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National Review and Different Strokes

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National Review is probably my favorite magazine, and certainly my favorite online destination. Jonah Goldberg in particular is especially sharp.

However, they've got an in-house ad running that sticks in my craw, so I figure to call them out on it here. In an ad to promote their classified advertising, they feature a picture of Al Franken. The text says, "Would you want this liberal idiot renting your vacation home? We didn't think so. You've got to know the folks here think like you do. The right people, the right place to do business."

Now damn it, that's just wrong. I would never be mistaken for a "compassionate conservative" or any such. I'm happy to slap a pinko around a bit. Hey, they've got it coming. Al Franken is known to talk some trash.

Nonetheless, liberals are Americans and neighbors too. Their money spends as well as anyone else's, and it's not good to be that unnecessarily far out into us vs. them in this manner. Hate the sin of foolish leftist beliefs, but love the sinner. Even if you just don't much like the sinner, at least try to treat them equally in business and be neighborly.

I for one would be honored to have Al Franken in particular renting my property. So far as I know, Mr Franken is a perfectly reputable individual who takes care of his property and pays his bills. That's all you can ask. If you pay your rent and keep the place up, you don't need to share my politics, religion or taste in music.

And that's if you're talking about renting property, where what they do with it matters when you take it back. If it's just outright buying something, the personal stuff means even less. You want to buy my lawnmower? Give me the cash and it won't even occur to me to wonder about your damned politics. You can take it home and hump it, or paint it gold and worship it like the Israelite's golden calf and I won't care. In the wise words of Sly Stone "Different strokes for different folks. And so on, and so on, and scooby dooby dooby."

In short, business is business and insisting on irrelevant politics is asinine. This National Review ad reminds me of the most annoying Different Strokes episode ever in which Philip Drummond sanctimoniously cancelled out on a million dollar business deal because he decided at the last minute that he didn't like the other guy's bad attitudes towards black folk. I'd like to take hold of their screenwriter and the copywriter at NR and smack both their heads together.

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  • I might not rent a house FROM Al Franken, but I’d certainly take his money and rent one TO him if he signed the appropriate contracts.


  • Clavos

    Interesting article, Al.

    Business is, as you say, business. From the point of view you took, that of the seller (or landlord), I agree with you; if you want to buy my product, I won’t even ask what your politics are.

    But, I do reserve my right to choose where I spend my own money, and if a provider is a publically political entity with whom I disagree, I prefer to withhold my business from them. Since most corporations are smart enough not to broadcast their political views, I mostly find myself boycotting artists whose politics are anathema to me.

    I know I’m not making a difference to anyone’s bottom line, but it’s personally satisfying.