For years, John Mackey, the libertarian founder of Whole Foods (who I've met and talked with a few times) has--luckily for Whole Foods's PR squad--kept his right-of-the-right views more or less under the radar.
Then, a week or so back, he posted a slam of universal healthcare coverage in the Wall Street Journal (a venerable paper that's right-of-center-in-a-mostly-good-way, as opposed to the shrill Fox or leftist MSNBC, both of which treat politics like sports instead of stuff that actually matters). John Mackey's article, which read right out of the Republican playbook, began with a quote of no less than Margaret Thatcher -- never exactly a friend to the People.
- Whole Foods is a vast organization, with thousands of staff, many if not most of whom disagree with John's idealistic, superior Libertarian views. We live in a democracy, with a lowercase "D." We don't have to hate those we disagree with--we just have to beat them at the polls, and in the halls of Congress.
- John doesn't own Whole Foods. It's public.
- Whole Foods, thanks to his leadership, has shown the way for thousands of green-minded companies. He and WFM have shown Wall Street that green can make green. For that, I am grateful--there is a reservoir of gratitude that will not be easily overcome by his anti-union views, by Whole Foods never having supported elephant over seven years even as I see them advertise in countless less-than-green publications and forums.
Waylon Lewis is the founder of elephantjournal.com
Subscribe to elephant's free, weekly top 10 blog enewsletter.