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Chick-fil-A and the Insignificant Voter

August 9, 2012

Chick-fil-A in the News

On July sixteenth, Chick-fil-A made headlines all across America as it’s President, Dan Cathy, spoke out in support of traditional marriage.  In an interview with Ken Coleman, he said,

“I think we’re inviting God’s judgement on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, you know, “We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.””  He also said that his company is “very much supporting of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit.”

Reactions to Chick-fil-A

The reactions came fast and furious, and from all walks of life.  Gay rights activists were furious.  Liberal politicians, most notably the mayors of Chicago and Boston, spoke out against Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A.  Conservatives such as Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum spoke out in support of Chick-fil-A and urged conservatives everywhere to show their support as well.  Huckabee and Santorum particularly urged people to support Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August first.

The result:   Individuals waited in line for hours for their chance to show support for a company with strong morals.  Chick-fil-A broke their one-day sales record on Wednesday, August first.  While the company would not release sales figures for the day, they did confirm that it set a new record.

Gay rights activists staged a “kiss-in” to protest Chick-fil-A on Friday, August third.  This event was largely a failure, both in number of participants, and in reaction created.

How the Chick-fil-A phenomenon applies to the ordinary, solitary, and seemingly insignificant voter

While there a many who have ridiculed the idea of showing social activism by eating a sandwich, I think there is a deeper lesson that we can learn from the entire drama.

The lesson that I get from the entire story (which is still being written) is that each individual voice counts.  Many people voted, with their finances, in support of Chick-fil-A.  These people “voted” one at a time.  They “voted” against the vocal establishment.  They “voted” in support of values that matter to them.

The result of all these individuals “voting” in support of Chick-fil-A was an overwhelming rebuttal of the views that had been rampant just days earlier.  The American public does still believe in conservative moral values.  The average American still cares about the views of the businesses he patronizes.

How the Chick-fil-A drama relates to our political situation

I know of several friends who have already decided that they won’t vote in this election.  They say that there is no good candidate, and that their vote wouldn’t change anything anyway.  They assume that they are too small and insignificant to make a difference.

The Chick-fil-A story shows this to be untrue.  Individuals supported a business and the results were clear and measurable.

Another example of individual votes counting was the 2000 presidential election.  The entire election came down to one state – Florida.  George W. Bush won the state of Florida by less than 700 votes out of more than 6 million cast.

In summary, let me urge you to get registered, get informed, and get to the polls when your opportunity comes.  Support those who believe as you do, and together, we can put this great nation back on the right track.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts,

Dave

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From → Politics

2 Comments
  1. I’m glad you are deliberating, Dave. I don’t buy your logic as far as the Chick-fil a part goes, but I agree that individual votes count, especially a few votes in the Supreme Court. (Some votes are more equal than others.) People supported the fast food chain because eating cheap food and pretending it makes a statement is a low-risk, feel-good proposition. If McDonalds or KFC were taking political positions, millions would support them too. It’s not like the customers would be facing riot cops to protest wars and corporate greed. You don’t need an ID, or much money, to buy fast food. It’s way easier than voting in some states.

    I personally wish every person who is ignorant of issues or of the candidates’ policy positions and party platforms would stay home. They’ve canceled out my vote in many past elections, especially at the local level. Clueless citizens are given the same voting rights as informed ones, so I suppose we get the government we deserve.

    • Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts Mike, and for sharing your opinion. I think I understand your concerns about ignorant voters. I am just not sure how one would keep uninformed voters from the polls without making a jump to a radically different type of government. What comes to mind is an aristocracy, where the learned rule for the good of the people. There are pitfalls with this type of a system too, beginning with who qualifies as learned, and who decides what is “good” for the people.

      In any event, I must say that I am very much opposed to people voting blindly. I have done several posts encouraging people to do research and become informed about issues and candidates. You can find a some of them here, here, and here.

      My stance is that people should become informed and active in their own government.

      As to the efficacy of peoples support for Chick-fil-A and the moral positions supported, I agree that this was an easy movement to join and identify with. I also think that McDonalds and KFC long ago abandoned these moral values, and making this type of statement would be a radical departure from the norm for them. However, in any business, making money is the bottom line, and in that regard, I think that there is some lasting reinforcement of Chick-fil-A in the response of so many.

      Thanks again for reading and responding,

      Dave

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