Should the Government Decide Which Political Positions Disqualify One from Dispensing Chicken?

• August 21, 2015 9:41 am


In Denver, some local politicians believe they are in the business of deciding which political positions a restaurant and its owners should be allowed to hold before they are given permission to sell chicken at Denver International Airport.


Chick-fil-A's reputation as an opponent of same-sex marriage has imperiled the fast-food chain's potential return to Denver International Airport, with several City Council members this week passionately questioning a proposed concession agreement. …

Lopez compared Chick-fil-A's past politics to divisive remarks made this year by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump about immigration and other issues, saying: "I would throw up in my mouth a little bit if we did business with Trump."

Kniech, Lopez and other members said DIA's reputation was at stake, although airport officials view the concession as a big potential money-maker.

Again, to be clear: What we have here is a government entity discussing who should and should not be allowed to sell their wares based entirely on whether or not the politicians who make up the entity like their politics.

On the one hand, I'd like to say that this is a compelling reason to privatize airports entirely: The First Amendment implications of such efforts are glaring and, setting aside little things like free speech, it's altogether idiotic that our elected leaders consider themselves qualified to judge which businesses should be allowed to hawk their wares.

On the other, though, it has become distressingly common for people to politicize every realm of life. Taking the decision making process out of the hands of glorified government bureaucrats and putting it in the hands of private businessmen is no guarantee that people rushing between concourses in Denver would be allowed to enjoy delicious, delicious chicken. Outrage mobs gonna outrage. As I noted at the Washington Post this week, we'd all be happier if we agreed to a form of culture war detente and refrained from attempting to deprive people of their livelihood for daring to disagree with your politics.