerance. Nooyi made made these remarks last week at the The New York Times DealBook conference, where YouTube videos of the event have been flooded hateful comments. Trump supporters are, predictably, also calling for a boycott of Pepsi products.
Switching from Pepsi to Coke is as easy as, say, switching from Seamless to Delivery.com. But PepsiCo is a massive food conglomerate comprised of much more than a single soft drink brand. The hundreds of products under the PepsiCo umbrella include a variety of soft drinks (Mountain Dew, Lipton, Mug, Mist, SoBe), Gatorade, Lays, Ruffles, Smartfood, Cheetos, Doritos, Rice-a-roni, Quaker Oats, Cap’n Crunch, Rockstar energy drink and Tropicana juices, and the absurdity of trying to avoid all of these products at all costs balloons as Trump supporters called for boycotts to internet services.
On Reddit, r/the_donald subscriber WhiteChristianMan created an “official” list of products to boycott which has received over 4600 upvotes. It includes Macy’s, Time Warner, Amazon, ConAgra, Comcast, Netflix, Starbucks, Dell and OREO — though not its parent company Nabisco, for some reason.
Trump’s feud with OREO began when he claimed a production facility in Chicago was being closed down and moved to Mexico. Time Warner, presumably, was added because of the New Right’s longstanding hatred towards its subsidiary news organisation CNN. Meanwhile, Macy’s chairman Terry Lundgren banned Trump’s menswear line from his stores after the President-elect’s derogatory comments towards Mexican immigrants. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos publicly stated that Trump “erodes our democracy around the edges“. Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, claimed, “Trump would destroy much of what is great about America.”
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz described the Trump campaign as a “vitriolic display of bigotry and hate and divisiveness”, though his all-staff memo was markedly more staid than Maloney’s, the crux of which was:
Whether you are pleased or disappointed by the outcome, we each still have a choice. Today and every day, we have a choice in how we treat one another in our homes, in our neighbourhoods, and of course in our stores.
Presumably Trump supporters will now forgo patronising any business that opposes the President-elect, that had disagreed with him in the lead-up to his victory or that even mentions the imminent threat he represents to democracy as we know it. Oh, and we can also expect boycotts on companies that donated money to the Clinton campaign (Dreamworks) or has recently moved jobs to Mexico (ConAgra).
Trump supporters are more than welcome to show support with their wallets, just as anti-Trump protesters are a constitutionally protected to express their outrage. But a witch hunt on this scale broadens to the point of absurdity. Ford is moving all of its small car production to Mexico within the next two years, as much of the auto industry has done. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, was a member of the Democratic Victory Task Force. Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson called on Trump to “break the cycle of retribution” in an open letter on LinkedIn, a company whose co-founder Reid Hoffman called Trump “almost like a schoolyard bully”.
The impending boycott becomes even more absurd when you consider recent actions by employees of the biggest, most powerful companies in Silicon Valley. A single open letter to Trump co-signed by dozens of tech luminaries includes current and former high-ranking members of Facebook, Tumblr, Apple, Yelp, Twitter, YouTube, Tinder, Reddit, Google, Wikipedia, Instagram and the father of the internet itself Vint Cerf.
Boycotting a single delivery app is a low commitment. But it seems the most principled Trump supporters will be living without almost any of the modern conveniences that are not only the pillars of modernity but also helped them to mobilise a voter base in the first place.
Below are a list of products which should be considered unsuitable for Trump supporters to use, buy or participate in.
- AT&T (and DirecTV)
- Comcast (NBC, XFinity and Dreamworks)
- Tic Tacs
- Mondelez International products (Nabisco)
- ConAgra products
- PepsiCo products