Double-Double Failure for the Left's Fast Food Boycotts

We all remember when, in 2012, the left pressed for a massive boycott against Chick-fil-A for the company's stance on a definition of "marriage" that includes same-sex couples.  In short, CEO Dan Cathy had expressed some opinions in favor of the traditional (or Biblical, as he refers to it) definition of marriage, and the left lost its collective mind.

Leftists demanded a boycott, suggesting that all Americans who ate at Chick-fil-A were not just Americans who happened to like chicken sandwiches more than they cared about the extremely partisan smear campaign, but that anyone who would eat at Chick-fil-A is an evil person who hates gay people. 

Some would argue that the efforts backfired when the restaurant chain immediately experienced a "record-setting day," as "supporters thronged to many of its 1,600 locations, causing traffic jams and hours-long waits."  Chick-fil-A saw massive turnout from supporters aligning with Dan Cathy's political statements in the weeks after the calls for boycott.  Then the politics faded, and people once again decided to continue patronizing a store with quality food and fantastic service rather than not patronize it because the leftist criers demanded that they not do so. 

The left later tried to make it an issue again, this time spearheaded by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio in late 2015 after the first store was opened in the city.  Immediately after, the chain "gobbl[ed] up market share" among its rivals in the city, and four new stores have been opened there since then.  In July of 2016, Chick-fil-A was named "America's best fast-food restaurant for the second year in a row."

But third time's the charm, as the saying goes.  And so they tried again earlier this year, this time with the Huffington Post editor Noah Michelson writing a "scathing commentary headlined 'If You Really Love LGBTQ People, You Just Can't Keep Eating Chick-fil-A.'" 

Talk show host Dave Rubin entered the fray on behalf of the restaurant, tweeting: "Hi, I'm Dave.  I'm married to a dude [sic] and I eat chicken sandwiches whenever I want."

Rubin's comment is excellent – not because he's a gay man, but because it drives right to the heart of the issue.  He chose to eat Chick-fil-A not because he loves their stance on marriage.  He chose to eat it because he likes the sandwiches, it seems – but he appears to love the liberty he enjoys by pointing out that he can do whatever the hell he wants, and he won't be told what to do by those voices who claim to be the moral arbiters determining what someone can or can't do if he "loves" gay people.

This was all so juicy to watch for us because we recognized it as the left's effort to control the political narrative and the American people.  The public smear campaign against Chick-fil-A can be described only as the left's complete and utter failure to do so, and Chick-fil-A is enjoying "staggering growth" in the fast food marketplace.

The left hasn't learned the slightest thing from any of that, obviously, because now its acolytes are trying to do the same thing to California's most popular fast food staple, In-N-Out, known for its trademark double cheeseburger, the Double-Double, and fresh-cut French fries.

Photo credit: Flickr.

Democrats, initially spurred by California DNC chair Eric Bauman, are calling for a boycott of In-N-Out for its having donated $30K to the California GOP in 2017.  "[L]et Trump and his cronies support these creeps," he tweeted.

"These creeps," as he put it, are "a California institution that some hold with the same level of esteem as the Golden Gate Bridge and Joshua Tree," according to the Los Angeles Times.  That alone might run the boycott efforts into the brick wall of regional pride – and there's nothing more American than that.

But there's another, more thoughtful reason why Californians and reasonable people everywhere may dismiss the calls to boycott. 

Ashley Reese of The Slot writes that she's "never been more insulted by a burger" in her life. 

She should have known, she says, that this revelation was coming.  After all, she knew that In-N-Out "hid Bible scriptures on their soda cups and burger wrappers," and that "reeks of GOP."  But what's perhaps most telling is that her indignation continues even though she is quite aware that the chain also donates to Democrats, including $80K "this election cycle to Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, a committee focused on electing business-friendly Democrats to the State Legislature."

In-N-Out quickly addressed the "controversy" in its having donated to Republicans with the following statement: "For years, In-N-Out Burger has supported lawmakers who, regardless of political affiliation, promote policies that strengthen California and allow us to continue operating with the values of providing strong pay and great benefits for our associates."

To a reasonable observer, that statement suggests balance, not a partisan agenda.

But, Reese whines, "that doesn't make me feel better, you guys!"

For the increasingly radical and intolerant left, you see, the facts don't matter.  The only thing that matters is submission to leftists' preferred agenda, and the fast food chain must support only the political party that leftists support.  Stop everything you've done with your family for years, Californians, and boycott the iconic restaurant that has made native Californians happy for generations – not because the delicious food, nostalgic atmosphere, and cost-effective pricing no longer make you happy, but because the left demands that you do so.  After all, the restaurant had the audacity to support Republicans and Democrats!

This boycott will be no more successful than the Chick-fil-A boycott, I predict, likely for the same basic reason.  As Jaime Regalado, emeritus professor of political science at California State University, Los Angeles describes, "[t]he stomach overrules the mind ... a cheap, good-tasting burger is hard to dismiss politically." 

But the premise of left-wing activists for this boycott is even more radical than the boycott of Chick-fil-A, given that In-N-Out's only crime is that it is beholden to the non-ideological goal of "providing strong pay and great benefits" for its employees and appears to seek bipartisan solutions to attain such progress legislatively.  That is, in fact, what many Americans in the political center want.   

It's as if the universe is providing us with yet another metaphor for just how radical and intolerant the left is rapidly becoming, and how leftists would rather scream more loudly into their ideological echo chamber than appeal to anyone outside it.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.

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