“An attack on one is an attack on all.” That keystone of the NATO charter in Article V has served as a deterrent for a major European war for nearly 80 years. Could a similar pact serve as a deterrent for boycott attacks on conservative states?
Jonathan Turley looks at the political landscape, and especially the vapid boycotts imposed by equally vapid governors and legislatures on red states, and says it might work. This wouldn’t aim at private boycotts, but rather the state-to-state boycott actions championed by Democrat pols like Gavin Newsom and Stacey Abrams, about which Karen wrote earlier:
Such campaigns have succeeded, particularly with private companies. Indeed, in both restricting speech and boycotting states, the left has found greater success with private companies than with voters in pushing their agenda. …
However, states or companies engaging in such boycotts is a different matter. Many consumers do not want companies like Disney to engage in political debates over issues like transgender rights. One poll showed 67 percent opposed corporate opposition to an “anti-grooming” law, a view that appears to be impacting Disney. Consumers can vote with their pocketbooks in the “go woke, go broke” movement. …
The result is increasingly bizarre. California college sports teams are barred from spending money to travel to any state on the liberal “naughty list” — a problem when you are USC and UCLA and just moved from the Pac 12 to the Big Ten. They now face raising private funds to be able to play in blacklisted states.
There is a way to end this madness. It is an Article 5-like alliance.
How would that work? State legislatures in targeted states would need to authorize their governors to form a reciprocity league, with a clause akin to that Article 5 deterrent in the NATO charter. If California targets Georgia, for instance, Georgia can impose a similar boycott on California. California has an advantage with its much larger economy, Turley argues, which means that Newsom and Sacramento can pass these policies with impunity.
What happens, however, when fifteen states immediately impose similar boycotts on California? Newsom’s economic impunity gets seriously challenged, if not evaporates wholly. And it might be more than fifteen states that would join such an alliance, too. After the 2020 election, Republicans had full control of 23 states while Democrats only had full control of 15. Democrats lost Virginia last year as a result of Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the 2021 gubernatorial election. Given that Florida and Texas would likely sign onto such an alliance — along with their respective and robust economies — boycott actions might lose some of their gloss, if not their current risk-free posturing.
Frankly, I’d just prefer that incompetent pols like Newsom stop posturing and mind their own state’s business — especially in a state as much in crisis as California. Newsom’s tossing out boycott threats to distract people from his own record of abject failure in the Golden State, and that of his party. If a red-state “NATO-like” alliance expedites that process, great. But it would be lovely to return to a time when governors remembered that they don’t dictate policy in states other than their own, nor should they.