As Frank Burns once said on TV’s M*A*S*H, individuality is fine as long as we all do it together. At The Week, Ed Morrissey explores “Rahm Emanuel, Chick-fil-A, and the easy slide into fascism:”
Emanuel later backed down, but not one of the local aldermen, who still demanded a pledge from Cathy to quit associating with groups that oppose gay marriage as a prerequisite for a business permit. A councilman in New York made a similar threat. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee kept his attack on freedom of thought to Twitter, noting that the closest Chick-fil-A outlet was 40 miles away — and that the company shouldn’t try to get any closer.
It fell to a long-time nanny-state politician to offer some common sense on what freedom means. Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, took time off between regulating soft-drink serving sizes and locking up baby formula to force more new mothers to breastfeed in order to set Menino and Emanuel straight. Bloomberg scolded his fellow mayors during his regular radio show, saying that it’s inappropriate for governments “to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city.”
I’ll say. There is nothing wrong with boycotts by consumers, though they often tend to be ineffective. Still though, boycotts are perhaps the purest form of free-market political protests — entirely voluntary, with commensurate impact to the issue at hand on the business in question. But when governments demand political loyalty as a requirement to operate a business or live in a city, that has more in common with the 20th-century regimes that required business owners to have party cards and excluded anyone not considered loyal to the entrenched ruling class.
Meanwhile, Sheppard Smith of Fox News, tacitly attacking broadcasting colleague Mike Hukabee, who inspired August 1st as “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” dubs it a “national day of intolerance” — and for some, that certainly was the case:
After witnessing a man using a minimum wage drive-through worker as a prop in his video rant, Weekly Standard contributor Sonny Bunch writes in response:
So look: I get that this Chick-fil-A thing has inflamed passions on both sides. Liberals think this is a several rights issue about gay marriage; conservatives think it’s a civil rights issue about freedom of speech and the government using its power to stifle politically unacceptable thoughts. But certainly we can all agree that YouTube user Amsmith77Amsmith—if that even is his real name!—is King Douche, right?
Indeed — and it’s good in these times of turmoil to see someone volunteering to bring the country together to agree.
More: “Rick Warren: Chick-fil-A’s owner told me they set a new world record in sales today.”
Update: “CBS Atlanta: We’re Not Covering Appreciation, Just Protests.” Meanwhile, regarding lower budget mobile video shoots, Amsmith77Amsmith pulled his video — wonder why? — fortunately, we had already downloaded a copy for our archives, and Jim Treacher has already helpfully reposted it for him, which we’ve substituted for the original video above.