The thought may not be as trivial as it seems at first blush. The way that we think about States and talk and write about them can be skewed when we do so as though some particular State constitutes an individual and distinct place. States don't, really, but, just like most nations, States are actually amalgams of people and localities that can be and usually are manifoldly diverse and quite different from one another within what ever artificial political boundary has roped them together with, say, their fellow New Yorkers, whatever the hell that means.
It is undeniably convenient to lump quite different people and localities together for purposes of political administration. Hence, on a political blog like Daily Kos, we talk endlessly about the particular States, and political subdivisions and districts and the country itself . The planet, Earth, itself, is a single place, in some sense, at least if viewed from elsewhere.
Oddly, though, not politically. Earth is certainly a place where mankind has an interest in preserving for human habitation, there being no reasonable prospect of another coming along any time soon. Mankind has an interest, perhaps even an existential interest, as yet not adequately served, of slowing the pace and even reversing the occurrence of dangerous outcomes from Anthropogenic Climate Change. Yet, mankind has not yet found it convenient to recognize Earth as a place.
However useful may be National, State, County, Municipal and increasing local levels of political organization, these geopolitical realities can also help enable some possibly unintended thinking. For example, don't think for a moment that the arbitrary boundaries that control our politics have much to do with the distribution among us, as people, of things like happiness, unhappiness, love, hate, acceptance, bigotry, smartness, dumbness, honesty, deceitfulness, diligence, sloth, skepticism, gullibility, or any of the other qualities and factors that are probably more important in shaping the people in our personal lives than, simply, their State of residence.
This is why commenters on DK who, for example, rag on Texas as a lost-cause-Red-State-hell-hole, get rebuffed and reminded that Texas isn't just one kind of place with one kind of people. It's many places with lots of different people just like everywhere else, except politically, perhaps. A lot of those people are hard-working progressives trying to make life in Texas better.
Which brings us to the subject of boycotting, as George Takei has proposed, elective travel to Arizona in response to the LGBT etc. discrimination enabling law now on Gov. Jan Brewer's desk.
The subject of travel interests me. I love travel. I have lots of ideas about it and, as I am about to retire, I hope to do more of it. This subject interests me and I find that I have a sort of argument against boycotting Arizona, despite the utter repugnance of the law in question and the possibility that a new Arizona travel boycott could prove very effective politically.
Come out into the tall grass for a discussion.
As noted, I love to travel. I love to plan trips and am acknowledged by family and friends as a master at it. I also travel lot for business. I know a lot about with whom one does business as a traveler, business or pleasure.
As a traveler, one must always be careful where the money goes, no matter where one travels. But a heck of lot of every travel dollar goes for salaries and tips for taxi drivers, airline clerks, baggage handlers and porters, servers, cooks, food prep workers, drivers, car rental clerks, parking valets and attendants, cashiers, bookkeepers, desk clerks, maids, etc. By exercising care to stay with national chains lacking State corporate affiliations or by seeking out locally owned establishments without apparent repugnant political connections, a lot can be accomplished to keep money out of the wrong hands and still travel in a State proposed for boycott, like Arizona. For every traveler who stays away, some of these people lose money and, maybe, if enough stay away, their jobs. Still, no matter how true it may be, this is a convenient argument against almost any boycott.
So, the real measure of a boycott is whether its objective is important enough to overcome the risk of harm to innocents and to some of the very people whom the boycott would most wish to help. There has been a boycott against Arizona travel for the "papers please" law that, as I see it, was justified. By the same standard, I think the present argument against Arizona travel wins out as well.
When it comes to travel, its one thing when a government, even an ostensibly democratic one, is dictatorial and oppressive to some, even all of its people. It is another when the dictatorial and oppressive government is taking it out, or allowing its people to take it out upon travelers or emigres or particular classifications of them, by religion, race, origin, gender, identity, etc. It is in this second case that a boycott is perfectly acceptable to me.
In cases of the first kind, I have traveled without guilt to the former Soviet Union when it was still the USSR and what Ronald Reagan later called an Evil Empire. I traveled in Hosni Mubarak's Egypt just before he fell. I have traveled in a variety countries with terrible and utterly antidemocratic governments. Some U.S. States, too. But the "papers please" law told people of color to stay away from Arizona. The law gave such travelers a personal stake in staying the hell out of that State. In solidarity, I haven't been there myself and have routed around Arizona for all travel I have planned for anyone else.
The law on Jan Brewer's desk is another bit of the same thing. It sends a clear message to all persons with anything other than a strictly conventional sexual identity or lifestyle to stay the hell away. In solidarity, I support George Takei's proposal to boycott Arizona travel if Governor Brewer doesn't veto the invidious legislation. I apologize to everyone in Arizona's hospitality and transportation sectors for their personal loss from such boycotts and strongly urge them all to take a larger interest in local politics. It may be the one thing they do in their lives that actually may help them live better. Until then, I am sorry that they remain governed by selfish, plutocratic, hateful and deluded buffoons.