Whole Foods chairman John Mackey, speaking for himself but drawing on his experience starting a natural foods empire, made some cogent points against national health insurance.
Of course, it’s exasperating to read his opening epigram, quoting Margaret Thatcher that “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” It’s cute of course, but running out of planet is a much bigger deal these days than running out of “money”, whatever that is viewed as an aggregate anyway. It’s dumb and contentious and snide and just slightly funny, just the sort of thing to polarize people.
But his arguments are, while not entirely sound in my opinion, cogently presented and respectfully advocated. The last thing we want to do is punish conservative viewpoints that are coherent as if they were the mouth-foaming nonsense we see on other Murdoch venues. A boycott should be directed at someone doing something unreasonable, like advertising on a program that consistently issues vicious lies about the president. A fellow just speaking his mind has every right to speak it, or what’s a democracy for?
You don’t boycott somebody because you disagree with them. You boycott somebody because they have acted unethically. Someone honestly speaking his mind in public deserves thanks, not punishment. That’s leaving aside the punishment of all the good people who work in the company which, after all, Mackey no longer controls.
The first step in getting others to listen to you is starting to listen to them. Obama is getting a lot of grief for taking it too far, but so many people haven’t yet noticed that Obama listens. So I guess he will keep listening. I suggest the rest of us follow his lead.
The problems that this blog addresses are mostly about people closing their minds and their hearts to challenging ideas. This sort of bitter hostility is not unique to one side or the other of the political spectrum, as the Whole Foods boycott makes clear. It’s dangerous and it’s sad.
I really hope national health care passes, but I really hope this obnoxious boycott fails.