The Whole Foods Voting Test
With four exceptions I have never in my life lived in a county that was not then — or would not later be — the site of a Whole Foods supermarket. So what?
Not so what, it makes a difference. “Some years ago David Wasserman, an analyst with the Cook Political Report, spotted a way to predict the political leanings of any given county: check whether it is home to a Whole Foods supermarket, purveyor of heirloom tomatoes and gluten-free dog biscuits to the Subaru-owning classes; or to a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, a restaurant chain that offers chicken and dumplings and other comfort foods to mostly rural, often southern customers. Mr. Trump won 76% of Cracker Barrel counties and 22% of Whole Foods counties, the Cook Political Report calculates.”
The quote is from the Lexington column of a recent issue of The Economist entitled “The rise of the Herbal Tea Party.” My residential history should put me in the center of the crowd in this picture. It doesn’t.
The subhead of the story — Scolding Trump voters will not carry the Democrats back to power – is a pretty good summary but do yourself a favor, click the link and read it all. And should you find the need to justify an expensive subscription to the magazine, here it is: “As a rule, populist insurgencies are rarely defeated with slogans in Latin.”
I am not much of a fan of the two-party system — I’d have more parties to reflect the disparity of opinions — but I am absolutely no fan of a one-party system, which is where we might be headed unless the Anti-Trump forces exit the Whole Food aisles and start listening to people other than themselves.
Before deciding that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are the answer to Donald Trump, have a look at England where Jeremy Corbyn is busy demonstrating the foolishness of that scheme. It is difficult to imagine any plan better designed to help people feel good about their virtue signaling while losing ignominiously than creating an Herbal Tea Party.
Anyone who thinks demeaning or insulting an opponent’s voters is effective should test his own reaction to being demeaned or insulted. Which is your more likely response?
- “Horrors, thank you for showing me the error of my ways I am trading in my Ford F 150 for a Prius” or
- “Go and have carnal knowledge with yourself.”
If any meaningful number of people chooses the latter, all you are doing is emboldening your opponents.
There are many simple rules in sports but one of the simplest is “never give an opponent a quote he can post on the bulletin board in his locker room.” In this simple rule, the word “never” means precisely what it says.
Are you still curious about my four Whole Foods residential exceptions?
The first was Gstaad, Switzerland, where I went to school for three years. Might we agree that Gstaad seems more Whole Foody than Cracker Barrelish?
The second was Concord, NH, whence I would have had to drive to Manchester to meet my organic food and crunchy friend needs. Again, education was the culprit.
Then there were two “thank you for your service” moments – Pensacola FL (nearest Whole Foods locations are Destin FL and Mobile AL) and Newport RI, which is a worthy candidate for the Gstaad exception to the Whole Foods Cracker Barrel rule.
Until Trump opponents quit talking to themselves and quit insulting people who have legitimate gripes, they are going to lose and, increasingly, they will be ignored.
I should be on their side but I have no interest in closed-mindedly following a path to irrelevance. In theory, Trump opponents are smart enough to see that, unless they prefer self-indulgence.