Money for nothing, and your speech is free

This space is not about Chick-fil-A today.

Chick-fil-A is simply a convenient example.  In fact, the first time that this space mentioned Chick-fil-A, it wasn’t devoted to Chick-fil-A either.  It was listed among several others that should be avoided if one is a socially conscious, even politically moderate person in the USA; much less if one is an actual Liberal.

I have seen a number of people saying essentially, “Enough already!  I don’t want to hear any more!” regarding Chick-fil-A.  I think that’s excellent.  Really, I do.  It means that the point is getting across in this short attention-span theater society that we live in.  Even more than that though, it means that a larger number of people than I expected are carrying it on longer than hoped.  The difficulty with any socially conscious movement is that it takes time and commitment.  Whereas those who came out in response to Mike Huckabee’s call to support Dan Cathy’s position by a day of support at Chick-fil-A only needed to show up one day and spend their money, and then they can get on with their lives as normal.  Those who are committed to a boycott must sustain it for a much longer term.  In fact, they must essentially be willing to commit to it forever, if that’s what it takes, and with Chick-fil-A, that is very likely, exactly what it will take.

Free Speech? – No matter how many times those on the right try to redefine this issue as a free speech issue, it is not.  I personally, find it a detestable stance, however it is Dan Cathy’s right to hold whatever beliefs he has and to state those beliefs.  The issue is the actions that WinShape have supported using the funds from Chick-fil-A sales and our unwillingness to allow our dollars to support that.  Mike Huckabee in the article linked above continues to show that he is, in fact, either a liar, stupid, or believes that his audience is stupid.

Huckabee said when he’s doing business with any company, “I’m not buying their politics. I’m buying their product. “

If that were true, then we would never, for example, hear anyone suggest using sanctions against North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, China, etc.  Of course, you are supporting a company’s politics when you buy their products.  To tell your audience that you are not is simply disingenuous or worse yet, showing that you are, in fact, lacking in intelligence yourself.  So, which is it, Mr. Huckabee?  Are you a liar that is counting on the ignorance of your audience or are you an idiot?

See, here is the real crux of the problem for those on the right, and one that they don’t want to face.  This is precisely what they claim they want to see happening in the market place.  This is the “free market” at work.  The people see a business, and they’re not happy with it.  The reason they are not happy with it is irrelevant, isn’t it?  That is what the free market is theoretically about.  So, the people choose not to shop there.  The free marketers should be cheering this movement as an example of the triumph of their beliefs!

Ah, but wait.  This is like the free elections that we say we want around the world, isn’t it?  We want free elections in Palestine, for example, but if the results are not to our liking, then we support embargoes and other actions, further impoverishing the people and exacerbating the conditions out of which so-called terrorists are created.  The right does not like the reason, so they throw a fit and cry, “FOWL!”

A few weeks ago, the same people who are now screaming about how Chick-fil-A is being picked on, were throwing a temper tantrum because of this image:

Oreo Pride Cookie

The response from some on the right was to call for a boycott.  There were many that were all a twit and angry about this.  And, that was free speech!  That was just an image.  That was not action.  That was not spending money to support the suppression of equal rights for others.  hmmmmm, I sense a bit more hypocrisy here.

Here is another free speech issue.  A bakery in Lakewood, CO refusing to make a cake for a gay couple.  Actually, for any LGBT couples.  That is his right.  Again, I think it’s disgusting, but that is his right.  It is also the right of people to refuse to do business there and to protest it. That is their free speech.

Funny how that works, isn’t it?  Free speech means that you get to say what you believe, but it doesn’t mean that you are the only one who gets to, or that you are protected from the consequences of what you said or did.  The rest of us have that same right.


About Just Torch

Author of the SCIAMAGE column a space devoted to American political and social commentary and analysis. It is unabashedly liberal, but makes every effort to present clear, verifiable facts and sound reasoning. It also makes a commitment to clearly distinguish between facts and opinions. View all posts by Just Torch

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