Choose Your Battles Wisely

It’s a tough predicament deciding whether or not to give in to your desires or stand on principle. Every so often a well-known company makes a statement on a topic of controversy. It could be about gun control or same-sex marriage. It might have to do with being for or against whatever war is being fought at the time. Or it may be about illegal immigration, religion or denouncing a public official. Whatever it is, one must weigh the pros and cons of supporting a particular business based on principle.

Some will gladly jump on the bandwagon for a cause and support a business that makes controversial statements. Others will decide to discontinue patronizing that establishment. Yet there are some things we just can’t live without, which is why we must choose our battles and choose them wisely.

For example, Howard Schultz, CEO for Starbucks, has made public statements in support of same-sex marriage. He also suggested that those (shareholders) who don’t like it can sell their shares and invest in another company. Starbucks has also made it clear that they do not welcome legally carried firearms in their shops. For these reasons will you give up buying Starbucks coffee, tea and other items they offer if you happen to disagree with their positions?

In a Washington Post op-ed Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has opposed laws that allow people religious freedoms. He asserts that the laws are discriminatory to same-sex couples. Cook’s statements contradict each other when he states that he has respect for people’s religious beliefs but opposes laws that aim to allow them the freedom to run their business according to their faith. He seems to be pushing an agenda to force those who have deeply held religious beliefs to violate them. Should people who disagree with him stop using iPhones and other Apple products?

In another example, JC Penney several years ago depicted a same-sex couple with presumably adopted children in their print ads. Someone whose beliefs are contrary to what JC Penney has advocated has the option to shop there or not.

Subway fast food restaurant, on the other hand, offers halal processed meats in certain demographic areas. Those who oppose the brutal slaughter of animals in the halal fashion may or may not boycott the entire chain but only patronize those Subway stores that do not participate in offering halal processed meats. People must choose for themselves whether this violates their conscience and beliefs.

In choosing your battles there are alternatives. If Starbucks frowns on customers bringing legally carried firearms into their stores, there are always other places to get coffee. When Tim Cook of Apple makes statements favoring same-sex marriage that go against the beliefs of a majority of Americans, you can be pretty sure that not every Apple employee shares his viewpoint. The benefits of Apple products may be too valuable to some to just boycott the company and stop using their products altogether. For others an Android phone will suit them just fine. When JC Penney defies societal reality in their marketing, they run the risk of alienating an overwhelming majority of the population from their stores.

There are always other places to eat, shop, get coffee, etc. if your convictions keep you from compromising your values. Choose your battles, but choose them wisely.


Tom Folden is a political strategist, conservative author, and Editor-at-Large of, a website for conservative viewpoints. An original participant in the Tea Party, he takes part in pro-America rallies when his time permits. He is also a singer/songwriter and recording artist. For interviews and/or appearances, please contact him at