Devil’s Advocate: Buying Chick-fil-A doesn’t mean you support their politics

Photo by William Camargo/Daily Titan

I’m tired of my food choices apparently changing my opinion on social topics. I can’t eat that chicken sandwich without someone telling me I’m a homophobe. If I buy Oreos at the store next week I’ll be told I’m not supporting the sanctity of traditional marriage.

Stop.

Seriously, just stop. Stop politicizing my food, please. I just want to enjoy a meal like everyone else without worrying who I might be offending or what group I could be oppressing.

To the companies who feel the need to address a cause or pledge their support for a social issue: Stop it. Your attempts at winning us over based not on the quality of the products you present, but by playing to people’s emotions via social issues, are gross. On both sides of the political spectrum. I care no more that Oreo supports gay marriage equality than I care that Chick-fil-A does not. Ben & Jerry’s, I don’t need to know if you support Occupy Wall Street or not, I need to know when AmeriCone Dream is going to be available again at my local grocery store.

It’s marketing, plain and simple. Sure the decision may be coming from further up in the company than usual, but it’s still just an attempt to get more people to support their products than usual. Meanwhile focus is taken off the actual product or service itself.

To all the people who fervently agree or disagree with buying something from a company based on the stances of their leaders: Stop it. You’re being silly and you’re playing right into their hands. Did all the protests against Chick-fil-A actually do anything to its profits? Actually, due to countering from its supporters, Chick-fil-A ended up with thousands of additional customers per location on Aug. 1 thanks to this controversy. Those organizing sit-ins and protests are just adding fuel to the fire. To all my conservative friends: You make yourself look just as foolish as you buy fast food chicken and declare yourself some sort of defender of free speech or traditional marriage.

All the politicking really does is bring in politicians. Now we have mayors of Boston and Chicago implying it will be harder for Chick-fil-A to build restaurants there, debatably overstepping the bounds government has over private business. Then we have former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declaring a Chick-fil-A appreciation day, with Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum quickly jumping on board to “support freedom of speech” and “a business that stands for its ideals.”

Let people have their own opinions, whether they be teachers or CEOs or politicians. No one is forcing you to buy these products if you disagree with them, and as long as they’re not doing anything illegal there should be no problem.

These fights haven’t opened any new debates or encouraged conversations between sides, they’ve only broadened the gap and allowed companies and politicians to advertise and politicize. Let’s move past these petty fights and stop letting politics get in the way of what food we eat. Keep that off the dinner table.

About Matt Atkinson

Matt is in the process of completing his final semester at CSUF, majoring in Print Journalism. This is Matt’s second semester as a Daily Titan editor. With it he hopes to focus on strong, factually based opinions that can engage and inform. In his spare time he plays video games and writes about them for his own website, and generally eats too much unhealthy food. A nerd at heart, he hopes one day to either run his own gaming website, or work for one of the notable gaming publications in LA or San Francisco.