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Protest Politics in the MarketplaceConsumer Activism in the Corporate Age$
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Caroline Heldman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501709203

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501709203.001.0001

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“Yes to Jesus Christ, No to JC

“Yes to Jesus Christ, No to JC

Campaigns for Conservative Causes

(p.161) 6 “Yes to Jesus Christ, No to JC
Protest Politics in the Marketplace

Caroline Heldman

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines 20 national conservative campaigns that used consumer activism from 2004 – 2014. These campaigns involved gun rights, abortion, opposition to LGBT rights, and a host of other “culture war” issues. Consumer activism continues to be mostly used by liberals, but since the 1970s, conservative organizations have organized marketplace activism more frequently to fight against shifting societal values. Conservative campaigns strengthened democracy by increasing overall rates of political participation and expanding public discussion of “culture war” issues. They also improved corporate accountability. On net, conservative use of consumer activism improves the health of democracy, but campaigns opposing LGBT rights weaken democracy by curbing minority rights and protections.

Keywords:   consumer activism, conservative, gun rights, abortion, pro-life, culture wars, LGBT rights, corporate accountability, democracy, political participation

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