Vote Again with 2nd Vote

After the 2016 presidential election results came in, I couldn’t believe the display of disappointment from the Hillary Clinton supporters. Students felt too traumatized to take exams—and profs let them off. Really? People across the US became deeply depressed.

Is a losing election that hard to cope with? People, it’s an election, not the end of the world. Yes, elections matter and people voted into an office can—and do—change the course of the nation. Yet, we’ll have another election in four years. So, why the emotional drama?

I started voting in November 1984, two days after my 18th birthday. Back then, Washington citizens had to register around a month before the election, and they had to find a place to register. (None of this motor voter, online, or same-day registration nonsense—but that is for another post.) My dad made sure I got registered.

That year, I participated in the Ronald Reagan landslide. But after that, most of my votes have not placed people in office or passed many ballot issues. Living in the shadow of Seattle on the Left Coast as a conservative, I’ve learned to live with post-election disappointment—without emotional drama. However, I do struggle with my leftist representatives’ attitude towards my point of view.

Representatives Ought to Consider All Views

Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, I understood that elected officials of a republic, at times, need to make compromises with those whom they disagree. Moreover, the founders gave us a republic instead of a democracy, to prevent the majority from trampling the minority. Pure democracy leads to the tyranny of the majority. Representation places a check on mob rule. The framers of our Constitution recognized the innate sinful nature of man and his lust for power.

As a young adult, I had assumed that politicians would keep the views of all of their constituents in mind when making legislative decisions and not only the opinions of those who elected them into office. A true statesman would.

In reality, my Democrat congressional representatives don’t care at all what I think when I write them. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray and Representative Rick Larsen have their agendas, and no conservative letter will sway them. Their dismissal of my views sometimes makes me feel disenfranchised.

Instead of getting depressed, I want to act. Perhaps hitting the representatives’ pocketbooks might open their minds.

Vote with Your Dollars

Many candidates received thousands of dollars from large corporations. These corporations make money by selling goods and services to the public. What if more conservative Americans voted with their dollars and redirected their money to businesses that don’t fill the war chests of leftist candidates?

Recently, I’ve learned about 2nd Vote, a conservative watchdog for corporate activism, that helps people do just that. This organization describes itself this way.

As the conservative watchdog for corporate activism, 2ndVote exposes the corporations and organizations funding liberal advocacy. By putting big business on watch through our extensive research on the most important issues of the day, our mission is to expose the corporate influence on matters of culture and policy and turn the tide on the attacks on conservative values and principles.

2nd Vote examines how large corporations may support or oppose these seven issues: the Second Amendment, Environment, Marriage, Life, Education, Immigration, and Religious Liberty. By studying a company’s donation records, 2nd Vote rates it with a scoring system to determine its stance on the issues. Donations to leftist organizations earn the company 1s and 2s. If the company doesn’t support or oppose an issue, they get a 3, and those who support conservative charities receive 4s or 5s.

For example, their research on 1-800-Flowers shows no information on any of these issues. So, that company was given a score of 3. AARP, on the other hand, earned 1s on every issue because they support leftist groups. Hobby Lobby received a 5 because it supports traditional marriage, pro-life organizations, and stood from religious liberty in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Some companies even donate to both leftist and conservative organizations, and 2nd Vote considers this in its rating system.

My husband pointed out that ideally businesses shouldn’t be involved in social/political advocacy at all and said a score of 3 is best. Companies should focus on selling their widgets, not on cultural activism. But on the other hand, I don’t mind supporting a store that shares my values.

How to Use 2nd Vote

Challenged to change my shopping habits by Family Research Council, which introduced 2nd Vote to me, I have begun to examine my shopping habits.

Due to convenience, my family has often shopped at Amazon. 2nd Vote gave it 1.3 for having 1s in all categories but for education, which is neutral. At the bottom of each score page of a low-scoring organization, 2nd Vote lists alternatives. Instead of shopping at Amazon, they suggested Overstock (scored 4) or BeltOutlet (scored 5). This month, I made purchases at these sites instead of at Amazon.

Like Amazon, most tech industries lean left. So, I checked out the mobile phone industry. The major carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint all have low scores. We use AT&T. So, I glanced at its score page and found AT&T received 1s in each category. As alternative services, 2nd Vote listed Patriot Mobile and Charity Mobile. I will look into these.

I needed some socks and underwear, which I usually buy at Fred Meyer or sometimes at Target or Walmart. These stores all have low scores. Since none of these scores pages suggested any clothing stores, I went to 2ndVote’s Everyday Shopping Guide page. Here they list businesses rated neutral to conservative by product category. Under Apparel, I found Hanes, Aeropostale, Eddie Bauer, and Christain Dior. By purchasing underwear from Hanes and socks from Eddie Bauer, I spent my hard-earned money at businesses that do not support leftist organizations.

2nd Vote’s website is easy to use and in addition to its company score pages, offers many articles about the organizations and businesses they have researched. Use their app when you’re on the go.

To increase your shopping activism, 2nd Vote provides communication links on each score page. Use them to tell a company why you’ve stopped doing business with them or why you are now buying their products.

When shopping for Christmas gifts, or just for yourself, think about where your dollars are going. Will your purchases help to fund organizations that attack your values? If so, check 2nd Vote for an alternative.

Direct your money towards businesses that don’t support leftist causes and candidates. Vote with your shopping habits. You may not be able to divert all your spending way from left-wing corporations, but whatever you can do may make a difference.

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