Tales from a Shopkeep – political edition

It’s hard being Switzerland. And yet, here we are . . . small businesses in middle America trying to play it safe. I’ve always kept my head down. I’ve always tried to remain neutral. You have to when you run a business. You might not know that, if you don’t run a business yourself. But, you don’t see Target carrying “I’m With Her” t-shirts on the daily. Not that we’re Target . . . because we’re not. And maybe that’s the point… No, it’s not. The point is, we don’t want to offend anyone. We don’t want to lose business because of our political (or non-political) affiliations. These small businesses are our livelihoods. We put everything on the line, every day, to open our doors and keep them open. We take risks . . . Every. Day.

I have always believed that everyone has a right to their own opinions and belief systems. I still believe that. But . . . there comes a time when you have to STAND UP for what you believe in. You have to be a voice. And as scary as it is . . . today is that day. And every day afterward.

I’ll never forget, as a senior in high school, my AP English teacher was . . .well, let’s say . . . special. She edited us without mercy. The red-ink ran wild. And a friend, maybe even just an acquaintance, said to me in response to a particular paper/poem (who knows honestly) where I’d been irreparably edited and marked through . . . “Don’t let anyone make you compromise your beliefs”. When I was 18 that felt so strong. So powerful. And today . . . I’m living that out. Or trying to.

postcard-previewI don’t believe in what is happening in our country right now. I do believe in this. Starting Tuesday, we’ll have postcards available for anyone who would like to come in and write your representatives and government officials about their beliefs. (For those of you who don’t know about this initiative, please read here. We’ll continue on this path . . .past 100 days.)  This is what we have to do. There is no choice. You have to stand up. For as long as we can afford to mail them off, we’ll do that for you too. Because, we’re in this together. We’re stronger together – fuck Switzerland neutrality.

 

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