As the Donald Trump train continues to steamroll the 2016 Republican primaries, lots of sane people have vowed to boycott the wannabe politician. But what does that actually mean? The Trump name is proudly pasted on countless products and so much real estate it's hard to gauge if you're a hardcore anti-Trumper or a half-assed boycotter. How can you keep up with everything he owns?
The Trump boycott started early on in his presidential campaign. Actually, it began on the very first day he announced he was running and made racist generalizations about Mexicans. Univision was the first to dump Trump by refusing to air the Miss USA pageant, and then NBC jumped on the bandwagon with Miss USA and also chose not to renew his reality show The Apprentice. Macy's followed suit and stopped selling his menswear line, and even NASCAR announced it would no longer be holding a banquet at his property.
Then Trump hosted Saturday Night Live, and momentum seemed to lull for a bit, even though protesters called for a boycott not only against SNL but NBC entirely. However, it picked up soon enough when just months after his speech railing against Mexicans Trump moved on to anti-Muslim rhetoric, claiming we should shut our borders to any refugees and immigrants who followed Islam. It was official, Trump was batshit crazy and boycott Trump was back on.
A Facebook post originally shared in 2011 titled "Boycott Trump List of of Companies to Refuse to Support" surged back to life. Back then the argument was made to boycott Trump because he was "disrespecting our President." The list is pretty comprehensive and includes notable Trump properties such as Trump Tower in New York, Mar-a-Lago in Florida, Trump casinos and gulf courses, as well as some lesser-known ones like the Bank of America Center in San Francisco.
Trump's notoriety stems from being a real state mogul, and not only does he own buildings all over the world, but he plasters his name on buildings that he doesn't even own. He is basically paying for his name to be seen. Leaving a Trump-owned building is one way people are standing up against him. In March, sports and political commentator Keith Olbermann penned an op-ed in The Washington Post saying he couldn't stand living in his Trump-owned building, so after nine happy years he decided to move out. The average person does not live in one of his multimillion dollar buildings, but that doesn't mean we're not contributing to his campaign.
Last year, Daily Beast editor Noah Shachtman said the most important way to stand up against Trump was to completely cut all ties. He also tweeted: "Six months ago, you could say you were doing business w Trump without endorsing his views. 8,000 racist moments later, that's no longer feasible."
CNN Money reports that Trump owns 500 companies, and not only could this be a major conflict of interest if he becomes president of the United States, but it also means that we are funding his presidential campaign without even knowing it. This is true mostly for people that live in, or frequent, New York City, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas. In Manhattan, he owns the ice-skating rink in Central Park, and a couple of restaurants. In Las Vegas it's even harder to escape the Trump name. He owns a billion-dollar hotel and casino and he isn't done, obviously. The Trump dynasty is planning on buying another Vegas casino.
Even if we don't shop his menswear line or live in one of his buildings or buy his crappy wine, there are other ways to boycott Trump. In the video above, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! explains how the media and viewers can also cut ties with Trump. Major networks like CNN and Fox cover Trump nonstop, and we feed into it by watching it. How the campaign with the smallest war chest manages to garner all this free publicity just boggles the mind and it is not without consequence, as Goodman says, Trump:
“Get[s] this unfiltered pipeline into everyone’s brain and to your eyes and to your consciousness . . . ”
Smaller publications are also vowing to not fuel the Trump campaign by ending their coverage on him. We need to pay attention to the presidential candidates who speak to he issues that our country is facing, and not just to poll numbers and Twitter trolls. If we truly want to make this nation great again we should start buy eliminating immature political banter and hate.
[Update: Sept. 29] According to a report released by Foursquare, the location app, the campaign has in fact hurt Trump businesses.
"By looking at that data, Foursquare found that visits to Trump's stores among its users has fallen ever since he entered politics, down by 14% as recently as July," Vice News reports.
Also, The Taj, Trump's casino in Atlantic City filed for bankruptcy and announced it would be closing, but the corporation blamed a strike by union workers.
[Update: Nov. 27] The Democratic Coalition Against Trump has launched Boycott Trump, a free app available on iPhones, iPads and Androids that allows users to search a database of more than 250 businesses. This nifty app will help you to determine if any given company has ties to Trump. And according to the creators, there's plenty of businesses that lead back to the president-elect.
"This app is a first step in our larger Boycott Trump campaign, which will feature a unified grassroots movement centered on holding companies and individuals that help Trump in any way accountable," Executive Director of Democratic Coalition Against Trump Nate Lemer told The Huffington Post. “The campaign is all about empowerment...By doing so we aim to give people a safe and productive way to voice their disapproval of Trump. We’ve accepted Trump won the election but that doesn’t mean we have to accept everything he stands for."