Every conservative has a liberal friend who thinks they are heartlessly against social change. What these liberals fail to understand is that Republicans are not against social change, we simply do not believe the government contains the answer to social change. Our founding fathers created a free market system that allows the consumer to demand social change so that the government can focus on governing.

Often when the federal government attempts to get involved in social issues, they must limit someone’s rights in order to protect someone else’s rights. For example, in the recent Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the federal government was asked if requiring an individual to make a wedding cake for a same sex marriage violated the individuals religious freedoms.

Many liberals argue that refusing to bake the cake is discrimination against the same sex couple, which the government should prevent. Many conservatives argue that forcing the baker to design the cake is discrimination against the bakers religious views, which the government should prevent. While the Supreme Court sided with the baker, the ruling took a narrow approach that failed to set longstanding precedent. Making many ask the question, where do we turn when we feel our views are discriminated against? The answer is the free market.

The most effective way to force social change is to put pressure on profits.

When a video went viral of Starbucks employees calling for the arrest of two black men in Philadelphia, the company received harsh criticism from consumers for permitting racial bias. The uproar was so loud, the company had to respond and instituted a full day of race training across thousands of stores.

This is social change brought by consumer demand.

Similarly, when National Football League players decided to take a knee during the National Anthem, conservatives were infuriated by the display of disrespect for the flag. Angered consumers decided to boycott games and, within a year, total viewership for all NFL games was down 120 million from previous seasons.

The NFL responded accordingly with a policy update for the 2018 season requiring players to stand for the flag or wait in the locker room. Had the federal government imposed such a policy it would be viewed as a clear violation of free speech, but it is the job of a company to respond to the demands of their consumer.

The moral of these stories is the same. As a consumer, if we believe a company violates a social principle, it is our job to pressure their profits to make a change. This is where true social change comes from, not the government.

Whether it is boycotting companies, protesting outside the building, or tweeting angrily to the CEO, as the consumer we are in the best position to encourage behavior we view as acceptable in society.

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For the Americans against mandated corporate race training or in favor of players having the right to kneel, the reality of the free market is that this time they lost. The nature of the free market is that the consumer with the loudest impact on profits can create the greatest social change. In the era of social media this can be anyone. After all, Starbucks instituted race training based around a social media frenzy.

The lesson here is to call out the company that you believe limits free speech.

Call out the company that discriminates in their hiring practices.

You can call out companies that fire individuals for their political affiliations.

Call out companies that donate to causes you do not agree with.

Boycott. Post. Protest. The free market can bring sweeping change to American society, we have the power and we cannot forget it.

NATALIA C
CABINET