The Washington Post

Chick-fil-A and the politics of attitude

I should start out by saying the Chick-fil-A fans have a good point about government – government, not private citizen – action against the chain because of its politics. Inconveniently for conservative protesters, that’s an opinion mostly shared by everyone across the political spectrum but fine: They’re right on this one, and a handful of liberal politicians, in my view at least, were dead wrong.

But, really, isn’t the energy among conservatives over this a little excessive?

I’m trying to understand a conservative movement in which supporting Chick-fil-A is considered a major statement of something. It’s not a conservatism of principles, of ideas, or of policy; it seems to be a conservatism of attitude.  I don’t know; I keep thinking about Freedom Fries, and other great moments in recent conservative activism.

At any rate, this kind of thing doesn’t seem like a sign of movement vitality. On the other hand, I don’t see any alternatives coming along any time soon, and I certainly don’t think that the people involved think that their movement is running low on ideas – and I don’t think that a presidential defeat this year, if that’s what’s in the cards, would move them in that direction.  I suspect we’re in for more and more attitude and fewer and fewer ideas from that side of things, at least in the short and medium run. And that’s something that’s not good for anyone, liberal or conservative.


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