Maybe the GOP Debates Should Happen At Ralphs

Politics and Supermarkets Have a Surprisingly Close Relationship

If you’re like millions of Americans during the holidays, you’ve had to wade through a crowded grocery store gathering up cooking supplies. Hard as it is to believe, though, supermarkets used to be billed as pleasure palaces.

In 1964, at the height of post-war consumer society, the mass-circulation monthly Look featured Publix supermarkets and the supposedly effortless shopping that they made possible. In these stores, “the harried housewife” could “drift gently among four-deck ‘gondolas’ bearing 12,000 of the [food] industry’s seductive products.” Look highlighted two indications of the stores’ success: the …