Wednesday, May 21, 2003

The Culture: Danny Glover's Lethal Weapon

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that despite general approval of MCI's release of actor Danny Glover as their pitchman, more than one commentator I've read does not approve of the use of boycott to oppose an ideological foe. It's as if hitting a guy in his livelyhood is seen as just too much of a stab.

I don't think so. When we make public statements, our worlds often have an impact beyond ourselves. While every individual has a right to speak their mind free from government coercion, they do not have a right to public support for their statements. Glover, a long-time leftist and political activist, signed a statement in support of Cuba's communist dictatorship. For the victims of that dictatorship and those who sympathize with them, Glover's stance and his omnipresence as an MCI pitchman became intolerable. So they called on MCI to release him.

Where is the coercion? MCI could have stood firm, but instead decided that Glover's private statements offended the very people MCI sought to reach and diluted his effectiveness as a pitchman. Glover is still free to speak his mind, but now he has to recognize that his words come with a price.

Yet leave it to a leftist to demand the unearned as a matter of right.

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