Daily Centrist: Nike, Colin Kaepernick, and an Excuse for Another Profitable Fight
Welcome to the reborn Daily Centrist on TaraElla news. This is a daily segment looking at the frustrations of a centrist trying to navigate the deeply divided political landscape we happen to live in right now. I believe we need something like this to break up the echo chambers, which are threatening the health of our free market of ideas. If you agree with me, I highly recommend subscribing to this channel.
Recently, Nike launched an ad campaign using controversial footballer Colin Kaepernick as its face. Kaepernick has been a very controversial figure ever since his refusal to stand for the US national anthem earlier this year. He has become the center of the latest American culture war. So, as you would have expected, Nike’s decision to hire him as their new face was met with lots of controversy. Conservatives boycotting Nike was just to be expected, but it looks like this is too tame for 2018. Instead, people have been posting videos where they burn their Nike shoes, or otherwise destroy their Nike gear by cutting the logo out.
Whether you agree with Nike’s actions, I think many of us will agree that destroying your own property is madness. So why do people do it? As a cool headed centrist, my guess is that they just want some attention. So who is giving them the attention? Angry conservatives, of course. It’s a culture war, and they like to see revenge exacted upon any party, or in this case, any object, seen to belong to the other side. There’s no more rationality. And, don’t get me wrong, the left isn’t any better either. The two sides keep outdoing each other in madness.
Adding fuel to this culture war is, of course, everyone else who can benefit.
I mean, I like to make videos criticising the madness of both sides and breaking down echo chambers, but even I know it’s not rewarding. It’s more rewarding, especially financially, to cheer on one side or the other in this madness. Earlier this year, President Trump predictably weighed in on the issue, thinking it was a culture war he could win. And, as Ben Shapiro recently observed, on the numbers he has won it, but at the cost of making things more divisive. Plus, we live in an era of identity politics, so victory or defeat is not so simple. Over at The Young Turks, Cenk has already called this a win for his side, believing that the purchasing power of progressive millennials is the force behind Nike’s decision, and since millennials are the future, the left wins.
Nike’s accountants have determined that we have won, and the right wingers lost… That’s monumental.
-Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks.
Of course, as a cool headed centrist, I have other ideas.
Corporations like to participate in the culture wars one way or another because it is profitable. To pick which side matters less than to pick a side. In this instance, Nike has decided that taking the left side will bring more profit. On the other hand, it is clear that Fox News has chosen the other side in the same issue. Why? Because the right side will bring Fox News more profit. The Young Turks and Ben Shapiro rarely agree on anything, but in this case, they appear to agree that all this is happening because of the way capitalism works. And even I, a supporter of capitalism, have to acknowledge that this is the case.
But then, free market capitalism has decided to cash in on the culture war only because the money is there. If everyone realised how bad the culture wars are, how this divisiveness is rendering our free market of ideas unworkable, and how dangerous this is, things would change. In a world where nobody appreciated the culture wars, no corporation would participate in them. So while the big end of town is now part of the culture wars, it is still us, everyday individuals, who have the power to put an end to this madness. We can say no to the culture wars.
That’s all for today. I’ll be back with more Centrist commentary and drama tomorrow. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.
Originally published at taraellastylia.blogspot.com on September 11, 2018.
TaraElla is a singer-songwriter, independent journalist and author, who is passionate about free speech, liberty and equality. She is the author of the Moral Libertarian Horizon books, which focus on developing a moral case for freedom-based politics in the 21st century.