Thanksgiving Day Parade 2012: Time for Macys to Dump Donald Trump as a Spokesperson

Thanksgiving — the day when it’s most clear how badly Macy’s wants to be a part of the wholesome American story. 

Every year, for nearly a century, the department store has sponsored a big, much-publicized parade on Thanksgiving Day, promoting the image of the company as a part of the community, not just another store. The parade was even featured in one of the ultimate feel-good movies of all time, Miracle on 34th Street.

But this year, one of Macy’s biggest spokespersons is loudly and obnoxiously, providing a direct counterpoint to the warm, fuzzy feeling we’re supposed to have about the department store, especially this time of year as they gear up for Christmas shopping. 

Donald Trump, one of reality television’s most Grinch-like characters, is more famous for spouting hateful vitriol than he is for his multi-billion dollar net worth, his real estate empire, his television shows, or his Macy’s clothing line. 

After Trump’s outrageous post-presidential-election temper tantrum, one concerned citizen started a campaign on SignOn.org to petition Macy’s to end their business relationship with the red-faced bluster machine.

“The petition took off because of the incompatibility between Macy’s brand and Trump’s brand of bigoted bullying,” Angelo Carusone wrote in his Daily Beast article about why he started the Dump Trump campaign and why it’s gotten so much attention. As of this writing, the petition has 664,741 signatures.

“If I went into Macy’s and said some of the things that Trump has said, security almost certainly would escort me out,” Carusone continued, pointing out the tastelessness of the Macy’s Christmas ad featuring Trump acting skeptical about the real identity of Santa. The ad hits a little close to home so soon after Trump lead the racism-fueled birther movement, insisting repeatedly and loudly that President Barack Obama isn’t American.

So far, however, Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren is unmoved by the outcry. In a letter to Carusone, published online by Business Insider, Lundgren very politely brushed off the petition.

“Please understand and appreciate that Macy's marketing and merchandising offerings are not representative of any political position,” he wrote. “Ours is a free society compromised of a wide range of viewpoints. Many of the individuals associated with products sold at Macy's — or at any retailer, for that matter — express personal opinions that are not related to the merchandise we sell or to the philosophies of our company.”

It was always a long shot that the company would heed the petition and cut ties with the wealthy ogre, but, still, all I want for Christmas this year is for Trump to shut his angry mouth and stay out of the news for a while.

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Lilly O'Donnell

Lilly O'Donnell is a freelance writer, currently working on her first book.

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