BuyPartisan app can be a dangerous political tool

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BuyPartisan app can be a dangerous political tool

Story by Lauren Freking, Columnist

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One of the most annoying things in life is trying to explain a belief to someone who refuses to consider your point of view. It is frustrating when people refuse to even try to understand why others may think a different way, especially when the disagreement is political.

BuyPartisan is an app that enables consumers to scan a barcode on any product and see where the product stands politically. What do I mean by that? When shoppers use a smartphone to scan the barcode on a box of Cheerios, for example, they will see exactly what political contributions the company and board of directors made that year, essentially defining the company’s political positions.

BuyPartisan is a dangerous tool. My grandpa watches nearly three hours of Fox News a day, and I would never tell him about this app because it would completely revolutionize the way he shops and the products he buys.

Can you imagine a world where businesses only sell their products in certain geographic locations depending on the concentration of conservatives or liberals in that area?

According to a review of BuyPartisan in Time magazine, Hershey, the maker of candy bars, is 79 percent Republican in its contributions. That would mean that most residents in predominantly Democratic Lawrence would not be buying Hershey’s candy bars for trick-or-treaters this Halloween.

The article in Time also mentions that most products students purchase would be considered Republican. Proctor and Gamble as well as Ramen noodles both are donors to the Grand Old Party. If you are a college student and a Bernie Sanders supporter, you may have a hard time finding products for your needs.

Obviously, over time businesses and politics have continued to intersect. However, this does not mean that they should continue to be so intertwined. There is a reason politics are not discussed at the dinner table in most houses.

Hopefully, most consumers make purchasing decisions based on the best product available and the integrity of business practices. Opening the door to politics with shopping habits has the potential to revolutionize the way people spend their money, and I do not think it will revolutionize it in a good way.

If you really care if your toilet paper is Republican, then go for it. Just know that this may be a case of taking politics too far.