The Corner

Politics & Policy

Bernie Sanders, Man of Principle

Bern, Bern, Bern, you’re killing me here. I want to believe, because you are a Man of Principle. But I am troubled by this Bernie-branded ice-cream business.

Ben Cohen, the founder of Ben & Jerry’s, now a division of the Anglo-Dutch multinational conglomerate Unilever, produced a small batch of Bernie-themed ice cream — 1 percent chocolate on top! Ha! – and donated it to Senator Sanders. As an in-kind donation, the value of the ice cream is negligible. The real value, of course, is the publicity that such things generate. Fair enough.

I myself do not buy the Left’s general critique about corporate tax avoidance, but if I did, I would — if I were a Man of Principle — have to confess that Unilever is widely criticized as a notorious corporate tax-avoider, with hundreds of subsidiaries, many of which are strategically located in infamous corporate tax shelters. Ben & Jerry’s is a revenue stream supporting everything that a Man of Principle such as Bernie Sanders abhors.

Now Bernie might reply, with complete accuracy, that this publicity stunt was not a gift from the Unilever corporation, but from Mr. Cohen, who made a bundle in the ice-cream racket before taking a big payday and letting Unilever take over. But that would be a pretty cheap moral cop-out for a genuine Man of Principle. (More on that arrangement here.)

Worse, if Ben Cohen’s largesse is clean because it didn’t come directly from Unilever, that establishes a One Degree of Separation principle for filthy tax-avoiding corporate largesse, which, being Men of Principle, we’d have to apply equally to various Walton heirs, the Koch Foundation, the American Petroleum Institute, etc.

I’m genuinely curious, here, Bern. Being a reasonably well-informed Catholic, I know how indulgences work in my belief system — how do they work in yours?

From one Man of Principle to another.


Most Popular

White House

The Trump Steamroller

As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this pre-electoral period: The president’s opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that ... Read More
White House

Trump and the ‘Racist Tweets’

What does “racist” even mean anymore? Racism is the headline on President Trump’s Sunday tweets -- the media-Democrat complex assiduously describes them as “racist tweets” as if that were a fact rather than a trope. I don’t think they were racist; I think they were abjectly stupid. Like many ... Read More

We All Wanted to Love the Women’s Soccer Team

For the first time in my life, I did not root for an American team. Whatever the sport, I have always rooted American. And if those who called in to my radio show were representative of my audience, many millions of Americans made the same sad choice. It takes a lot for people like me not to root for an ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Ilhan Omar Is Completely Assimilated

Beto O’Rourke, the losing Texas Senate candidate who bootstrapped his way into becoming a losing presidential candidate, had a message for refugees who had come to America: Your new country is a hellhole. The former congressman told a roundtable of refugees and immigrants in Nashville, Tenn., last week: ... Read More

How Beto Made Himself into White-Privilege Guy

Robert Francis O’Rourke is white. If it’s any consolation, he’s very sorry about that. “Beto” has been running from his Irish ancestry for some time now. Long before the Left fell headlong into the logical termini of its triune fascination with race, power, and privilege, O’Rourke sensed that there ... Read More