Sunday, September 06, 2009
Support the Whole Foods Buycott
Here you see a Move On operative instructing folks on how exercise the heckler's veto against town hall participants who "ask questions" (his words) hostile to Obama's version of health care reform.
There is a profound difference between answering an argument with ideas, facts and logic, and simply preventing the speaker from being heard, either by punishing them for their statements, intimidating them into silence, or preventing them from being heard and taken seriously (for instance, by drowning them out, smearing their character, or simply ridiculing them).
There are many ethical differences between the strategies that fall on the dark side of this distinction, but one thing is true of all: while the former strategies support and enhance the dialogue, the latter shut it down. Above, you see someone trying to shut down the dialogue. Regardless of your position on medical care, this man is your enemy. You need the dialogue to continue.
The same things are true of the leftists who are boycotting Whole Foods because its CEO, left-libertarian John Mackey, wrote an op-ed piece proposing alternatives to Obamacare. The last time I checked this poll, most of the HuffPo readers who checked in were boycotting Whole Foods.
Mackey was speaking as a private citizen and expressing is opinion. In sharp contrast to the big pharmaceutical companies that have launched a million dollar media blitz in favor of Obamacare, Whole Foods is not devoting a penny of corporate assets to promoting Mackay's views.
These people are not answering what his views. They are trying to punish him for expressing them. They are trying to shut him up.
There is reason to doubt that this exercise in intolerance will hurt Whole Foods, but I think it behooves those of us who support reasoned dialogue and free speech to take part in a Whole Foods buycott. Even if you are not a big fan of over-priced arugula, spending money at Whole Foods can help foil illiberal "progressives" in their attempt to intimidate opposition and end the dialogue.
... If I find time, I'll post a recipe I made after shopping at Whole Foods last week.