Brian Darling

Why do people run for office? Too many, it seems, do it for the sheer joy of throwing their weight—and other people’s money—around. Thus we have, at the local level, the sorry spectacle of tin pot politicians—apparently offended at the idea of traditional marriage—threatening to ban Chick-fil-A restaurant openings. At the federal level, we have politicians, oblivious to our $16 trillion debt—intent on funneling even more taxpayer money to agricultural conglomerates and food-stamp recipients.

Chick-fil-A has run afoul of PC lefties for the high crime of having a founder and CEO who (gasp) celebrates traditional marriage. Calls for boycotts, kiss-ins, and denials of business licenses ensued. Get a grip, people.

Supporters of traditional marriage don’t try to run companies out of town if their leaders happen to support gay marriage—even when that support is massive and calculated to influence public policy. Policymic.com lists 11 prominent CEOs who have gone out of their way to back gay marriage. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, for example, has donated $2.5 million to convince voters in Washington State to just say “yes” to a same-sex marriage referendum this fall. Despite Bezos’ millions, the referendum is expected to fail. Yet neither Bezos nor his company has been subjected to vicious attacks from conservatives. That level of hatred is reserved for religious types who dare to say they support traditional marriage.

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates have donated money to the same cause as Bezos. When Starbucks Executive Vice President Kalen Holmes vociferously backed the Washington referendum measure, conservatives registered their displeasure by handing out a few “Dump Starbucks” bumper stickers. End of story.

But when Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy dared respond to a direct question by saying that he was “supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” the feathers flew. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boston Mayor Tom Menino declared their cities Chick-fil-A-free zones. Hollywood funnyman Ed Helms, Glee actress Jane Lynch, actress Lindsay Lohan and reality star Kim Kardashian called for Chick-fil-A boycotts. And holier-than-thou gay rights activists tweeted hate-filled messages and posted hateful videos galore. No surprise there. Since California’s Proposition 8, attempts to destroy anybody who publicly disagrees with them has become the norm for the pro-gay marriage lobby.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, federal lawmakers concentrated on doing what they do best: wasting more of your tax dollars. Heritage Foundation investigative reporter Lachlan Markay notes that “the federal government has financed a multi-million dollar ad campaign in New York City and elsewhere attacking sugary soft drinks. But legislation passed last week continues subsidizing sugar producers, and allows food stamp recipients to buy soda and other supposedly unhealthy foods with taxpayer money.”

So D.C. spends your money to demonize sugar as it subsidizes sugar production and consumption. Call it sugar-coated Crony Capitalism.

Also curious is the so-called “Farm Bill” now before Congress. Fully 80 percent of the money in this bill would flow not to farms, but to food stamps (the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program). Federal rules do not prohibit recipients from using food stamps in fast food restaurants, so in some states with flexible food stamp rules, tax dollars are probably being used to purchase Chick-fil-A sandwiches. How long before a bullying liberal in Congress gets wind of this “outrage” and introduces a measure requiring states to ban the use of food stamps on Chick-fil-A?

A better policy would be for politicians to stay out of the business of judging the political views of corporate CEOs and stop subsidizing every aspect of life. In the next week, I fully expect to eat a Chick-fil-A sandwich after consuming my daily Starbuck’s latte. I’ll also use Microsoft products in my job (promoting conservative causes). I really don’t care about the politics of any of these companies’ executives. I just love their products.


Brian Darling

Brian Darling is a Senior Fellow in Government Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter @BrianHDarling