In the worst economy in decades, the Mayors of Boston and Chicago are proudly denying their citizens jobs, free choice and tasty chicken.
Chick-Fil-A made headlines last week after its president laid bare his views on same-sex marriage. On a radio interview, Dan Cathy said our generation was “arrogant” for thinking that we can simply redefine marriage, and he spoke of his family’s values and how they influence the company culture. This should be no surprise to those familiar with the company, and it should be no surprise that this has sparked protests and calls for boycott from the left.
Now, I think Chick-Fil-A is one of the best things that ever happened to fast food. It’s delicious, family friendly, and they’ve taken a decidedly health-conscious approach. And as any fan of the chain knows, they close the doors on Sundays, when the craving is most likely to hit. I respect Chick-Fil-A for taking a loss on profits so that it can uphold its values and give something unique to its employees. It is because values stand at the heart of the business that they have exploded in popularity. While most applaud this, there are some vocal detractors.
Enter Thomas Menino and Rahm Emmanuel, Mayors of Boston and Chicago respectively. These champions of the people’s values are standing up, declaring that no one should be subjected to the choice of great food and great service from a company whose president opposes same-sex marriage. Menino wrote to Mr. Cathy, saying that “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.” Emmanuel offered similar sentiments, telling Chick-Fil-A, “if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.”
This is an interesting viewpoint for a city that is famous for political corruption and has no problem welcoming those with radically and controversially leftist “values.”
However, what is most disturbing about the statements made by the Mayors is that they presume to speak for all citizens in telling Chick-Fil-A to stay off their collective lawn. Regardless of where one stands on same-sex marriage, using this issue to essentially tell a great company “no, you cannot create jobs here, and you cannot serve our citizens,” is absolutely senseless—especially in this economy.
Who should decide whether a company represents the values of a community? Who should decide whether that service and those jobs are wanted by those who would be affected most? Certainly not politicians. What kind of society lets political leaders pick and choose which businesses will grow? Certainly not America… but that seems to be something we are willing to flirt with.
This brand of governing, where officials simply decide what is in our best interest and issue commands and creeds sounds a lot like the medieval tyranny that once gripped human civilization. Are we comfortable with it if the only difference is popular elections? Not me.