Would politics influence your decision to buy a Mac?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by HELLFISH, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. HELLFISH macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2004
    Such a small question can easily bring a ferocious discussion. I have been toying with purchasing a Mac for years. I find myself reading the spymac.com and macrumors.com forums every day. I’ve even spent hours and hours changing the look of my PC to mimic a Mac using various applications (ObjectDock, FireFox with a Safari theme, XP with an OS X theme, Windows versions of icons and mouse pointers, etc…). I’ve even brought myself to purchase an iPod (15GB 3G-er). The one thing that has stopped me from purchasing a Mac is not price, not software, but politics.

    Strange as that may sound, I find it quite curious the positively hateful responses one incurs when it is obvious their political affiliation is not that of the Democrats. For instance, I shoot competitively for a living. I’m not talking about photographs here. I shoot an Olympic Arms AR-15 rifle. Nearly 100% of the time, when guns are brought up in discussions, the 2nd Amendment proponents are eventually called “killers”, “barbaric”, “idiots”, and generally the cause of all the world’s problems. Now I understand that computer forums are not gun forums, but they are communities where discussions from photograph techniques to cars, to music are routinely discussed.

    Now I certainly don’t want to get into a 2nd Amendment discussion here, but I use the point to illustrate the problem I am facing. It’s not just guns, but the very ideologies of the two different parties. It’s obvious that as a whole, the Macintosh communities lean decisively to the left, and it’s a real frustration to have to wade through the political garbage. Simple injections in computer related topics such as “I hate Windows almost as much as I hate Bush” leave a sour taste in my decision making process.

    I am certainly not suggesting a political topic ban. I am a firm believer in the right to free speech. I am curious on how to handle this situation and what other’s thought are on the matter. Any comments are welcomed.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Duhhh... No.

    Cannot fathom your point at all.
    Want a Mac? Buy one.

    Cross-dressing your PC so it looks like one? Now, that's weird.

    Anyway, this may be best suited for the political forums.

    (Edit: Furthermore, if you think the Democrats are to the left, you should try and learn a little more about the world)
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    No. Politics & computers have no cross-over. Using a PC or a Mac doesn't mean jack.
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Okay, here's my comment as someone who considers himself a moderate (I vote both sides of the party line, depending on the specific candidates' positions on issues that matter to me); and I hope you don't take this the wrong way.

    Certainly there is a small group of rather vocal Mac users that fall into the left-leaning artistic crowd; their volume tends to belie their numbers. I think, however, one's own personal viewpoint tends to sway one's perception of the Mac community as a whole (or any group, for that matter). I have seen right-wing crap as well as left-wing crap posted on these, and other, forums. But when I've discussed this sort of thing with people I know, I've come to realize that people who have strong political persuasions tend to not think of the "crap" that comes from their own side as falling into the "crap" category. This is true of both right and left.

    This has especially come home to me this year, as I have a few friends who fall heavily into either the Bush or the Kerry camps. It just amazes me sometimes what is swallowed unchallenged as "fact" by these people!

    But anyway... if you were concerned about the politics of the corporation itself, I could conceivably see your point. But since you're just referring to the politics of other people buying the product, I don't see the reason for your concern. When I buy a toothpaste made by Proctor and Gamble, for example, I don't think about the political alliances of my fellow toothpaste purchasers! Just get the product that best meets your needs.

    And if some blowhard gives you a hard time for something you've said - especially if it's not relevant to the topic at hand - be an adult and just walk away. Sometimes you've got to do that on these forums, because the most argumentative people on here seem to have nothing better to do than spend all day sitting at their computer.
  5. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    I know lots of Republicans that are mac fanatics. Rush Limbaugh is one of the more famous ones. The president uses a Mac as well. The reason that you feel the way you do, is that a lot of artististic creative people use Macs, and many of them tend to lean at least slightly to the left. Really it makes no difference, buy a Mac if that is what you want. Politics are present in just about whatever you might buy. Companies are made of all types of people, and customer bases contain all types as well. It shouldn't adversely affect your decision to buy a product like a computer. Buy it because you want it and it works, not because someone does or does not use it, or because they have different opinions than you. Macs are great computers and if you want one, then you should get one. If the forums bother you that much, then don't participate, but don't let that effect whether or not you get a Mac, if that is what you want. Besides, I read an article the other day where Jobs was having to defend his involvement in the Kerry campaign, or lack thereof, and he said in this interview that only slightly more than half of Mac users tend to be Democrats, the rest lean the other way, though how he knows this, I have no idea :confused:
  6. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004

    To the wasteland, please.

