John Mackey's Political Correctness (James E. Miller)
Tuesday January 22nd, 2013
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey found himself in hot water lately. After likening the dubiously titled Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, typically known as ObamaCare, to fascism in an interview with NPR, Mackey is facing a wave of protests from his base of organic-eating, conscious shoppers who accuse the libertarian CEO of being a rotten capitalist and the economic system he favors as the culprit for all the world's ills. Keep in mind, these are the same highbrow progressives who decry the inhumanity of markets while eagerly taking advantage of their benefits. In their name-brand attire and environment-friendly automobiles, they fret over any suggestion that challenges their faith in government. And in the most ironic fashion, these self-appointed Gedankenpolizei condemn any hint of cultural favoritism in the name of tolerance.
The war of political-correctness being fought in the public square is a one sided affair where a determined group of egalitarians is pummeling the lackadaisical majority into dropping their prejudices and accepting that the state always promotes what is good. To question the motives of politicians is to act out of line with accepted reason. The very assertion that the political class acts out of self-interest rather than the public betterment is profane to the statist religion.
The goal of boycotting is not just to deprive the target of income but also to publicly shame them into rescinding a controversial statement or practice. In the case of Whole Foods, it worked. John Mackey has come out to clarify his statement and admits his poor choice of words. The word fascism, he says, "stirs up too much negative emotion with its horrific associations in the 20th century." His reneging on the original comments shows a lack of conviction for the truth. It is also demonstrative of the zeal progressives have for disgracing any public figure who speaks disparagingly of their world vision by using words within their proper context.
The truth, which is always the arch enemy of progressivism, is that ObamaCare really is a fascist scheme. In exchange for an increase of rules and regulations, so-called private insurance companies will be gifted with millions of new customers who will have no choice but to purchase insurance or pay a fine. The pharmaceutical industry's largest trade group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, has used an aggressive lobbying plan to prevent the importation of cheaper drugs. James Ridgeway of Mother Jones called the health care reform law a "big winner" for "big pharma." ObamaCare itself was drafted by Senator Max Baucus's chief health policy council Elizabeth Fowler who just so happened to be Vice President for Public Policy and External Affairs for WellPoint- the country's largest provider of health insurance. As Marcy Wheeler of FireDogLake puts it,
So to the extent that Liz Fowler is the Author of this document, we might as well consider WellPoint its author as well.After passage, Fowler was tapped by the White House to oversee the beginning implementation of ObamaCare. Recently, Fowler announced her departure from the President's team to take a position in Johnson & Johnson's government affairs division. In spite of this outright cronyism, progressives and court reporters who liken themselves to informed commentators still have a hard time accepting that the Affordable Care Act is not the product of Congressional angels.
Under the guise of big government compassion, President Obama and his allies in Congress have further enshrined corporatism into the American health system. They simply took the ugly pig of fascism and dressed it in the appealing attire of doing what was needed to "save lives." The fact that ObamaCare functions solely through the brandishing of a gun is a relevant point conveniently ignored by the President's supporters.
Mackey shouldn't be ashamed for telling the unvarnished truth; he should be commended. If anybody should be ashamed in public, it should be whoever sits in the Oval Office. The power bestowed to the American presidency has made it a position where occupants crave absolute power over both the homeland and also abroad. The President is now free to murder, detain, bomb, wage war, spy on private communications, and to silence anyone he sees fit, whether a U.S. citizen or not. Despite all this, calling him a tyrant is still met with admonishments over not being patriotic.
In the case of Barack Obama, criticism is answered with howls of racism. To question the first black president is to slur the entire black race. By pointing out the moral flaws in his welfare programs is to spit in the face of the needy. And to question the genuineness of his actions is to be hateful of whatever group of society's victims is next in line at the trough of government benefits.
When Obama signed into law twenty three executive orders to strengthen current gun control laws in the shadow of children, he was praised for the symbolism and doing the "right" thing in the wake of a tragedy. Yet this was the same man who regularly gives out orders for the deployment of drone strikes that claim children as casualties. The President shed tears upon the news of twenty young lives being taken in an elementary school but offers up no emotion as his actions directly result in little ones being killed worldwide. But to point this out is often labeled as unfair, unpatriotic, and inherently bigoted. To even attempt to shame the chief executive of the government is to throw decency right out the window.
The wrath of political correctness has really been about intolerance over the beliefs of others. Its purpose lies in slandering government critics. Just as the notion that unquestioned respect is due to the President is meant to ensure unjust laws are faithfully executed, the smothering of uncomfortable judgments only serves to embolden the state. As Murray Rothbard once wrote, political correctness is often "a crazed attempt to continue and to justify swinish behavior, while trying to substitute a host of formal rules for decent politeness." Even when one female voter from Virginia criticized Michele Obama's fashion choices as unbecoming and too revealing for the position of First Lady, she was accused of racism. The length the leftist thought-police are willing to go to uncover hateful prejudice as the real impetus behind invoking good or plain moral sense knows no bounds.
If the detractors of John Mackey wish to boycott Whole Foods, then they have every right to. But sooner or later the truth will dawn on them that the men and women who inhabit the enforcement offices of the state are not their benefactors. Then perhaps these proponents of tolerance will have wished they were as open to the beliefs of others as they pretended to be.
James E. Miller holds a BS in public administration with a minor in business from Shippensburg University, PA. He is the editor-in-chief at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada and a current contributor to his hometown newspaper, the Middletown Press and Journal. He currently works in Washington D.C. as a copywriter.