RUSH: In the last couple or three days I have been reading more and more stories about how much trouble McDonald’s is in that they may not make it. It’s gotten to the point now where McDonald’s may not make it. And the last story that I have here is from Business Insider, and the headline is, “McDonald’s Franchisees Say the Brand Is in a Deep Depression and Is Facing its Final Days.”
And everybody is trying to figure out what happened. You know, McDonald’s dates back to — well, in its current iteration — the mid-sixties. It wasn’t Ray McDonald. Ray Kroc started it, California, maybe late fifties, early sixties, and it became what it’s known to be today. But the thing about McDonald’s was that a McDonald’s franchise was one of the tickets to upper-middle class success. If you could get a McDonald’s franchise when that was expanding and growing — if you could get a McDonald’s franchise in your little town or if you get two or three of ’em in a moderately sized American city — you could get rich.
It was almost, not quite, was almost like getting an Anheuser-Busch distributorship. People that got an Anheuser-Busch distributorship back in the sixties and seventies were some of the richest people in town. And it was the same thing with McDonald’s franchisees. And it was a distinctly American dream way for middle-class people to own something, to have equity in something and rise and rise the ladder of success in the United States. Now McDonald’s is said to be in big trouble.
One of the problems this story alludes to, after quoting a bunch of franchisees, is that the corporate leadership in Oak Brook, Illinois, has no idea what it’s doing. Now, by the way, I’m not joining the fray one way or the other. I hope this doesn’t happen, needless to say. But I have money theory, is the point here. I have my own theory what happened here. And I know my theory is right, by the way. I know it’s 100% right, and I know because of that it’s gonna be pooh-poohed. It’s gonna be belittled. It’s gonna be mocked, laughed at, and made fun of as, “Oh, that’s easy. That’s exactly what Limbaugh would say.”
And it’s not just McDonald’s that is in trouble in the fast-food business. To give you an idea of my theory, I would like to take you back to Berkeley, California, home of the University of California Berkeley and a hotbed of radical leftism. The Berkeley City Council some years ago now (might be as many as 20 years ago) demanded that Burger King, Burger Chef, what was it? Burger King was killing people with its menu. The Whopper, the Double Whopper, the Triple Whopper. Remember all the calculations of calories and fat?
They did the same thing with the Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder with Cheese. But the Berkeley radicals demanded that if they were going to continue to be a viable business, if they were gonna get permission to stay in business, they had to start selling veggie burgers and salads and a bunch of other stuff that the customers of Burger King did not, do not, would not want. You do not go to Burger King for a veggie burger. You go there for a freaking juicy Double or Triple Whopper with all the stuff on it you want.
Ergo, when the left comes in under whatever guise of health or cleanliness or whatever and tries to make other people do things their way, what happens? They eventually fail. And I will contend to you, without knowing firsthand — and I will admit that I don’t — that some of the stuff that’s accumulated over the years, some of the things the franchisees are being forced to do by McDonald’s corporate is the result of leftists becoming subsumed with this notion of healthy this and healthy that, and they have accepted the phony premise that their food’s poison.
They’ve accepted the phony premise that their food is not good — it’s not healthy, it’s not healthful, it’s damaging to children — and they have to do something to straighten out. Hello, Happy Meal, whatever the strategy has been. And in effect, the effort to either please the left or react to their demands because you don’t feel like fighting them (which is a typical corporate reaction to any pressure) has been to basically destroy their business, if all this is right.I mean, if these franchisees say McDonald’s is facing its final days, what happened?
The original menu at McDonald’s was gonna stay in good grace. Now, I understand there’s all kinds of pressure culturally throughout the country for healthful eating, but look at all the myths that are being exposed. The supposed dangers of fat turn out to be a bunch of lies. “You shouldn’t eat butter, shouldn’t eat whole milk, drink whole milk.” All of this stuff is just a bunch of wives’ tales bugaboo that was never true in the first place, made popular by just two skeletal people at something called center for the science and public something.
They had a logo and a fax machine, and they started faxing out whatever it was gonna kill you, and the media repeats it and becomes popularly believed, and so these restaurants have to react to it one way or the other. But I’m telling you, you don’t go to the McDonald’s for a salad. You don’t go to McDonald’s for a veggie burger, or Burger King, or anything of the sort. And there’s any number of other businesses. It’s not just McDonald’s. The left got their hooks into ESPN, and look what’s happening to them. The left got their hooks into the NFL; look what’s happening there.
The left has gotten their hooks in or has had some sort of influence on the Republican Party. Look what’s happening there. Women’s colleges? I mean, you go throughout American life in the corporate culture, private sector, wherever you want to go and wherever the left has been allowed to come in either as a result of their demand or pressure or what have you, and all these other institutions and companies that were sailing along just fine have been demanded to make changes in how they do what they do; they’re all…
Maybe not all in trouble, but they certainly are facing challenges they never used to. And it’s all predicated on another “mis-premise,” if I may use the term. And to illustrate this I want to go back to the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana. After that was signed into law, all it did was reinforce the already existing clause in the US Constitution. What happened? The American media, the American left immediately went out and tried to find any fast-food or any other restaurant or business that would not serve a gay couple on their wedding day.
They went shopping, they went knocking on doors, and they found this pizza joint, some small town Indiana. The young woman, a member of the family that runs the little pizza joint’s on TV, “No, our religious beliefs are such that we would not serve that couple’s wedding. We do not believe in homosexual marriage.” Blow up! The media goes nuts. That little business is shut down. All the efforts focus on just embarrassing that little business and anybody who is just like them. What happened? The governor caves a little bit. Everybody starts backing off.
“We’re sorry! We didn’t mean offend anybody. No, we love everybody. Oh, my God. Oh, no.” But the one thing that was included in this was the assumption that a vast majority of the American people agreed that that pizza shop was a bunch of little bigots, and all the bakery shops are a bunch of little bigots, and the photo shops, all these people that wouldn’t service a gay marriage, gay wedding, or whatever. And that’s always included in the story; it’s never really true.
The media tries to make it look like their point of view is the popular point of view by a vast majority. And it’s the same thing with all of these menus at fast food restaurants or at Walmart or what have you. The media and the left bring pressure on these companies with the implied belief that a majority of the American people and a majority of these businesses’ customers also think the menu should change and think this should change, when it’s never the case. We don’t know that a majority of the American people believe it but we can learn probably it isn’t because after making all of these changes, the businesses end up in trouble.
And if popular opinion were on the side of the changes, the businesses would be thriving, would they not? Stands to reason. I don’t know. You McDonald’s franchisees who are listening to this, you know whether I have a point on this or not. But as I say, it’s not just McDonald’s. We are still are in the middle of a recession in this country, and yet these cultural preferences and demands continue to be made on these companies, and they are not demands shared by a majority customers of these businesses.
So when the changes are made, the customers go somewhere else. How else can you conclude anything else? If the changes were rabidly accepted by customers and this is what was needed in a McDonald’s, there wouldn’t be a story here quoting franchisees as saying McDonald’s is facing its final days. And, hell, you know, McDonald’s is a great American success story, tradition, it’s an opportunity for people to enjoy the American dream by becoming franchises. I hope this isn’t true. But if it is, I think somewhere in the mix you’re gonna find the fingerprints of a bunch of liberals.