  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002

    i certainly support your right to own guns, i just ask that you don't infringe on my right to get married, go buy a Mac if you want to, if not don't make up silly excuses like this. It's a tool, people get so caught up in the seeming existentialism that they forget that. I mean, if you perceived more liberals to own VW's than conservatives, would that keep you from buying one (if you wanted to otherwise)?

    People who live their lives afraid of how others see them, live not at all.

  8. crenz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2003
    Shanghai, China
    I'm neither a "Democrat" nor a "Republican". I'm not even American. For me, the idea of expressing your political leanings via choice of operating system is rather weird. But I've heard some people do it even with their choice of Ketchup :p .
  9. micvog macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    I can understand your perspective Hellfish. Shortly before the release of the FP iMac I got to look at OS X and started seriously following the Mac community and exploring the benefits/issues of the Macintosh to the Wintel PC. I was about to buy a Mac when former VP Al Gore was put on Apple's board. That, and Steve Job's very public support of Democratic/left-leaning politics pushed me back in the PC-camp for a few months. Ultimately, I bought a Macintosh anyway and have been very happy.

    As a consumer I don't want my dollars going to support or empower causes that I don't believe in, but I am not real fond of Bill Gates' politics either. If you have concerns, buy a Mac and then send $100 to your favorite political cause.

    That being said, my "Mac-using" friends tend to be more conservative than my "PC-using" friends. Perhaps the "Mac users are liberals" stereotype isn't altogether correct, but just a combination of a vocal minority and some high-profile "exceptions".
  10. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000


    Jul 4, 2004
    Rush Limbaugh uses Apple.

    Not that I am proud of it, but if Rush Limbaugh owns a Mac, shouldn't all of the other Dittoheads?
  11. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    Now we get to the heart of it. I think there are two tiers-- In the case of companies that are involved in politics, one might use their consumerism to support or not support particular causes. A good recent example is Procter and Gamble's official opposition to Cincinnati's anti-gay-rights ordinance that would affect P&G's ability to recruit and retain talented employees at their headquarters, located in Cincinnati. If you're interested in seeing Cin get the ordinance, as several Christian groups are, you can boycott their products. Now on tier 2, there are companies with no political involvement, but whose profits pay individuals who may support political causes, like Apple here. I really think it's silly to rate the companies based on this-- A good example here is Domino's Pizza. They, of course, have no political opinions, but one of the co-founders supports anti-abortion causes, which has led to calls for boycotts. Would a boycott affect this person's ability (or desire?) to support the organization? Probably not. When I order Domino's I certainly don't see it as supporting anti-abortion causes. In any case, it would be impossible to evaluate most of the places your money goes, and if you look hard enough, you could probably find something to offend you about any company.

    Of course the stereotype is wrong. He probably knows that. But he doesn't want anyone stereotyping him has a Mac Liberal. So, a willingness to select a tool based on social appearance than it's usefulness. I wouldn't want him working for me...

  12. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    Man, what is MacRumors coming too. I think I browse the site even more now just to see what crazy thread someone came up with today.

  13. AoWolf macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Daytona Beach
    Ar-15 now that sounds like fun(mind wanders off).....

    But seriously don't worry about it. It's not like your giving money to one side or the other by buying a mac.
  14. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    "Would politics influence your decision to buy a Mac?"

    No. Never. The Mac doesn't change. The way it is viewed is changed. Morals would change, and then we would have endless cylical arguments about the same stupid political moral bullcrap that gets thrown around in the political section of the forums and in conversations about Macs. (As of this posting, the thread is in the "Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion" section.) I clench my fists hard so I keep from breathing fire around people whose views about a product or service they like are reversed simply due to the effect of politics or morals about that product. Those people give up something they like for something they don't like as much as a result of outside influences, and it is frustrating for me to keep myself from yelling at those idiots explicit insults for being so deprived of intelligence. Now, to clarify what I mean by all that: If you like a product over another even if most view the product as bad, then that's a separate issue, but if you are influenced to choose something you don't like versus something you like just due to political influences, then you have issues. (And here is where I clench my fists to keep from ranting further.)
  15. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Interesting ad I saw in this thread:
    "America's Ketchup?" :confused:
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Heal... angry aura!

