We know politics makes strange bedfellows--but the new Whole Foods/Teabagger alliance is beyond bizarre. The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition has announced a series of events in defense of Whole Foods CEO's far right agenda.
As you’ve no doubt heard, in a recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey argued that health care is not a right all Americans are entitled to, relying on scare tactics to mislead Americans about Obama's efforts to fix our nation's health care system. The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition then announced "buycotts" of Whole Foods stores in St. Louis, MO, and Dallas, TX, to show their support for the CEO and his green grocery chain.
Our thought: this new-found alliance brings up some interesting questions about the progressive values Whole Foods claims to espouse. You can tell a lot about people by the company they keep, right?
That's why we at the UFCW believe that Whole Foods should come forward and clearly articulate if it supports or rejects the politics and the policies of its allies. For example:
• The Teabaggers regularly attack Medicare and Social Security, two of the most popular and successful government programs in American history. Do John Mackey and Whole Foods agree with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey that Medicare is "tyranny"?Does Mr. Mackey agree with Mr. Armey that Social Security is going to need to be phased out?
• Many Teabaggers have aligned themselves with the "Birther" movement, which raises unfounded questions about President Obama’s citizenship. Does Mr. Mackey agree with the "birthers"about our President? Will he denounce the position of his new allies?
• Teabaggers have asked Texas Governor Rick Perry to follow through on his threat to secede from the United States. As a native Texan, does Mr. Mackey think that Texas should be an independent nation and does Whole Foods support that idea?
Until Whole Foods clarifies their position on these issues, we have to wonder—what kind of values does the grocery chain stand for? What are customers really paying for when they shop Whole Foods?
cross-posted at MyUFCW