Sunday, December 12, 2004

Buy Blue

This year for my present, I've asked my wife for a compound miter saw. I do a lot of home improvement, and as my friends know, I'd put crown molding on just about anything. With the cost of these saws finally within my means, my wife and I will go out and pick out a new saw for me sometime in the next couple weeks or so. Normally this would include a trip to Home Depot, where I've spent a great deal of my disposable income over the past ten years.

But not this year.

One of the reasons the Republicans are so well funded is that many businesses donate nearly exclusively to GOP candidates, think tanks and causes. That's fine, and is their right. But now that I know that Home Depot donated 94% of the time to the Republican party, I think I'll support a local business or another chain that has been a bit more even with its contributions.

Why should I buy my books from Amazon, who gives 61% of their donations to Republicans, when I can support Barnes and Noble or Borders who give 98% and 100% of their respective donations to the Democratic Party? Why should I shop at Safeway, donors 84% of the time to the GOP, when I can go to Cost Co. and Whole Foods and help them continue to give their 98% to the party I support?

Will my small purchase decisions make much difference? Maybe. If I and the other 50+ million Americans who voted for Kerry this year shift $100 from Red to Blue businesses then we've moved $5,000,000,000. That five billion with a capital "B". My holiday purchase decision to use Borders for my books, local businesses for my saw, and shopping at CostCo will account for much more than $100 in business moved to Democratic Party supporting allies in the business community.

Check out the Buy Blue website for a list of businesses and just where their contributions went this election cycle. This year when you shop, Buy Blue.