Portland leftist defends L.L. Bean

Yesterday, I wrote about the left’s attempt to organize a boycott against L.L. Bean. The boycott is due to the fact that Linda Bean, granddaughter of the company founder and a member of its ten-member Board, contributed to the Trump campaign.

I applauded Donald Trump for pushing back against the boycott via a tweet urging folks to “buy L.L. Bean.” In my view, ordinarily it would be inappropriate for a U.S. president to urge people to patronize a particular company. I hope Trump doesn’t make a habit of doing so. But under the circumstances, as I argued, I’m happy that he defended L.L. Bean.

A reader advises me that the Portland Press Herald’s marquee leftist columnist, Bill Nemitz, has joined in the defense of the Maine-based company. Nemitz writes:

Walk into L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, head for the hunting section and you’ll find a display rack loaded with bright-colored “Shoot-N-C” targets. A half-dozen go for $7.50.

I strongly suggest that Grab Your Wallet take a timeout from its boycott of L.L. Bean and pick up a pack.

Maybe then organizers of the anti-Donald Trump website, who aim to bring down the president-elect by telling us where to (and where not to) shop, will learn the art of taking careful aim before they fire.

Nemitz goes on to argue that, even assuming that politically based organized boycotts are an appropriate target, L.L. Bean is the wrong target:

L.L. Bean is a great company.

L.L. Bean treats its workers remarkably well.

L.L. Bean is an exemplary corporate citizen – in the last decade alone, it’s donated upward of $25 million to everything from conservation and education to social services and the arts.

And last but far from least, L.L. Bean treats its customers like royalty.

In my view, this is beside the point. However, I’m sure the company appreciates the praise.

Of more relevance is the fact that L.L. Bean is apolitical:

Sunday evening, understandably worried about the impact Grab Your Wallet might have on his great-grandfather’s “do unto others” legacy, L.L. Bean Executive Board Chairman Shawn Gorman took to Facebook to state what we Mainers knew in the first place.

“L.L. Bean does not endorse political candidates, take positions on political matters, or make political contributions,” Gorman wrote. “Simply put, we stay out of politics. To be included in this boycott campaign is simply misguided.”

As a leftist, Nemitz is concerned that “scattershot boycotts aimed at fuzzy targets [are] only a waste of ammunition.” Understandably, he desires a more disciplined approach to combating Donald Trump.

At the moment, though, the left seems too freaked out to be disciplined. It may be destined for quite some time to keep shooting itself in the foot.

FOR MORE on the Bean controversy, visit Ann Althouse.


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