Why do businesses openly support political candidates?
Is the loss of business from political opponents worth the potential gain from the supporting side?
These days, taking a political side in public carries more risk than it once did. It’s not as bad as pre-Civil War days when South Carolina slavery advocate Rep. Preston Brooks beat Massachusetts abolitionist Sen. Charles Sumner almost to death with a cane inside the U.S. Senate chamber.
But the threats from social media and elsewhere are real, especially by far-right Trump supporters.
With that in mind, why do businesses openly support political candidates with signs, especially these divisive days? If I see a sign on a business property of a Republican I abhor, such as any Trump supporter, I avoid that business. I’m sure most Republicans do the same.
Is the support these businesses get from the political side they openly choose worth the loss of business from people like me?
For instance, Rosemont Service Station in Frederick, Maryland, posted a large sign supporting an anti-teacher Hate Slate of candidates for the school board. These candidates are not qualified, have never even been on a school committee, and their main agenda is to ban books they don’t like, especially by gay and Black authors. They claim to seek “Education, not Indoctrination,” when they are hypocritically trying to indoctrinate students, teachers, and parents with their own hateful rhetoric.
Businesses that support this hate slate like Rosemont in Frederick aren’t too smart or savvy in my opinion. But I appreciate them letting me know where they stand so I can avoid them.
Jackson Thoreau is author of Not Our President and other works.