Spotify-Like Protests Are the Future of Online Protests

If you can’t hit their heart, hit their ears

Will Leitch
GEN
Published in
5 min readJan 31, 2022

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I had an old classmate and colleague in college who refused to ever go to Wendy’s. (College is the only time in one’s life when “loudly making self-righteous political stances every time you walk in a room” and “eating at Wendy’s on a semi-regular basis” could possibly overlap.) Her argument was that Dave Thomas, the kindly old founder of Wendy’s, was a Fascist. That’s the actual word she used: Fascist. I miss when “Fascist” was a word only college students and high school social studies teachers used. I’m pretty sure I saw it 11 times today.

Dave Thomas, she said, was pro-life and, in fact, actively tried to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. His whole enterprise was based on this ideology, she said: He wanted to end legal abortion, and every hamburger you ate there contributed to pro-life causes. If you ate a Frosty at Wendy’s, you might as well be screaming at a woman outside an abortion clinic yourself. So she wouldn’t go in. She wouldn’t support that. And you shouldn’t either.

I’m not sure this was necessarily true about Thomas, by the way: The former foster care kid was more pro-adoption than he was anti-abortion. If Dave Thomas was out there talking about bombing abortion clinics, the national…

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Will Leitch
GEN
Writer for

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com