PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Local social media is abuzz over efforts in Pittsburgh to identify and boycott businesses owned by supporters of President Donald Trump.
“I think it’s important because people have a right to know where their money is going,” Pittsburgh blogger Brian Broome told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.
In a recent Facebook post, a page identified only as “Ban Kenny Chesney from Pittsburgh” says there’s a list of almost 100 local businesses owned by Trump supporters which will soon be disclosed on a new website.
As of Tuesday night, the Facebook page has been taken down.
Broome supports this disclosure.
“If there is a specific ideology that you don’t support, you are well within your rights not to hand that money to someone who supports that ideology,” says Broome. “Trump supporters have boycotted everything from Keurig to Nike, so I don’t know why, quote-unquote, the other side can’t decide not to give their money to businesses as well.”
The new website promises to include, “a database of Trump-supporter owned businesses in the Pittsburgh area, as well as tips for how to get those specific businesses closed down.”
“They want to cost people their livelihoods just because you don’t agree with them politically?” asks Allegheny County councilman Sam DeMarco, who also chairs the county’s Republican Party.
“It’s not just absurd, but I believe it’s dangerous.”
DeMarco says this kind of attempted boycott against Trump supporters could also be used against those who donate to Democratic candidates.
“Where does it stop? This is insane.”
DeMarco calls the effort fascist.
“Look at what they’re trying to do. People who they just don’t agree with, they want to take and punish. I absolutely believe this is a fascist behavior, and I totally reject it,” says the GOP chairman.
DeMarco compares it to the Nazis drawing Stars of David on Jewish-owned businesses to urge Germans to boycott.
“I absolutely see a parallel. They’re trying to place a mark on a business to boycott it, to not frequent it, not to utilize it and try to make it unacceptable,” DeMarco says.
“I think he should look up the word fascist,” notes Broome.
“A boycott is not a fascist activity. That’s misleading,” Broome says.
“I think that people who don’t want to support a business because they don’t agree with that business’s ideology are perfectly well within their rights,” adds Broome.
At this early stage, it’s hard to say what the economic impact will be of this boycott effort.
But clearly, in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, it’s a sure sign of how divisive American politics has become.