Posted on July 31, 2012
You Didn’t Fil-A That
Chicken fight is only round one
Democrat mayors across America have evidently gotten the memo from party headquarters. If you own a business, it’s not nearly as much yours as you think it is. Your property only exists thanks to a collective effort, thereby rendering it communal property. Your benevolent government overseers may allow you to “keep a big hunk of it,” as Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren memorably screeched, but all final decisions about your business will be theirs.
Chick-fil-a president Dan Cathy, the son of founder Truett Cathy, has stated his support for the traditional, biblical definition of marriage. Well, we can’t have businessmen just walking around openly disagreeing with the Democratic Party platform -- not in this new, collectivist age of ours. Behaving more like medieval feudal lords than elected representatives of the people, Mayors Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Thomas Menino of Boston and Edwin Lee of San Francisco declared that the fast food chain is not welcome in their cities. Perhaps the ceremonial aspect of these men’s positions has gone to their heads. Mayors don’t actually distribute keys to the city, as if they reserved the power to lock out whomever they wished.
This is not to say that they’re powerless to follow through on their threats. All they need to do is study New York RINO mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose career reads like a mayors’ handbook on how to harass restaurant owners out of business. They may not be able to explicitly prohibit Chick-fil-a from expanding into their cities, but they might be able to pass unattainable regulatory standards, to be selectively enforced against those restaurants whose owners are deemed to be guilty of conspicuous Christianity.
To a big-government liberal, wielding the ability to punish a business is itself a demonstration of partial ownership. Like mobsters collecting protection money, the government allows you to operate your business, and is therefore entitled to a cut. The collectivists view this protection as yet another vital service, like providing infrastructure and educating the workforce, that defines them as “stakeholders” in everyone’s business. In exchange for withholding their destructive power, they assume the ability to dictate to you, even to the point of forbidding you from publicly expressing your beliefs.
Ironically, Cathy is basically agreeing with what had been Barack Obama’s official position through the first three years of his presidency. In fact, his opinion is shared by a solid majority of Americans – at least if you believe the voting results, rather than the polls. This might make it more difficult for the collectivists to win this round, but what if they choose as their next target someone whose beliefs are far less popular?
Imagine for a minute that Marge Schott has been cloned. You remember Schott, the late Cincinnati Reds owner who said that Adolf Hitler was a good man because he built infrastructure. Let’s say that Clone Marge has founded a chain of pet-grooming shops called Schottzie’s. Although nobody has ever alleged discrimination by Schottzie’s against any employee or customer, it becomes the focus of controversy when Clone Marge gives a magazine interview, in which she says that the Welsh are an inferior people, who should not be allowed to purchase beer.
When the big city mayors threaten Clone Marge’s shops, there is no backlash like there’s been in defense of Chick-fil-a, because practically nobody share’s Clone Marge’s point of view. In addition to subjecting her to regulatory harassment, the politicians demonstrate their importance by deliberately having construction projects impede customers from entering Schottzie’s parking lots. In the end, Clone Marge relents, and holds a press conference to say she has seen the error of her ways, many of her best friends are now Welsh, and please, please, please do not destroy her business.
Few would protest such an outcome, yet it would be every bit as destructive as if the campaign against Chick-fil-a were to prove successful. The message from the collectivists, as delivered by President Obama in his “You didn’t build that” speech, is the same in either case. Government created you, and government can destroy you. Only the latter half of that is true, of course. Obama and his party didn’t create Chick-fil-a, any more than they created the chicken or the egg, nor would they wish to have done so.
Warren’s and Obama’s speeches were nothing short of declarations of war against American individualism. Whether or not they and their army of Democratchiks can prevail may simply be a matter of their choosing the right individual to attack next.
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press