The chance that some retailer will issue a discount card directed to people sharing my odd and eclectic mix of social and political beliefs is effectively zero. But even if a store did so, I wouldn't accept the card, and probably wouldn't shop there. May the stores do it? Yes. Just like that urologist in Florida can refuse patients based on politics. But it's creepy. The impulse to classify all of our fellow humans based on political views, and then interact with them based on where they fall within that taxonomy, is regrettable. I believe it leads to isolation from different ideas, promotes unreflective dogmatism, and increases tendencies towards fanaticism. Some of my most rewarding interactions are with people who disagree with me, not people who agree with me.
Whether these stores are offering the discount because it's a good promotional scheme, or from ideology, or both, it's unpleasant tribalism — and would be even if it catered to me.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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