  17. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I realize and accept that a lot of the Mac community leans to the left. Just don't let it bother me. I stay out of the political forum. Living in Massachusetts, If I decided not to buy from Democrats, would not be able to survive. Each person is responsible for themselves.
  18. Dr. No macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2003
    Mac vs PC all comes down to what is a better technology- not political issues.

    Macs are really for anyone who sees them as a much better technology, and that could be anyone.

    Mac vs Windows is kind of like a seperate election :D
  19. lazymuoio macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2004
    New York
    if you want a mac buy one politics is overrated crap and you should just by what you need by the way a windows pc can not come closeto mimicking the beauty of the mac in short just buy it
  20. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
  21. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    There was a recent poll done about the sexual habits of luxury car drivers. Porsche owners had the least amount of sex while BMW owners got the most. Would you not buy a Porsche based on that information alone?

    We all make decisions about why we buy what we do. I have a Ford Ranger and while I find Ford to have a lot of objectionable policies, in the end my decision to buy was based on quality not corporate shenanigans. But, Excursion drivers scare the hell out of me!

    There was a huge uproar about iTunes Music Store offering the Democratic Convention as a download, but the Republican Convention was also offered and if you'll look in the Audiobooks section, you'll note that there are quite a few right leaning books and authors represented. Remember, Apple is in business to make money pure and simple. What Steve does with the money he earns is up to him. Just like Bill and Melinda and their own philanthropic efforts don't appeal to all users of MS software.

    The world is far too complicated to get your knickers in a twist about the moral rightness of every purchase you make. If you find the political forums to be objectionable, then stay out of them. I think you'll agree that there is a lot of helpful information available on these boards, and I continually hear that there is much more of a sense of community here than on PC boards.
  22. pcpacker macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Sounds weird. I am a conservative with a Mac--not that it matters.
  23. HELLFISH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2004
    Thank you for the generous replies. Most have been quite helpful, with an unfortunate few being certainly ignorant. To answer some of the issues raised, I am not worried about supporting a “liberal” company. Business is business and purchasing a Mac is of no real concern regarding that theme. The matter of most apprehension is that of the community as a whole. Perhaps it’s augmented at this time due to the impending elections, but there is a real animosity, even hatred, often displayed towards alternating political dogma.

    Perhaps it’s an oversimplified analogy, but suppose you lived in a community where the tenants really enjoyed purple silverware. So much so that they regularly put up signs explaining how other colors of silverware are evil, or that the users of said silverware were monsters. Well, I happen to prefer orange silverware. I could care less what the other tenants fancy; I’m just here to eat dinner. The only problem-- it’s quite hard to eat when there’s a lot of noise denigrating your choice of silverware.

    I guess what I am trying to ask is will the total “Mac experience” weaken due to the attacks on my personal beliefs? Or maybe, I just need to grow a thicker skin. Thanks for listening.
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    You do have a good point really, but I guess it really depends upon your expectations. My personal beliefs are attacked here every single day in one way or another and I'm fairly liberal. I don't take it personally though as this is a forum where opinions are to be shared and discussed. I do believe that the level of discussion here on political issues, at least when it occurs in the political forum where it's supposed to is of a pretty high quality.

    If your personal beliefs are such that you believe it is sacrilege to have them questioned, then I wonder if there's anyplace you would ever feel comfortable.

    You aren't the first person to ask this question nor the first gun lover, search the political forum and you'll find plenty of people who agree with you. Just don't expect it to be a place where your beliefs are of a higher standard than someone else's.
  25. sorryiwasdreami macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2004
    way out in the sticks
    I think you raise a valid and worthy point of discussion, and I think I may have the answer for you.

    You are apprehensive about purchasing a mac because of the community, the "mac culture," if you will, surrounding the machine. This is simple. If this is your concern, you have already submerged and initiated yourself in the wonderful, yet sometimes brutal Macintosh community.

    You won't find a tighter-knit bunch of aficionados on the internet anywhere. We are passionate, and that is why you see our beliefs in plain view. By the looks of your original post about guns, etc, you are passionate about your beliefs as well, and you make a good fit here.

    Therefore you already have the mindset of a mac user (not that we think alike, but that we have convictions as to what we believe). I use a mac because I love it; in other words, I am passionate about it. Now, you can use a windows computer and hate it - many do.

    However, that negativity doesn't breed a cohesive community like the one we have as mac users. Your question divulges beliefs about the thinking of the culture, not the computer itself.

    If you are on that level, it's time you just buy your mac and see what we're so passionate about.

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