Well, I might as well get on my soapbox about this like the rest of America already has.
Why now, exactly? I knew about Chick-fil-A’s “hate chicken” when I was in high school, and that was almost 20 years ago. I also don’t order from Domino’s Pizza or shop at Walmart, because I find their ownership’s monetary contributions to be morally repugnant. And if you didn’t know about Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay tendencies until the company’s COO opened his mouth a couple of weeks ago, how can you possibly be so outraged now? It’s not like this is an issue you were really paying attention to. If you truly gave a damn, you’d have avoided eating at Chick-fil-A a long time ago.
With the federal government and the vast majority of states still refusing to recognize gay marriage, there’s a lot better places to focus your outrage. Of course, fighting against the state for gay rights is also a hell of a lot harder than not buying chicken nuggets. I get that. Chick-fil-A, then, serves as a useful proxy to all the wars you can’t fight. Sure, there’s nothing the average American citizen can do to get the execrable Defense of Marriage Act repealed. (Thanks for signing that one, Pres. Clinton. Nice job. Real testicular fortitude.) But hey, we can all not eat a specific company’s chicken sandwich, right? I understand that impulse and yet, it reminds me too much of my toddler, who throws a fit and slaps a wall or a door when he doesn’t get his way. The door ain’t the problem, kid. And neither is the chicken. And the fact that so many pro-gay-rights people are only just now coming around to the idea that Chick-fil-A is not a place for them to spend their hard-earned dollars speaks to two things: The incredible power of social media, and the incredible ignorance of the public at large. And this is a public, it’s worth mentioning, that voted for Obama, who, at the time of his election, was not exactly perceived as the friendliest of politicians to gay rights. But never mind the hypocrisy, right?
Are you kidding me? Are you god-damned kidding me? The sudden liberal outrage over Chick-fil-A has, natch, generated blowback among the troglodytes. They arrived en masse yesterday to eat mor chikin in a show of solidarity. Lines at some Chick-fil-A locations wrapped around the block, and Chick-fil-A proclaimed the day its most successful on record. Although it’s easy to look at pictures of all those people standing in line and think of them as being there to support hatred of homosexuals, that’s not really the case. Most of the conservative outrage is based in their heartfelt belief that they are defending free speech. It’s best summed up by Emily Pix, the Photoshop whiz behind the Facebook-based conservative meme generator Image Blitz:
OK. So, first off, liberals threatening to boycott Chick-fil-A has nothing to do with the First Amendment. Zero. Nada. The First Amendment protects your speech from government intrusion. (That’s why it reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It does not read “You can say whatever you want with zero consequences.”) Chick-fil-A and its gay-baiting COO have all the free speech rights anyone else has. But you are not protected against criticism and rebuke. It’s like what Uncle Ben said about great power coming with great responsibility. You have every right to say whatever you want, but other people have every right to respond in kind. Deal with it.
And here’s point no. 2 to conservatives, and perhaps the most important thing I have to say about all this. Conservative, free-market libertarians love to talk about government regulation of business being completely unnecessary. The argument goes something like this: Business will self-regulate because if a business’ practices are morally repugnant to the public, or its product deemed substandard, then the public will shop elsewhere. That is a crap argument of course — plenty of businesses have pretty awful business practices and are hailed as marvels of modern capitalism. Just look at Apple and its reliance on Foxconn. But nevertheless, it’s the argument conservatives have chosen to defend. And yet, here we have a case of that exact mechanism at work, and what happens? Conservatives everywhere are outraged! The hypocrisy here makes that of Obama-voting Chick-fil-A-haters pale in comparison.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a door to slap.