This article was last modified on September 16, 2010.

On Business Political Endorsements

More this year than any year in memory, I am confronted with a practice that seems foolish and unprofessional: filling the front yard of the store with political endorsement signs. I can think of a few good reasons this is a really stupid idea.

Like it or not, your customers do not all share your political views. People of all political stripes eat out, fill up on gas or wash their car. If they happen to disagree with your view, you may have just lost a customer. I am happy spending my money anywhere, so long as the views of others are not pushed on me. One of my favorite tavern owners does not share my views, but he is wise enough to know that all money spends the same.

Furthermore, not all the employees share the political viewpoint of the business owner. By placing a sign out front, this implies that “the business” feels a certain way. The employees are a part of that business, and they may not feel the same way. Yet, they have no say in whose signs go up in front of the building. Out of respect for the employees, should these signs be there?

Most importantly, consider this: businesses cannot vote, people vote. If the business owner wants to put signs up in their own yard, more power to them. But the business cannot have an opinion or cast a ballot. One should not care what a business thinks, because businesses simply do not think.

Of course, legally, there is no reason a business owner cannot put signs in front of their store. But regardless of your views, you are bound to have employees and customers who disagree. Politicians might hurt your business through taxes, but you are hurting your business even more yourself through division.

Also try another article under Letters to ...
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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