Red State, Blue Products: Idaho's Consumer Irony


Politics and consumer behavior are fascinating. I’m especially interested in those who say they ban products that don’t align with their values, and even more intrigued by those who participate in boycotts but are selective in what products they snub. It’s easy to shove aside a product or service with little significance, and ample substitutes are close at hand. 

I find it interesting that those with conservative political leanings are quick to dismiss a beer brand that crosses the line, while they throw fistfuls of cash at companies with similar values. So, what’s the difference? Simple. Beer is easy to replace.

Is Your Spending Aligned with Your Values?

With that in mind, try putting your political money where your mouth is and check out these progressive brands and products that conservatives throw money at without a second thought. How many of these left-leaning companies are you willingly supporting by throwing your hard-earned money at them? 

Apple Inc. - Apple has consistently supported progressive social issues and debatably radical environmental initiatives. Despite its progressive stance, Apple products like iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks are ubiquitous. I’ll give you that it's hard to find a conservative counterpart. It’s not like Microsoft is any better. 

Starbucks - Known for its progressive stances on many issues, Starbucks remains a popular choice for coffee, even in conservative regions. If you want to stick to your guns, maybe look at buying from Black Rifle Coffee Company. It’s a veteran-owned business that aligns more with conservative values. 

Nike - Nike has made headlines for its support of Colin Kaepernick and other athletes who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. Despite calls for boycotts, Nike products are still a staple in sports and casual wear. You may talk a big game, but you’re still buying their stuff.

Ben & Jerry's - This ice cream brand is vocal about various progressive causes, including climate change and immigration. Yet, their ice cream continues to be popular across different demographic and political groups.

Amazon - Led by Jeff Bezos, who owns 'The Washington Post' and has been a target of criticism from conservative circles, Amazon is indispensable for many consumers for its convenience and wide range of products, despite any political differences.

Levi Strauss & Co. - Known for its support of gun control measures and environmental sustainability, Levi's jeans and apparel remain iconic and widely worn.

Patagonia - A company that actively engages in environmental activism and supports progressive political candidates and policies. I walk the trails and hike and bike all over Southern Idaho. If you throw a rock in the air, it’ll land on someone with this logo… and don’t get me started with The Northface. 

Left and Right Are Just as Fickle

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the ability to vote with my dollar. It's the overt grandstanding that seems a bit much, considering that the hard lines tend to move when the going gets tough. How many times have you witnessed a left-leaning progressive preach about going green while they scroll away on a handheld device that was made with minerals stripped from detrimental mining?

You may think you’re making a bold political statement when you thumb your nose at a beer or some other insignificant thing you’ve canceled. But your selectiveness in where you draw the line only serves to call out the fact that you’re sticking to your values only as long as you don't have to break a sweat. 

18 Idaho Cities That Are Home to More Transplants Than Natives in 2024

The United States Census Bureau's American Community Survey asks people which state they live in and where they were born. The following numbers reflect estimates based on the number of people who said they live in Idaho AND that they were born in the United States. (Percentages won't add up to 100% because people who moved to Idaho from foreign countries were excluded from the count.)

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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