Jewish World Review August 7, 2012/ 19 Menachem-Av, 5772
Mitt Romney, Chick-fil-A, and Ben & Jerry's
By Dennis Prager
And it was largely wasted.
The Democratic mayors of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. announced that Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities because the owner/founder of Chick-fil-A supports preserving the man-woman definition of marriage.
Aside from free speech issues, the mayors did something dangerously un-American: they declared their cities open only to businesses whose ownership holds political positions they approve of.
And by extension, these mayors declared that anyone — not just a business — who believes that the man-woman definition of marriage should not be changed is not welcome in their cities.
What we have here is, first, the current policy of the mainstream left and the Democratic Party to destroy ideological opponents — to destroy their reputations and to destroy them economically. The left tried to do this to those who supported California's Proposition 8 campaign to amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Prop. 8 was smearingly re-named "Prop. Hate," and all those who wish to maintain that definition of marriage were, and are, declared haters. The left is actually incapable of regarding ideological opponents as well-meaning.
What should Mitt Romney have done with this gift?
He should have used the Chick-fil-A controversy to illuminate the most important aspect of this November's election: the difference between the left and the rest of the country.
Romney should have shown up at a Chick-fil-A restaurant to support that company, ordered a Chick-fil-A sandwich and — here's the key — eaten it along with a Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
The photo of Romney eating both a Chick-fil-A sandwich and Ben & Jerry's ice cream would be worth far more than the proverbial thousand words. Nearly every American who watches television news, or reads a newspaper, or gets the news online would have seen the picture and gotten the message.
The picture would make clear to the least political American the difference between Republicans and Democrats, between conservatives and progressives.
In total contradistinction to the Democrats and the left, Mitt Romney would be seen eating food produced by one of the most left-wing companies in America. Ben & Jerry's has supported — either monetarily or through statements made by one or both of the founders — major left-wing causes, from the radical Occupy movement to the even more radical movement to free convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Romney's message would be that in America, with rare exceptions (such as, for example, a Nazi- or KKK-owned company), we buy products based on their excellence, not the views of their makers. Do we really want supermarkets with sections for liberal ice cream, conservative ice cream, libertarian ice cream, atheist ice cream, etc.?
Conservatives buy products produced by companies run by outspoken leftists; leftists try to destroy companies that take conservative positions. That is one message Mitt Romney eating a Ben & Jerry's ice cream at a Chick-fil-A restaurant would convey.
Another is that Republicans believe first and foremost in liberty. Ben and Jerry take far left positions, but in America, Republicans believe that you should be free to take whatever position you like without fearing that your business will be destroyed. Democrats, on the other hand, like the left worldwide, believe that other values — their understanding of fairness, of equality, of social justice, you name it — trump liberty.
A third message would be to demonstrate that the left is the greatest source of hate in this country. In one of its many acts of projection, the left accuses the right of hate because the left has done only one thing superbly for the last half century: demonize the right. The latest example is the labeling of every American who believes that marriage should be defined as it always has been, the union of a man and a woman, as a bigot and a hater of gays.
(Of course, the left never labeled Barack Obama or the majority of black Americans and Muslims who believe in the man-woman definition of marriage "haters." The label is specifically directed at white Christians and Mormons who oppose same-sex marriage - proving its insincerity and its political motivation.)
Finally, while enjoying his Chick-fil-A and Ben & Jerry's, Romney could have noted that any American who believes that marriage should not be redefined is not welcome in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C. It is time to shame the left.
Mitt Romney must run against leftism and the contemporary Democratic Party, not only against Barack Obama. The president is a leftist. That is the reason this country is in trouble.
The Chick-fil-A controversy is a perfect way to explain all this to the American people. All Mitt Romney needs to do is enjoy a certain brand of chicken and a certain brand of ice cream.
JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. Click here to comment on this column.
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