Have you ever finished a day of grocery shopping only to think to yourself, “Gee, I wish I could inject the partisan bickering of Washington into the produce aisle. That would be really helpful.” Well, it turns out there’s an app for that!
BuyPartisan (clever) is a new app that allows shoppers to scan the barcodes of their favorite products and pull up donor information about the company behind it. That way, you can make absolutely sure that your purchases perfectly reflect your blind party allegiance, just like your straight-ticket voting records.
The real problem with this app is that it only tells you what political parties the company’s employees, CEO and board of directors donate to — not specific people or causes. It, like the overly-politicized environment we live in, pretends that political beliefs can be neatly slotted into three categories: Republican, Democrat and “Other.” In reality, this is almost certainly less productive than blindly purchasing the product and eating your Nutella in peace.
While there is definitely a place for boycotting products or companies you discover directly support a candidate you do not approve of or a specific policy you disagree with, this app doesn’t tell you that. It just tells you the party. And while some of you might be so partisan that you are willing to permanently boycott a previously-loved product because of a broad political category the CEO of the company prefers, the rest of the world would be better off busting out of their political silos and doing more detailed research.
I decided to go ahead and download the app just to see what it was about, and began scanning random things in my apartment to see what I could find.
Whelp, all of you New Yorkers who stood in a line hundreds of people deep to score free Nutella a couple months back better throw out your stocks. This company leans pretty far right. Isn’t that informative? This will really redefine the way I look at the spreads I choose to use on my waffles.
Well holy shit, y’all. I might just have to throw this book away. No more “Romeo and Juleps” for me.
Well, the board is almost all Republican, but the CEO is a huge dem. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!?!?
People who buy this app probably think they are running around being socially-conscious consumers, but in reality they are being vane and hyper-partisan. Putting down that can of beans because it happens to be created by a Democratically-affiliated company is just as bad as the Republicans in Congress shooting down President Obama’s plan for Syria before he even told them what it was.
You might hate the Republican Party because it doesn’t support gay marriage, but who says that the Republican CEO whose product you just boycotted didn’t donate to a pro-gay-marriage PAC that fell under the “other” category? You’ll never know — because this app won’t tell you. It just blindly sorts people into categories. There is no “gay marriage supporting Republican” category, or “pro-business Democrat” category. There’s just red and blue in a world where the majority of the population falls squarely in the middle.
So, go ahead and download this app if you want, but don’t expect it to be helpful.