Ben and Jerry Launch “Get the Dough Out of Politics”February 13, 2012
Today on The Dylan Ratigan Show, Ben & Jerry’s launched its newest social mission quest with a focus to “Get the Dough Out of Politics,” all about getting money out of our political system.
We also clarified the fact that Ben and Jerry are human beings, individuals, not companies or corporations — and they gave us a very good explanation of how that works (in the video below!)
Here’s the full video, including an explanation of the difference between “Ben and Jerry” as people, and Ben & Jerry’s the corporation. You can learn more about and join their campaign at GetTheDoughOut.org. For more information or to find your local Scoop Shop, visit www.benjerry.com.
(Delicious Sidenote: To celebrate the launch of the campaign, Ben & Jerry’s locations across the country will be giving out free AmeriCone Dream ice cream scoops in participating Scoop Shops across the country on February 14th from 5PM – 8PM.)
Here’s a rush transcript of their conversation, and a few photos of their visit to the set:
DYLAN: I’m in the middle of a conversation with a man who is not a corporation. I have two men here who I can assure you, hey are men. They are not corporations. I’m referring, of course, to Ben and Jerry. They are unvailing their Get the Dough Out of Politics campaign. We all know it as a central issue for our generation. the need to not only debate, but to ultimately pass and amend the United States Constitution to get money out of politics. Ben and Jerry are with us here in studio. You have a unique leadership position for the simple reason you have figured out a way to create a product that everybody likes. no one else has that privilege. everybody has a mixed view. You, everybody likes you. I’m interested to know why it is you chose to take the value of your identity, the value of your currency, and sort of hurl yourselves into the middle of this amendment conversation. why are you doing this?
BEN COHEN: Well, I think the company has always been about economic equality and creating a country that works for everybody, not just the rich and corporations. And there’s no doubt in my mind that the only way that’s going to happen is if we get the dough out of politics.
DYLAN: And why is that? I know we’re preaching to the choir, but in short order, what do you believe, you have a lot of resources you can throw around with this. I’m not just talking about throwing money around. I’m saying your identity is a very high-impact identity. This is a high platform. You can name an ice cream after “getting the dough out of politics” if you wanted. What do you believe is achievable for this country, Jerry, if all of us are able to form these coalitions to resolve these issues?
JERRY GREENFIELD: We’re going to have a government that actually is “of the people, by the people, for the people,” which is very different from the situation we have now. Everybody knows the game is rigged. That special interests, wealthy interests control the electoral process, and our elected officials don’t really represent you or me or people on the street. so we don’t really have democracy.
DYLAN: Tell us about the campaign. you’re going on Colbert tonight, who will be hugely threatened with his SuperPAC. You’re an anecdote. What is this campaign?
JERRY: Ben and Jerry’s is essentially using it’s voice to reach out to our customers and to the general public. We have a website that we started called GetTheDoughOut.0rg. There’s information on the Ben & Jerry’s website.
DYLAN: What do you want people to do though? We have an audience.
JERRY: We want you to sign up. We have an online campaign that’s with Free Speech for People and John Bonifaz. We’re working with Business for Democracy, which is a project of the Sustainable Business Council. We have Scoop Trucks going out this summer.
DYLAN: What’s going to happen with that?
JERRY: They are going to be scooping ice cream and getting people to sign postcards. We’ll be at the Bonaroo Music Festival getting people to sign postcards. We have to get massive grass roots activation.
DYLAN: And as you know through the work we have done here with the United Republic, there’s probably 300,000 people on a list who are fully aligned with what the two of you are talking about. My hope would be that whether it’s the United Republic group or the groups you’re associated with here, they will be able to enroll and align with you. I can’t think of two better people to spear head it quite honestly. Dylan ratigan, some people love me. Some hate me. You guys don’t have that issue. Everybody loves Ben and Jerry. You don’t come off at lefties or righties. You can assume the patriotic position you have earned for yourselves in our country as the proprietors of this ice cream.
JERRY: Another thing people can do is work in their own municipalities and states. New Mexico was now the second state that passed a resolution. There’s a resolution proposed in the Vermont state senate. We have about 30 towns in Vermont that will be voting on a resolution at town meeting day, which is March 6th. we need people in every town and every city to get their local municipalities to get on board.
BEN: And I think there’s a tremendous opportunity now with the Occupy Wall Street movement. I think, you know, the people that are interested in that movement, the people involved in that movement all want to get money out of politics. And i think it’s that huge, massive, grassroots wave of support that’s really going to make it possible to pass the constitutional amendment.
JERRY: And don’t sell yourself short, Dylan. You are on board. You are leading the charge.
DYLAN: There seems to be some confusion in this country that I wanted to take advantage of the unique privilege of having you two here, which doesn’t happen on this show every day. There’s an apparent decision that we all know in this country corporations are human beings. Right? That’s what we’re dealing with. Right?
You two happen to be human beings that have a corporation named after you, which is a nice honor. It’s like naming your child Ben or Jerry or your corporation Ben or Jerry. from your perspective, what do you believe are the most clarifying events that distinguish between your existence and the success of modelling entrepreneurialism and social conscious that the corporation that bares your identity has set out as a model for all of us.
JERRY GREENFIELD: you want to hear our standard introduction?
BEN : I’m Ben. I’m a person.
JERRY: I’m Jerry. I’m a person.
BEN: Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Inc., not a person.
JERRY: Not a person.
DYLAN: That pretty much solves it.
JERRY: And when we show up to places, that’s what we say. people get tired of it.
DYLAN: It’s simple messaging. The thing is the corporations’ product is tasty. Regardless of whether it’s human, I have never saw anything in here.
JERRY: And we have the corporation that is using its voice that is doing a campaign, GetTheDoughOut.org.
DYLAN: Corporations are useful tools to get people to do things. They just aren’t people!
Here are some photos from their visit to the set today:
- Meg Robertson is a digital producer for DylanRatigan.com and enjoys Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup ice cream almost exclusively. You can find her on Twitter @MegRobertson.