This week, panelists answered the question: Would you protest against a fast-food chain if its CEO made public, political statements with which you disagree?
Richard Herrera: “Only if the CEO was critical of our military personnel and/or veterans.”
Louise Ledesma: “The First Amendment states that we have the freedom of speech, press and religion. A CEO may express his private opinion and others may disagree. This fundamental principle may not be compromised.”
Richard Place: “A business is no different then a TV. If you don’t like it you just change the channel.”
Ruth Erickson: “No! Business owners are entitled to their own political, religious or any other thoughts and opinions. They shouldn’t espouse their opinions or proselytize their religious beliefs to their customers, but they do have the right to believe and say what they want. In turn, the customers have the right to buy the product and frequent the establishment, or not! This is a free country with free speech!”
Mary Zanger: “Yes, of course, protesting is patriotic behavior. The preamble to our constitution says such things like “all men are created equal.” It seems like “All” means everyone. True, the first amendment allows the Chick-Fil-A CEO freedom to say whatever; it also allows me freedom to disagree with whatever. I would express my disagreement publicly in front of his restaurants. It may not change his mind but it certainly might change his behavior.”
Jim West: “No. I’ve protested bad food, lousy service, rude employees and dirty bathrooms, but I’ve never protested someone whose political views I disagreed with. It would take away from my time eating greasy chicken.”
Bill Mifsud: “No, if the food is great nothing will stop me. Most of these franchises are individually owned and operated by hard working individuals.”