Some Business Owners Say This Election Makes Campaign Signs Worth The Risk

作者:未知 来源:美国国家公共电台 2016-10-16

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

It's not unusual for homeowners to express their political beliefs with a yard sign on the front lawn. Business owners can hurt their bottom line when they do the same. Marketing experts generally advise against doing that. But NPR's Jeff Brady found some business owners who are willing to risk the financial hit.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: The Philadelphia suburbs are swing territory, so you won't find many signs in shop windows there - too risky. But in Republican-dominated rural Pennsylvania - no problem.

ADAM MILLER: Our country's headed in a bad direction. We need to get it turned around. And I think Trump's going to do that for us.

BRADY: Adam Miller's family owns a car lot and repair shop. There's a big red, white and blue Trump sign outside. It's not just about the candidate, though. Miller says he feels like an increasingly diverse country is telling him his views no longer matter.

A. MILLER: It's tough because at the end of the day, I feel like - to be honest with you, I feel like the white guy is always wrong. And it needs to stop. It needs to stop.

BRADY: Tell me more about that.

Miller is proud of his Trump sign even if he has trouble explaining why he feels this way. Talk more, and the Colin Kaepernick issue comes up. That's the football player who refused to stand for the national anthem as a protest over how the country treats people of color. Miller's older brother Robert has been listening and says President Obama's defense of Kaepernick's right to protest really upset him.

ROBERT MILLER: I mean, look; Colin Kaepernick, for example - our president shouldn't be talking about a sports star. Our president should be talking about real issues. That's a prime example that comes to my mind.

BRADY: Those are views that might lose them business elsewhere, but the brothers say not here. Further south in Emmitsburg, Md., Chubby's Barbeque has a big Trump sign out front, too. Owner Tom Caulfield says he got a few complaints.

TOM CAULFIELD: That's the kind of person that will come in here, drive my staff crazy and tip them nothing. And no, I don't want them in here.

BRADY: Customer Martin Slouka says political signs don't bother him. He's here for the barbeque.

MARTIN SLOUKA: It's a, you know, First Amendment expression of speech. And they're a business owner, and they have a right to express their opinion as much as anybody else.

BRADY: Philadelphia's downtown Gayborhood is clearly Clinton territory. A gay bar has a campaign banner across the front. Nearby a restaurant has a sign that reads LGBT for Hillary. Virginia Strong is walking by and says most elections, she'd rather business owners kept their politics to themselves.

VIRGINIA STRONG: But this year, I like (laughter) a clear expression of where a business is standing.

BRADY: She's more likely to patronize a place that supports Clinton. In a Chinatown restaurant, owner Xu Lin has a Clinton sign in his window and is not shy talking about why.

XU LIN: Trump is a crazy, crazy person. He's a racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist person.

BRADY: And like the Trump supporters in rural Pennsylvania, Lin says there's little risk to his business saying so in a place where many others share the same view. Jeff Brady, NPR News, Philadelphia.

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