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Monday, April 5, 2021

Georgia On Our Minds

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POTUS gets it wrong on boycotting state

So, let me get this straight: The president of the United States is encouraging a private company to discriminate against a sovereign American state, whose state legislature is duly elected by the voters in that sovereign state – all because of a state law that increases confidence in the integrity of our elections? The same confidence, by the way, that the U.S. Supreme Court says is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy?

Yep. That just about covers it. You may have already heard about this, but activists are pressuring Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) to boycott the state of Georgia over a recently passed election reform bill that the activists claim “disenfranchises” voters by (gasp) requiring photo-identification at the polls in order to vote.

A boycott, if successful, would move the MLB All-Star Game from Atlanta, and The Masters from Augusta, to someplace – anyplace – where the mob can effectively silence any dissent to their agenda.

And like Pontius Pilate, Joe Biden capitulated to the mob mentality by endorsing it all, saying, “I would strongly support them (MLB) doing that.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. The First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott, and the Supreme Court has explicitly said so.

Folks have boycotted Wal-Mart, for example, for everything from selling T-shirts saying “Impeach Trump” to selling guns in their stores. Chick-fil-A was boycotted for donating money to religious organizations that opposed same-sex marriages.

And the state of California has been boycotting other states for some time now by banning California state employees from traveling to those boycotted states on any official government business. So, essentially 20% of the country is dead to California state employees because of legislation that California state officials find offensive in those states -- on matters from gay rights to adoption.

More notable and of much greater historical significance is the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott in 1955. It lasted 13 months and was started when Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a bus. Another example is from 1980 when President Jimmy Carter decided we would boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow as a protest of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (and more than 60 nations joined us in doing so).

Some say President Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear Tire after the company announced a ban on wearing MAGA hats in the workplace. Trump tweeted, “Get better tires for far less!” Some say he did the same with AT&T by encouraging a boycott of AT&T to cause changes at CNN (because AT&T owns CNN). Trump said, “I believe that if people stopped using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN.”

Whether Trump called for any boycotts or not, he arguably was speaking to the free market and the choice we all have as consumers as to what companies earn our business.

What Biden has done – with his egging-on of private companies to wage financial war on an American state – is unprecedented, though. Even the almost-governor of Georgia (and voting rights activist) Stacey Abrams gets it. She pleaded with her fellow Americans, “To our friends across the country, please do not boycott us.” And why? Because she knows it disproportionately hurts the least among us.

Bernice King (daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr.) also spoke out against any boycotting of Georgia, saying, “That would hurt middle-class workers and people grappling with poverty.”

So again, yes, boycotts can be effective, but by joining the mob, Biden seeks to invalidate the legislative process in Georgia regarding voting laws, and instead, he wants to substitute the will of this mob for the will of the people.

The POTUS should be above this. So much for the president who called for unity and even went as far as to say during his inauguration speech that his “whole soul” was in bringing America together.

Well, I guess if you leave out Georgia ...

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.

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