People are, naturally, extremely upset because Donald Trump said people should buy L.L. Bean products because someone in the organization said something nice about him or donated to his campaign or some such. Here's Trump:
It's probably inappropriate for the president to use his Twitter account as a means of distributing sponsored content like a Kardashian hawking some garbage brand of t-shirt, but, you know, here we are.
Where's "here"? Here is not just a place and a time when we have elected a reality TV star president. It's also a place and time where the left has decided to declare war on all sorts of brands and businesses and individuals who have dared transgress against their precious values. It's a time when a movie was boycotted because the guy who wrote the beloved source novel hated Barack Obama. It's a time when roving bands of outrage mongers decided that a random pizza place in the middle of Nowhere, Ind., needed to be destroyed because its owners refused to mouth the day's proper platitudes. It's a time when the phrase "hate chicken" makes sense. It's a time when tech geniuses and artistic minds alike were deprived of their livelihood for daring support a political proposition in California. It's a time when people attempt to organize boycotts of entire publishing houses because said publishing house signs a deal with a guy who annoys them. It's a time when whole states are subject to sanction for laws about where people pee. To say nothing of Target and Starbucks and any number of rightwing reactions in response to this rediscovered responsibility to resort to economic warfare.
This is the time and place in which we live.
It is, frankly, not the world I wanted. The idea that the political and personal and professional should all be hopelessly intertwined—that we should all live a politicized life—has long struck me as foolish and unhealthy. But it's the world we have. Hooray, you won: the politicized life is here to stay. Donald Trump shilling for outdoorsy athletic wear is really just the next step down the ladder. Now all Good Men must decide whether or not to boycott the company in an effort to
impoverish their employees stick it to Trump or waste their money on political signaling help Make America Great Again.
If you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy some duck boots or whatever.