The politics of shopping

By Gus Bode

Humans must shop in order to live. We once lived in a world where we hunted our own food, built our own homes and sewed our own clothes. Now we turn to corporate America in order to merely survive.

We have been doing this for years. It all started in the expansion of the west, more particularly in 1891 when the first Sears and Roebuck catalog made its way to women desperately needing home essentials, men searching for thick coats and children dreaming of new toys.

Since then, much has changed. Where Americans generally had once maybe two sources for shopping, we now have literally thousands.


The question I am raising today is why do we choose specific stores to shop?

If you ever get the chance to go to one of your local labor union halls, I encourage you to. Once you get there take a look at the flier’s that they keep. Upon surveying a few various local chapters of area union halls, I noticed the same flier reading this:”Save Small America, Don’t Shop Wal-Mart”

I understand this statement. These signs are located in local labor union halls. REPEAT UNION HALLS. Wal-Mart does not have or operate by a union, they operate by what they have termed as “Respect for the Individual.”

Speaking of Wal-Mart, what about the companies that donate funds to political candidates? Try to name one huge corporation that doesn’t, it may surprise you.

How do you keep up with what you believe in these days? Republicans may shop at the stores that donate to democrats or vice versa.

Is it so necessary that we base even the smallest things in life on political influences? Are we as a country so consumed with politics that we cannot feel comfortable in a store that donates to a party that may not of our own?

So we are spending more time worrying about shopping in our personal politically correct stores, instead of, for example campaigning. We have enough to worry about, why add more?


Tommy Hilfiger is a liberal. Puff Daddy is a liberal. Think of all the people you know that have conservative viewpoints, but wear their clothes. Wal-mart is not the only target.

I know people that refuse to shop a certain stores and I am sure the rest of America does too.

Why do we care? I remember in the mid-90’s, an animal activist group know as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) refused to buy anything made by Proctor and Gamble. This was because Proctor and Gamble had been testing their products on animals. This is more understandable.

I always find it amusing when people mention they hate politics. Mention that you have anything to do with political science and generally someone will say that they try to stay away from political issues. When are we going to realize that from whenever we wake up in the morning from when we go to bed at night we are dealing with politics?

So basically what I am saying is that we don’t know what the underlying message our bottles of shampoo are trying to say. We shop politically and many times, we don’t even know it.

Arla is a senior in journalism. My Way or the Highway appears every Tuesday. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the DAILY EGYPTIAN.