Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chick-fil-A

Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-a could have ducked and weaved his way around questions about his support of “Biblical” definitions of marriage.  But, instead he chose to stand his ground saying he doesn’t support gay marriage.  Well, good for him.  At least he has the guts to support his convictions.

Many around the web are now asking for a boycott of the Chick-fil-A restaurants across the nation.  There are a few locations in Michigan.  The response has been polarizing as you can imagine.  Others say that Cathy should be supported because he stands his ground and doesn’t hide in public relations no man’s land.  To boycott the restaurant is to be against free speech. 

But, Cathy made it an issue.  Those that will boycott the restaurant would perhaps have never known about the support provided to anti-gay groups either by the company or Cathy himself.  Their hard earned dollars would have continued to be spent at the restaurant so that some of those dollars could work against them.  It is almost like buying the gun that will shoot you.
But, the great issue here has nothing to do with Cathy’s support of anything.  It has everything to do with the political PACs that spend billions of dollars in political races throwing around a lot trash talk that isn’t supported. 

How is it that I can make that connection?  This seems a long ways away from keeping your name or your company’s name out of the political arena but spending lots of money to influence elections that will benefit you.  Can you see the connection now?
If the name of every person and company was known who donated to a political PAC, it would place a target on their company sales.  People who have a pet political agenda would boycott the companies because of its support of an opposing agenda.  But, companies can give money and other material support to organizations that are not required to provide a list of where the money comes from.  Unlike Cathy, many hide behind this wall of silence.

This is all the result of Supreme Court rulings.  It struck down campaign laws on the federal level and recently struck down laws on the state level that required full disclosure.  Even arguably the most conservative justice on the court disagreed with the ruling.  Anthony Scalia as recently as today during an interview with National Public Radio said that to understand political speech you must know who is speaking. 
In a community, an open discussion of the issues is important.  To have some that are involved in the discussion to be unknown is in violation of the political process.  We all condemned the “decisions made in smoked filled rooms behind closed doors” of many years ago.  Well, by not knowing who the supporters are of any speech means we are right back there. 

I am glad that Cathy has the guts to support his convictions.  I will have the guts also to not visit my local Chick-Fil-A for lunch, just because of his public announcements.  This is the way the process is suppose to work.

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