As another month of summer comes to a close, I sit and reflect on what I’ve done and what I’ve learned. This week I witnessed, firsthand, the way this country and its founding principles are being undermined. I’m about to be a sophomore in college, so it’s no surprise to me to see and hear the ramblings and hypocrisies of the progressives in our society today, not to be served without the unwavering intolerance of any opposition to their view. What was new to me was that not only is our right to free speech under attack, yet again, but our constitutional rights to free enterprise as well.
On July 17, 2012, the president and COO of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, made a statement during a radio interview saying, “”We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.” That simple statement regarding the Chick-Fil-A company and its principles has ignited a firestorm of controversy. Just three days after that interview, the mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino, sent a letter to Cathy, urging him to back out of his plans to locate in Boston. Menino said that, “It would be an insult to same sex couples to see a Chick-Fil-A across from City Hall as they come to get married.” Shortly after Menino’s opposition to the restaurant in his city, Cathy received similar statements from both the mayors of Chicago and San Francisco asking him to stay out of their cities as well.
The problem with the backlash from Cathy’s comments isn’t about same sex couples and their fight for “rights.” The problem can merely be traced back to our Declaration of Independence where it states, that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This set of ideals is often referred to as the American Dream and that is what makes this country so special. The fact that each individual has the opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through their own determination and hard work is what has made this country the greatest in the world. Sadly, as we see how Cathy and the Chick-Fil-A brand have been smeared over the previous weeks, it is evident that the American Dream and the capitalistic ideals that the country was founded on, are dwindling.
Now, I’m not saying that the mayors of Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago aren’t entitled to voice their opinion about Cathy’s opinions, under the first amendment; they have every right to do so! However, by definition, a free enterprise economy is an economic system controlled chiefly by individuals and private companies; not the government. Therefore, Cathy is just as entitled to establish a location in any place that he so chooses to. If he were not permitted to do so, let me ask, what’s so special about this country? Why is it that, because he still carries the morals and values that our country was based upon, he is being punished in the very way our founding fathers deemed unjust?