googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: I'm an equal opportunity opponent of despots!

Friday, March 2, 2018

I'm an equal opportunity opponent of despots!

I heard a few days ago that Lt. Governor, Casey Cagle, threatened to use his position as president of the state Senate to kill a proposed sales tax exemption on jet fuel. The move was aimed at Delta Air Lines after their recent announcement they would no longer offer discounts to NRA members. Then, this morning, I hear that lawmakers officially struck down the exemption yesterday. From, we read the following:

Delta said it was ending a discount program for NRA members and had asked the gun rights group to remove its information from the group’s website after the Feb. 14 slaying of 17 students.... Georgia Republicans had criticized the airline’s move to cut its ties to the NRA. They were led by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, president of the state senate, who vowed to kill any tax legislation that benefited Delta. The bill that passed the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday had previously included tax exemption language that had been projected to save Delta some $40 million a year in jet fuel tax.

Really, people?  OK, I know this isn't rocket science but come on!  The first amendment is supposed to protect us against government retribution when we speak out on certain issues. If the NRA speaks out against gun control, people have the right to protest them. If a company like Delta Air Lines decides not to offer discounts to members of the NRA, that's their right. I don't have to like it. I don't have to fly on Delta. I can go on social media and tell everyone who will listen that they should boycott Delta because of their actions toward the NRA. That is what freedom looks like. When government officials use the power of their office to punish a company exercising its God given rights of speech and association, that is what tyranny looks like.

A straightforward reading of the First Amendment shows that it specifically forbids the government from infringing on our right to free speech or association. In other words, the First Amendment doesn't restrict what Delta can do or what the NRA or what I can do; it restricts what the government can do. I will also remind you that we're talking about gun control – a heated political issue. So GA Republicans are specifically punishing Delta Airlines because of its political speech! How much more blatant of a violation does this have to be before more conservatives speak out against it?!

It was just a few years ago when I spoke out against my own state of KY for trying to take away a sales tax exemption from the Ark Encounter. How is this any different? It was Democrats then but I'm an equal opportunity opponent of despots. As they say, "What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."  I do not overlook tyranny just because the tyrants have a little “R” after their names.

People have the right to be stupid and Delta has the right to offend millions of NRA members. They will have to live with their decision when the offended members stop flying on Delta or start calling for boycotts. But when they suffer political reprisal because of their position, they will have an ally in me. I do not want the government choosing sides in political debates, even if they happen to be on my side this time.

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