Hands off Chick-fil-A

In coming weeks, I expect to eat often at Chick-fil-A and not just because I like the company and the food they serve. I’ll be there as my way of protesting the disgusting behavior of some big city political hacks.
The personal views of Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy on gay marriage sparked the recent controversy. It should be noted the company does not discriminate against anybody in its hiring or in whom it serves in its restaurants. Cathy expressed an opinion shared by millions of Americans and, until recently, even by President Obama. Agree or disagree with Cathy, you should be concerned when elected officials threaten to use government power against a company because of a political disagreement with the CEO. Consider the following remarks.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter declaring that there was “no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Chick-fil-A’s values were “not Chicago’s values.” Chicago alderman Joe Moreno says he will block the company from building a restaurant in his ward.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee tweeted that the closest Chick-fil-A restaurant to his city “is 40 miles away and I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”
Similar statements were made last week by others in positions of authority across the country. Some later backed off, others didn’t.
Forgive my bluntness but frankly, such statements don’t belong anywhere near a free society. These smug, self-righteous, power-wielding, small-time Nazi-types should hang their heads in shame. American voters who still appreciate what freedom is about should send them packing for Pyongyang, Havana or at least early retirement at the first electoral opportunity. Better to nip this anti-social behavior in the bud before it really goes to their heads.

I thought city governments were supposed to police the streets, keep the sewers clear and the lights on and a few other things and otherwise leave people alone. Who anointed these pin-striped thugs with the right to decide who gets to do business in town? What makes Rahm Emanuel the arbiter of the “values” of five million people? What other personal views of Mayors Menino and Lee and Alderman Moreno must a CEO agree with before he can open up shop in their territory?

It’s no coincidence that these political gangsters are all left-wing ideologues. This is the way the left operates these days. Their end-justifies-the-means contempt for economic liberty is frightening for its ignorance, for its arrogance and for its willingness to use or threaten force to shut people up. It’s also a logical extension of the very core of left-wing ideology, which is to put the force of government in charge of as much of your life as their guys can get their greedy, grubby hands on.

Chick-fil-A, here I come.

(Lawrence W. Reed, a resident of Newnan, is president of the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, N. Y., and Atlanta.)



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