Being 'Woke' has a Price

It’s important to always remember that our actions will have consequences.

When I first became a writer, my wife strongly recommended that I refrain from publicly expressing any personal religious or political views because I am a Christian and conservative. She was afraid that my marketability would be adversely affected, and that publishers in particular might be put off by my conservative views. Perhaps she’s right, but now she has become my publisher. The only question will be whether or not the potential audience for my books, novels, and short stories will associate my work with my personal beliefs, but after having books published with titles such as Divine Evolution and Counterargument for God  associated with my name as well as my writing for American Thinker and my personal blog, I don’t think I’ll be fooling very many people.

Where are they now? We ask that question all the time -- we’ll remember a name or a face from the past and wonder, whatever happened to him or her?

Do you ever wonder what happens to someone after they self-destruct on national television or social media? We always see the explosion, but rarely the tragic consequences of their poor decision.

Remember Adam Smith?

He was the CFO of Vante, Inc. who decided to record his visit to the Chick-Fil-A drive-through window for a free cup of water, during which he tried to shame the female employee serving him for “working for a horrible corporation with horrible values” because Chick-Fil-A’s owners, the Cathy family, are devout Christians who support traditional marriage. Smith openly admitted that the only reason he had visited the restaurant was because the business would incur an expense for serving him and he wanted to hurt the company because of a personal political stance.

How did that work out for him?

At last report, Smith claimed to be homeless and living on food stamps after he was fired from his job making $200k per year and lost a million dollars in stock options after massive public backlash threatened his employer’s revenue stream. Smith wanted to hurt Chick-Fil-A, but ended up hurting himself and his own family. He wrote a book about the experience titled Million Dollar Cup of Water. At his personal website, Smith divides the story of his life into a five-part series, with the infamous Chick-Fil-A protest and gay rights being the last two segments.

It would be easy to feel sorry for Smith, except for two reasons I’ll talk about in a moment. After all, in two minutes the guy literally destroyed his own life, as he had known it. Not only was Smith fired from his job at Vante, he was also terminated at his next job when that employer realized Smith was the infamous “star” of the Chick-Fil-A video. It seems roughly the equivalent of kicking a man when he’s already down. On the other hand, it isn’t like Smith was drunk and recorded on video in an embarrassing situation by a complete stranger who posted it on the internet -- he was completely sober and on his way to work. The first reason our compassion for Smith should have reasonable limits is because he recorded and posted the infamous video trying to shame the Chick-Fil-A employee to the Internet himself.

Oh, the supreme irony of the Chick-Fil-A worker saying that she must remain neutral on the issue of whether two gay people kiss, and that her personal beliefs don’t belong in the workplace because Smith immediately replies, “Yeah, I believe that, too.” So why did he think it would be okay to inject his own personal politics and beliefs into his request for a free cup of water?

Actions have consequences. As a conservative, it’s easy to say that losing one’s job and a million dollars is more than enough punishment for one stupid mistake until we realize that the second business should not suffer repercussions from its customer base because of what Smith had done and failed to disclose during the hiring process.

The second reason it’s difficult to generate a whole lot of sympathy for Smith is because he threw one of his own children under the bus, publicly “outing” his child’s sexual orientation apparently as some weird justification for his obnoxious behavior at Chick-Fil-A. But the chronology seems to be that he made a fool of himself before one of his sons came out of the closet. What the son revealed in private, the father published on the Internet, ostensibly for his own personal benefit, not his son’s.

Remember Mathew Blanchfield, (former) CEO of an internet marketing firm named 1st in SEO who famously threatened to fire employees and clients who either voted for, or supported Donald Trump? Where is he now? Well, not at 1st in SEO anymore.

The new ownership wants everyone to know the company is now politically neutral, having immediately changed the political policy of Mr. Blanchfield when they bought the company. The new owners are willing and eager to work with anybody whose content won’t violate Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines or Webmaster guidelines, and they want anyone interested in the politics of Blanchfield to contact him through his new website, Call it a hunch, but my best guess would be that Blanchfield took a significant pay cut when he changed jobs.

Why would these people commit career suicide?

Chick-Fil-A doesn’t discriminate against gay customers or gay employees. They will sell chicken to both Democrats and Republicans -- and even Greenies and Libertarians. They want everybody to eat their chicken, and they don’t want anyone to choke on it. Yet the company has been harshly criticized by LBGT+ advocates for donating money to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Salvation Army, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home, which are charities and nothing at all like members of the Westboro Baptist Church, which does openly express hatred for gay people.

Stephanie Wilkerson, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant who refused to serve a large party hosted by Sarah Huckabee Sanders because of her employment by the Trump administration, claims that her restaurant continues to enjoy success a year after refusing to serve customers for political reasons.  Perhaps, given the restaurant’s small size and the owner’s apparent lack of ambition, it will be able to survive such an exclusionary policy toward customers but it won’t be able to grow and continue to refuse to serve the half the general public that isn’t liberal. If Trump wins reelection and continues to drain the swamp, her customer base may dry up and shrink along with it.

Only time will tell if the Ms. Wilkerson will be forced to eat crow. 

John Leonard writes novels, books, and the occasional article for American Thinker. John also blogs at his website, where he may be contacted.

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