Keyboard-pounding progressives are trying to mount a boycott of Whole Foods because of a Wall Street Journal op-ed its founder, John Mackey, wrote last week arguing for health care reforms centered on the private sector and strengthening consumer decision-making. (“The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare.”) They’re outraged that the head of such a groovy grocery story is arguing against the public option, but as Mackey points out, the country can’t afford more borrowing: “These deficits are simply not sustainable. They are either going to result in unprecedented new taxes and inflation, or they will bankrupt us.”
The boycott will fail because its targets are too diffuse, Mark Krikorian explains at NRO’s The Corner blog.
[Boycotts] need to be very narrowly targeted, so that it’s easy for customers who are sort of concerned, but not really all that concerned, to comply. In other words, you’d call for a summer-long boycott of Whole Foods coffee, for instance, or a boycott of the coming DVD release of Aladdin VI: The Wrath of Jasmine, or something like that. If you target narrowly enough and and you have enough people who are at least a little interested, you might be able to influence sales enough to declare victory. Otherwise, you’re just making a fool of yourself.
But in the process of self-befoolery, the boycotters are also drawing more and more attention to Mackey’s original essay. In an editorial today, “Whole Foolishness,” the Journal reports, “Whole Foods’ Web site has its share of angry customers, but they have been joined by many supporting Mr. Mackey’s position. His piece has been among the most emailed articles in this paper the past week.”
Thus, the leftist agitation against Whole Foods has done more to spread Mackey’s argument than simply ignoring it would have. Good move!
We’d really be enjoying this if only the foolishness didn’t display such a totalitarian impulse. As blogger Radley Balko puts it,” “These people don’t want a dicussion. They don’t want to hear ideas. They want you to shut up and do what they say, or they’re going to punish you.”