Last week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia highlighted that it’s not just Republicans suffering from discord in this presidential election year. There was plenty of robust disagreement at the DNC, on slights real and perceived.
But in a time of lagging economic progress, staggering federal debt and mounting foreign and domestic policy issues, the Democrats found plenty of time for the trivial.
Chick-fil-A was among the food vendors at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Arena, site of the Democratic convention. Plenty of attendees lined up to chow down on those chicken sandwiches, available inside and outside the arena. And this actually became an issue.
The Daily Caller reported that some Democratic delegates protested the company’s presence due to comments in 2012 from Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, who spoke publicly in support of traditional marriage.
“That was just really disappointing,” Nevada delegate Joe Sacco told the Daily Caller. “I would hope that the DNC would be more sensitive in the future to the LGBT community.”
To do so, the DNC would have to insist that private-sector companies — such as both the arena and Chick-fil-A — enter into mutually beneficial agreements with each other only if their politics mesh with the interests of the Democratic Party. And even if the arena were publicly held, it would be discriminatory, and surely illegal, to limit tenants to those whose ideology adheres to the liberal line.
“They’re the type of company that closes on Sunday,” Mr. Sacco said, while adding he wouldn’t support Chick-fil-A until it changed its gay marriage stance — the same stance held publicly by President Barack Obama and newly minted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton until 2012 and 2013, respectively.
Mr. Sacco is welcome to his opinions and to spend his money where he pleases. But setting up political litmus tests for those simply seeking to participate in the marketplace is misguided and dangerous.
Thankfully, Southern Nevada’s local governments have welcomed the chain restaurant. In the next five years, Chick-fil-A will go from zero locations in the Las Vegas Valley to as many as 10, adding hundreds of full- and part-time jobs. The two Henderson locations opening in 2017 are set to hire 80 employees.
Mr. Sacco and others shouldn’t be surprised if the new franchise owners and employees prove to be terrific community stewards, in the LGBT spectrum and beyond. Hours after the horrific shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June, Chick-fil-A employees from several Orlando-area stores joined in the assistance effort — on a Sunday. USA Today reported that employees prepared and delivered free food to those donating blood to the dozens of victims in an attack that left 49 dead.
If anything, we could use more businesses that operate in that manner. We’ve got enough politics within politics already.