Is Chick-Fil-A Run by the World’s Smartest Bigots?

By Eric Zanzucchi (@ericzanzucchi)

Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy has went out of his way recently to make his company’s view on gay marriage clear. In a recent radio interview he stated that:

“We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”

The comments made by Cathy caused quite an uproar. (Chick-Fil-A’s Christian affiliation is well established. Even in this day and age where religion is declining they still remain closed on Sundays.) Boston’s mayor, Thomas Menino, sent a letter to Cathy saying that because of his comments Chick-Fil-A isn’t welcome in his city. The initial reaction of most is to say that Cathy’s comments are detrimental to the business. It got me thinking why someone in his position would make these comments.

I took a look at the Chick-Fil-A company website to learn more. On their site you can view restaurant locations by state and here’s what I found out:

States with the Most Locations

Texas (263)

Georgia (196)

Florida (155)

North Carolina (143)

Virginia (104)

Some of the States with the Least Locations

Massachusetts (2)

Washington D.C. (1)

New Hampshire (1)

New York (1)

Connecticut (0)

It got me thinking what if Cathy’s move was calculated and this was a good business? Chick-Fil-A doesn’t seem to have locations in blue states and have tons in red states. What if Cathy was just playing to his constituency? Disapproving of gay marriage in the immediate may brand them as bigots to some, who have little access to the restaurant, but heroes to those who live in conservative areas where the restaurants are. This goes along with Dr. Michael Baker’s Swing Vote Theory. Playing to your constituency is more effective than trying to sway new people.

I’m not saying that this was Cathy’s intent; it’s just one possible explanation for why someone in such powerful position could do something that seems so foolish. Then again maybe he’s just an idiot.