As the Chick-fil-A president’s comments about supporting “traditional marriage” have predictably worked their way through the media system, the rush to support a fast food business peddling chicken has been just as “on cue.”
Trouble is, Republicans are not doing themselves any favors regarding Chick-fil-A or “traditional marriage” and, in fact, may be hurting the Conservative cause.
The Chick-fil-A/gay marriage controversy has become a rallying cry for many Conservatives who see any attack by Democrats as an attack against them and thus it must be responded to immediately and in great force with people vowing to eat Chick-fil-A 5 times daily or to bring 20 friends to the restaurant to make up for the business lost by gay marriage supporters.
Conservatives, religious or otherwise, have no business telling any adult whom they can and cannot marry. Part of being a Conservative is letting adults decide how they want to organize their personal lives.
Fighting gay marriage is a losing battle for Conservatives because it involves “choice” and “adults.” By saying adults should not be able to make the important decision about how their lives should be run Conservatives are saying they really don’t love freedom.
In talking with some of my Liberals friends and interacting with some of their friends on places like Facebook what I have learned is that Republicans are thought of as being the only source of the anti-gay marriage movement.
When I have pointed out that it was Democrat Bill Clinton who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law they are shocked. When I tell them that Barack Obama agreed publicly with Chick-fil-A’s president on gay marriage until only a few months ago they are shocked! When I tell them that when California’s Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage ballot measure passed with 70% (according to the LA Times) support of blacks they are shocked! And when I tell them that North Carolina voted against gay marriage just a few months ago and they were, in 2008, a pro-Obama state there is a deep sense of denial.
And yet it is Republicans who get slapped with the anti-gay marriage label when, clearly, it is not so much of a partisan issue as it is a social one.
But the Chick-fil-A public relations disaster (and it is, lets be clear) is really only painting Republicans in a negative light and, in an election year when the press is pulling out all the stops to help their man, Barack Obama, win the presidency again it’s not helpful for people like Sarah Palin to go to Chick-fil-A to grab herself some headlines at the cost of making all Republicans look badly.
Sarah Palin might be a lightening rod for all sides but one thing she is good at is promoting herself. After all, Palin needs to keep herself in the headlines so she will stay relevant to the political discourse so she can continue to get paid for giving speeches, writing books, and appearing on television and radio.
Here’s Palin most recently keeping herself “relevant”:
When I first saw this photo of Palin and her husband I have to admit the most troubling aspect of it was the thumbs up then that she had to have her husband pose with her so as to emphasize the husband and wife aspect. From a propaganda perspective, the photo is brilliantly staged but its composition suggests its less about businesses having the “freedom” to support the causes they choose and more about telling Social Conservatives they need to support Chick-fil-A against the dirty Liberals.
Contrast the Palin photo with this one that has been recently circulating about Sally Ride, the first American woman in space:
Chick-fil-A’s president might say his company goes by “Biblical values” and Social Conservatives might be cheering him on and encouraging their children to eat deep fried chicken and get fatter in order to support his “freedom” but, really, all he’s done is take the heat off of Liberals and once again made Conservatives look badly.