“It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.” – Ronald Reagan
One of the few things the Left used to be really good at was boycotting: What they lacked in ideological fervor they made up for in boots-on-the-ground activism. That talent seems to be fading though, as this week’s “A Day Without A Woman” flopped, and two other pet causes — the anti-feminist, feminist crusade against Ivanka Trump and Starbuck’s support for refugees —have also been a disappointment. While average Americans are no doubt tired of outlandish commercial leftism, this is also what happens when ideology is as stable as shifting sand and as vacuous as air.
The world didn’t end without women
On Wednesday — “International Women’s Day” — the same folks who organized the “Women’s March on Washington,” decided the best way to show their solidarity for women and demonstrate the vital importance women have on society and the economy was to have “A Day Without A Woman.” Effectively, they encouraged women to take the day off if possible.
No really. So many women in the public school district in Alexandria, VA, about 300 staff, asked for “personal leave” on March 8 that the school didn’t feel they could effectively hold class in the system’s 17 schools … so they cancelled. It’s unclear if the administration’s policy requires they grant personal leave to everyone who requests it, but they certainly did so in this case. Not only did the school cancel classes with only 48 hours warning, but this meant women who were unable to take the day off work — a situation many women, especially with lower-paying jobs find themselves in — had to arrange for and pay for childcare. The same thing happened in North Carolina. How’s that for appreciating women!
The elementary portion of this elite prep school in New York called The Ethical Culture Fieldston School also was forced to cancel school due to so many elementary teachers taking the day off for “A Day Without A Woman.” This school didn’t make the call until the night before and tuition there costs upwards of $47,000 a year.
Fieldston leader Jessica Bagby said, “I am deeply sorry about the impact this protest will have on families at Fieldston Lower, and women in particular, for whom this walkout creates an undue burden and reinforces inequities tied to economic means and job security.” Bagby nails it. First and foremost: What message did this send little girls (and boys) who attend school? Want to have a day off, I mean participate in a political protest? Be a teacher! Second, this act of protesting, failing to go to work — which is somehow supposed to honor women — is entirely counterintuitive. It forced women who must work to scramble to find childcare, placing an even larger burden on them. It’s safe to say this this protest was a bust.
Starbucks brand reputation has dipped
When President Trump issued an executive order halting refugees from certain countries from entering the United States, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz proudly proclaimed with a hint of righteous indignation he’d hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years to make a political point. As CEO he can do whatever he wants, hopefully legally, and certainly there’s nothing wrong with hiring folks who need work. But Schultz took it a step further by capitalizing on a political statement all while contradicting himself (If he cared so much about refugees, why not make the same proclamation last year?).
This squishy approach too seems to have backfired. Since Schultz made the announcement, Starbucks stock has plummeted. CNBC reports analysts at Credit Suisse found Schultz’ declaration is hurting the Starbucks brand. In a research note, equity analyst Jason West wrote, "Our work shows a sudden drop in brand sentiment following announcement of the refugee hiring initiative on Jan. 29th, to flattish from a run-rate of ~+80 (on an index of -100 to +100). Net sentiment has since recovered, but has seen significant volatility in recent weeks.” A dip in brand reputation could result in a dip in sales unless it quickly recovers.
Ivanka’s clothing line sales have surged
Remember when feminists loved other women who seemed like ideal feminists, until they turned out to be the daughters of a Republican president? That’s exactly what’s happened with Ivanka Trump. If her lineage was still a mystery, feminists would be extolling the many ways Ivanka embodies modern feminism: A confident business woman, Ivanka balances her work with her children, and stands up for her beliefs. This all changed when her father moved into the White House. Two companies withdrew her clothing line citing poor sales.
A liberal's ideology is about as firm as the sand on a seashore and their boycotts crumble like a sand castle — standing tall for a minute, then washing away when the waves hit.
While that seems unlikely, it appears that may have also backlashed. According to Refinery 29, sales have surged not just since the inauguration, but since those retailers dropped her products. Though Ivanka’s company declined to give sales specifics, Abigail Klem, the new president of the brand said:
These boycotts may ultimately fail, but they can still cause harm. They still communicate falsehoods about economics, feminism, and work ethic — especially to our youth. I’m not bemoaning the fact that liberal boycotts seem to be less effective than they used to be. I’d find it humorous if it weren’t so sad and pathetic. But these are all examples of what happens when activism trumps ideology. A liberal's ideology is about as firm as the sand on a seashore and their boycotts crumble like a sand castle — standing tall for a minute, then washing away when the waves hit.
Nicole Russell is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Federalist, The American Spectator, Reason, National Review Online, and Parents magazine. She was the 2010 recipient of the American Spectator’s Young Journalist award. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and four children.