Most of us naively assume that when Chick-Fil-A announced on 18 November 2019 that they would no longer donate to charities that the radical progressive minority deem “hateful” that this was just one more small thing. Nothing particularly special in the big picture. Not as significant as Roe v. Wade, not the same as many modifications to immigration over the years. Not as earth-shattering as other major losses in the Cultural War. In one sense, that is a correct assessment – it is after all just a chicken sandwich store, right. So what if Chick-Fil-A kowtows to the crazies of the world you might say, most other companies already have?
Taking such a view misses what has actually occurred. Such a view does not accept how this changes the world going forward.
Consider the facts.
- Depending upon what measurement criteria are used, in 2019 Chick-Fil-A was between the #3 and #5 largest fast-food chain in America, increasing in almost all measurable categories since 2018.
- Chick-Fil-A is privately held, therefore immune to vast stockholder pressure.
- In both 2018 and 2019, Chick-Fil-A was subjected to an organized and viral campaign of lies, boycott, protest and corporate character assassination by the radical progressive left – yet they still grew in size and profits.
Despite apparently successfully shrugging off the efforts of the radical left Chick-Fil-A was thriving. They are privately held and have a board that is answerable to a smaller group of people. It appeared they were standing by their values, and winning at the game of capitalism simultaneously. Then in November of 2019, they just quit.
Sure, soon after they opened their first store in the United Kingdom the company announced in October 2019 it would close that location at the end of the six-month lease. Local LGBTQ groups had protested the location and the company since it opened. Perhaps this meant Chick-Fil-A was not going to be able to penetrate the European market. They are still a privately held company with $10Billion in sales annually – not bad. British and European citizens must find their own way to fight the Cultural War. They have gotten so much more wrong than America. If they cannot get their own houses in order, and they do not get to each Chick-Fil-A sandwiches as a result, so be it. After all, consider what the British have allowed Caroline Farrow to endure. To Britain I say, no waffle fries for you mate, cheers.
We cannot know why Chick-Fil-A caved. They were certainly making enough money and if sticking to one’s values meant staying out of Europe and the oppressive laws of the EU, so be it. But they did cave.
This, of course, means as Rod Dreher pointed out ” if even Chick-fil-A capitulates to the illiberal demands of LGBT activists, then what chance do you have in professional life, you and your religion, despised by power elites?
In the greater context of the Cultural War, this means;
- Any company or organization that donates, supports or even hints at support of any cause, idea or organization deemed inappropriate can be brought to heel. There are simply no other privately held companies of Chick-Fil-A’s size, $10B in revenue.
- Individuals, CEOs, professionals, teachers, academics, media personalities are now even easier targets. Those that speak up for traditional values, speak at “forbidden events”, donate to the wrong charities or espouse traditional values in the public square may be placed on a list and “canceled” one by one. Silencing voices and denying employment and income to those that resist. This has, of course, already been occurring, but the Chick-Fil-A capitulation is a watershed, these events will become more common.
- Common people will come to further believe the narrative. “If the left said Salvation Army and the FAC were spreading hate, and Chick-Fil-A stopped supporting them then maybe they were spreading hate – I just want my sandwich“. The public square will be ceded further.
- The surrender of Chick-Fil-A will demonstrate to politicians that the will and resolve of the radical left is much stronger than the conviction and dedication of traditionalists. They make noise and cause trouble far in excess of their true numbers. We are silent, allowing them to control the narrative and the public square. Politicians will soon come to realize that making attempts to even appeal to a traditional base is pointless, they can get elected without it, not despite it.
- Politicians that seek to retain some support for traditional values will be increasingly isolated, ineffective because of shrinking numbers and easier to single out for organized smear and opposition campaigns.
- With the public square under control, corporate America (and their donation dollars) captured, Congress and the Senate either filled with their candidates minus a few ineffective holdouts; it is over – this stage of the Cultural War is lost.
- With public opinion either cowed into silence, relegated to a small corner of “radical hate and ignorance, access to corporate dollars secured, and domination of the political process the radical progressive agenda can move forward at a pace hitherto unimagined.
I personally assumed the process of total defeat in this stage of the conflict would take another decade. I see the march of history toward an authoritarian and Godless future, one has to be naive not to acknowledge that reality. I just did not think it possible to occur so quickly.
The 2016 election was an anomaly. As I argue in my latest book, The Philosophy of Commonsense, the election of Donald Trump was a result of him being the only Republican candidate to advocate for any of the issues at play in the Cultural War – Trump promised to fix the immigration problem, traditionalists believed him and elected him, despite his obvious flaws. His election was essential a counter-revolution to the progressive agenda, one last major offensive. The right cannot pull off such an offensive again.
Here is why:
Despite most of the possible constituency that would possibly vote for anything traditional turning out, and the progressives missing significant numbers the results were less than encouraging: (via Ballotpedia)
Thank God the founders understood the importance of regions, States, community, and locality and placed the Electoral College in our system – an item the progressives will soon move to “correct”. The map may look red, but all of those red states are ignorant backwaters to the progressive.
Mathematically speaking, it does not matter if the Republicans field a better, less abrasive version of Trump, a candidate that claims to stand by more than one tenant of traditionalism, the numbers are just not there. Older, more conservative voters are dying, young and more progressive voters are increasing. Add to this the fact that Trump is really a major disappointment to many traditionalists, he did and apparently will not fix anything related to immigration and he has not advanced the cause of morality in any way at all. It will be difficult to mobilize a second offensive, believers have been burnt again and will not be motivated in 2020 and going forward.
Perhaps my generation, the slackers and nihilists of Generation X will remember some of what we learned and observed as kids. It is hard to imagine a group of kids that grew up watching Star Wars and reading 1984 not understanding how tyranny can slip into a government by “good intentions”. Generation Xers are already attending church weekly more than any other living generation. But we are a small generation, we cannot alter the landscape alone.
The real hope lies in our children, the Zoomers, as Forbes argued in Why Democrats Should Be Losing Sleep Over Generation Z–
Hello, Generation Z! The fiscally responsible, tattoo hating, Republican-leaning group, touted by conservatives as their best hope for the future, and as the antithesis of Millennials.Ashley Stahl
But the impact of the Zoomers is several years away. It will be some time before the full force of their voting impact is felt. In the meanwhile, America will be fundamentally changed, and much faster than most could have predicted.
It will only be after America moves very close to authoritarianism in government and the public square, the engine of capitalism is seized up with wealth-hating and redistribution policies and almost all of the remnants of Christian and traditional values are stripped from public life that Zoomers will step in and fix things. How we help prepare them for that awesome task was the entire purpose of my book.
We are in for a long, and ugly ride. We lost this stage of the Cultural War. Our battles and efforts now should be focused on retrenchment*, shoring up institutions, speaking truth so that it does not disappear entirely from dialogue, living in compassion, living our values and preparing our children for their task.
*Retrenchment is a technical term in fortification, where it is applied to a secondary work or series of works constructed in rear of existing defences to bar the further progress of the enemy who succeeds in breaching or storming these.