Here’s a counter argument.
Vedder or any other celebrity has a right to say what they want, no problem there. Vedder used the concert venue (his business and for the sake of this argument, I will often refer to actors and celebrities as a business because their celebrity status is their goods and service/livelihood etc. Call it the economist in me) as a forum to express his opinions to a large group of people. Okay, that’s fine, again, no problem, it is his first amendment right to do so. However, if Tyler, or myself doesn’t like what he is saying, we have a right to leave. I think so far we are all on the same page: Vedder can speak his mind, and we can leave if we want or stick around for the show, the choice is ours.
Okay, now I would like to take it a bit further. If Vedder, or another celebrity is going to use his or her job as a means to spread their political message, we have a right to not support that message beyond simply leaving. I’m not suggesting that people boycott celebrities or businesses that don’t have the same political views, but a business can not take a political stand and expect a neutral reaction from people, when the very nature of their stand is to move itself out of neutrality.
Michael Jordan was once asked why he didn?t take a bigger stand in politics, as such a popular icon; he could potentially have a lot of influence on the public. His answer, “Republicans buy sneakers too.”
You see, it is our right as consumers to spend our money how we wish. Okay, that’s nothing earth shattering. As a parallel, if the corner store in your neighborhood had a sign out front that said something that you didn?t agree with, let’s say you are pro-choice and right outside the store the sign said “Abortion Kills Children.” You may choose to not shop there, or you may decide to hell with it, it is too far to the next store, ignore the sign, buy what I need and be on my way. The point is though; the store went from a neutral place for people to purchase their goods (or entertainment in the case of a performing artist) to a place with a political message. That message will either positively or negatively influence people much more so than if the store owner simply voted for his own politics and didn’t campaign.
People often donate money to their political party. That is why around Fall-Winter, we are flooded with all those horrible election commercials. However, who here would donate money to the other political party? If you are passionate about politics, you wouldn’t send a check to the rival political party. Likewise, when a business or an actor decides to campaign on behalf of their politics, I won?t be sending money to support their campaign.
Again, to clarify, I am not suggesting that people boycott businesses that don’t support their political views, but if a business is going to take a political stand in an effort to positively influence its political belief, that is to move out of neutrality, it can’t expect a neutral reaction from the public. Or in other words, when a business becomes a political campaign podium, it has to expect a drop in revenue from the other party.
Snoop quit smoking pot?