Is the Co-op Republican/Conservative-friendly?

 car with bumper stickers IMG_1712
Left: As I entered Just Food Co-op earlier this week, I noticed this car plastered with bumper stickers like “Wal Mart Sucks the Life Out of Our Towns” and “Unions: the folks that (sic) brought you the weekends” as well as numerous stickers for Democratic candidates.  I didn’t see any cars representing the other side.

Right: Once inside, I noticed that the magazine rack contained not only health/wellness titles but just liberal/progressive ones like Z, Utne, Ms, Mother Jones, etc.  Where’s the National Review, The Weekly Standard, Guns & Ammo, etc?

Since the discussion is humming along in the Carleton Conservatives blog post, I thought I’d throw another log on the fire.

60 thoughts on “Is the Co-op Republican/Conservative-friendly?”

  1. Folks, lots of interesting thoughts about commerce, vehicles, countries of origin, etc. Maybe this thread should be expanded to: Is Northfield conservative/Republican friendly? Are our businesses, churches, colleges, and organizations friendly to conservatives/Republicans?

  2. John & Nick

    Not many people can afford to pay $150 for a dining room chair.
    For most people this decision is more about money then patriotism.
    Even if the $ 25 chair only lasts 5 years I can buy five more before I am on par with the Amish chair.

    Don’t misunderstand me, without a doubt the Amish chair is nicer and much better made, but there is always the reality of money…sorry.

  3. Peter, You’re totally right — I guess, in this instance, I’m talking about someone who *could* spend that on a dining room chair. In my case, the house I bought is worth less than half of what I could have been approved for, my car is 11 years old, and the chairs were a splurge. I love knowing they could go on to another life as chairs (as opposed to landfill). So while I agree that money is a big factor, we all figure things differently — one person’s necessity of a newer car or a nicer house makes other things luxuries. Of course, all of this is bs if you’re really living hand-to-mouth (as opposed to the self-imposted hand-to-mouth many of us live by living beyond our means.). And not for nothing, Ray, I’m glad no one has taken you up on your offer to have a discussion of whether conservatives are welcome in town and at the colleges; that feels *way* more like an invitation to a fight than anything else. I frankly think that on the whole, Northfielders and northfield institutions go out of their way to try to make everyone welcome.

  4. Peter- I’ll go back to my quote in post #48, “You only cry once when you buy quality.” I agree with Nick on this. So much depends on your expectations and priorities. Good quality wood furniture just doesn’t wear out. My dining chairs I use every day are close to 100 yrs. old. I purchased them used at an estate sale 26 years ago. My 5 children grew up using them and I still use them today. I’m sure that I paid at least 6 or 7 times their original price when I purchased them, but they were still less expensive than new. It is this type of “sustainability”, if you will, that I think we could use more of in this country. The whole concept of disposability for convenience sake only violates my sense of value of longevity. And, I don’t but new cars, either. In fact, it has just been in the last few years that my wife and I felt we could afford cars less than 10 years old.

  5. Ray- I’ll bite on your questions from post 50, “Is Northfield conservative/Republican friendly? Are our businesses, churches, colleges, and organizations friendly to conservatives/Republicans.” Of course they are, or at least say they are. To be otherwise would be considered “intolerant.”

  6. Thanks to Mike McGovern for outing himself and spouse as conservatives. Maybe I saw five that day…
    (O;

    And thanks to Bruce for the kind words on the virtues of not only preaching to the choir. Bruce, I see your topic for Politics&Pint this Sunday is Art & Economics. I may join you.

    One of the things (of many) that I like about the co-op is that their offerings of rBST-free dairy now includes not only (expensive) organic butter, but also (less expensive) rBST butter. I like their cheese selection, but wish that more of it would be labeled as such if it’s rBST-free. Some of the larger corporate dairy companies label their milk as such, but not their cheese.

    This discussion and its thread-drifts highlights the fact that we have very fuzzy definitions of what it means to be conservative. If it means to value the time-tested over newer-is-better, then conservatives would be against rBST in dairy products. If it means to serve the interests of economic leaders, then Toyota is just fine if it’s a market leader. If it means low price is the only bottom line, and if Wal*Mart delivers at low prices, then it’s a winner.

    The fact that some conservatives like the co-op at all demonstrates that there’s more to conservatism (and/or conservatives?) than some may have thought. Surprises can be a good thing.

  7. Comparing an Amish chair to an IKEA chair is a bit extreme, there is a lot of good choices in between.

    Household choices are mostly about priorities. Some put an emphasis on quality furniture and some don’t. Most of ours is second hand and has lasted for some time now. Once our kids are gone most of our furniture will go with them or disposed off in one way or another.

    Sustainability is a great idea and we should all strive to be aware of it. But we have to stay away from extreme on both sides as always common sense should prevail and we should certainly do it in a way that it won’t hurt those that can’t afford it.

  8. Paul F, this conservative certainly does not approve of the use of bovine growth hormones (BGH, Bst, etc,) to increase milk production and products. While serving on the school board I made sure our bid solicitations for milk alwalys required certification that the milk was BGH free. We never had problems getting quotes. I have not followed the board closely enough lately to know if they are continuing that practice.

  9. Sure, it’s great to have Just Food Coop where we can find some more healthy foods, some of them local.
    But are we ignoring the big picture? Hightower tells it like it is:

    http://www.jimhightower.com/node/6691

    SPECULATORS AND OUR FOOD: EIEIO!
    Friday, January 2, 2009
    Posted by Jim Hightower

    Oh, this is just dandy! Hedge fund schemers and Wall Street manipulators -the very characters who brought us the Great American Housing Collapse –
    have a new target for their fast-buck profiteering: farming. EIEIO! Speculators have long messed with farmers by artificially manipulating prices on
    everything from corn to soybeans. But now they’re pooling up billions of dollars from global investors to go after the farms themselves, as well as fertilizer plants, grain elevators, ships and barges, and other
    basic tools for producing, shipping, and storing our food supply. As one hedge-fund operator says; “It’s going on big time. There is considerable interest in what we call ‘owning structure.'”

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