I tried very hard to refrain from public comment on this matter. I really did. I figure when we taxpayers STILL own GM, whose bankruptcy did little to actually address the combination of stupid union tricks and stupid management tricks that cratered what was once a triumph of industry, and our chief executive who hasn’t managed to nudge even the phony unemployment numbers under 8% in three years, while failing to even pass a budget, and unleashing regulatory behemoths onto American businesses and individuals, we’d have more important things to talk about. And yet, the hand-wringing, crass opportunism, and contempt for the exercise of freedom on this matter has reached a sickening crescendo. The enormity of this storm of stupid has been blotting out the sun, and distracting from issues that really do affect everyone, and not just the perpetually offended and their camp-followers.
When Dan Cathy, the President of Chick-fil-A, a professed Christian running a company that still closes on Sunday, made a clear and unequivocal statement about the company supporting traditional marriage, the mechanism of OUTRAGE!!11!!! swept into motion, and immediately, condemnation resounded from the predictable quarters. Certainly, the militant homosexuals were angry, and were soon joined by mayors of large cities and city aldermen eager to prove their committment to tolerance by announcing that they would use every machination at their disposal to make sure that this business could not and would not pollute their fair cities with their chicken sandwiches and unfashionable opinions. These unwavering statements of support later wavered when they could no longer avoid the fact that doing so would be a gross abuse of power, and would, in time, lead to inevitable correction by both voters, who aren’t so stupid as to not be able to realize that such a trick is capable of repetition, and by the courts, who jealously reserve the power tyranny for themselves. But, as with any cause celebre, those who are famous, some only for being famous, could not resist the opportunity to chime in for their own 15 seconds of almost-relevance. The casual famous, the has-beens, and the never-weres all tweeted their tolerance-supporting hate for the man whose company sells chicken and supports the kind of families that served to build a nation for over 200 years.
Its been interesting to watch. If by “interesting”, you mean “horrifying”. I expect the chatterati and the famous to stand up on their hind legs and start offering vacuous opinions for the outraged and the easily led, like trained seals performing for fish. When these mental giants start showing off their “deep thoughts”, you quickly realize that if you put galoshes on before wading through their publically-stated pontifications, you would be horribly overdressed. But with the politicians casting their lots in with this same crowd, it starts to feel like a trip back to high school, complete with all the pressure to conform.
If there is a silver lining, it is that the Pink Swastikas and their conscripts are starting to overplay their hand. It really became noticeable with the recent gay marriage ballot measure in North Carolina. The opposition both before and after the election wasn’t just shrill, it was Mariah Carey shrill. And the repeated theme that if you weren’t for gay marriage, then you were just an inbred, ignorant embarrassment to humanity started to make up people’s minds. Of course, those were the people who generally didn’t care one way or the other, but who weren’t enamored of the characterization, and the general “thought police” nature of the condemnations, especially in light of the fact that with the vote, North Carolina joined more than 35 other states, who when were actually asked, rather than told by the their politicians (YES, I’m looking at YOU, Olympia), rejected the idea of gay marriage. When more than half of the 57 states don’t support your heart’s desire, maybe calling them inbred and ignorant really isn’t a winning strategy.
But, despite the dubious nature of this particular approach, it has remained consistent. A friend of mine recently had an encounter illustrating the failure of this approach when she went to order some Chick-fil-A for lunch at a food truck in our nation’s capital. After being accosted by a “crazy man” for buying food from a company that “supports hate groups”, several bystanders expressed the opinion that they were no longer on the fence on this issue, and they would be joining her for lunch that day. It’s a story I hear repeated over, and over again from friends and acquaintances who actually have Chick-fil-As near them, and their longer than normal waits for food because of the increased foot traffic.
And yet the Forces of Outrage™ persist…and if they can’t have success, then they will at least pretend at it in their best peer pressure style, as exemplified with this story which proclaims that “Chick-Fil-A Experiences Massive Fallout Among Consumers After Anti-Gay Controversy“. Except that this conclusion was reached through a “branding survey”, and not on actual sales data, which means that anyone who has ever taken a statistics course can ask some pointed questions about the sampling methods used that would cast this dubious assertion even further in doubt.
What has been revealing about this latest episode in the culture wars is just how little regard the “progressive” mindset has for anyone who doesn’t share their views, and just how much they are willing to abrogate the protection of law for those who subscribe to traditional values. It is another schism in a field of cultural chasms that are slowly and surely separating society. It gives me no pleasure to watch, but when one side makes it clear that they are willing to condemn thought, and no longer willing to tolerate formerly legitimate religious expression, while holding in contempt values that I share, I know which side I stand on. And I suppose I should thank the usual suspects for no longer pretending that unity is a goal that they have any real interest in achieving.