“Is John Mackey a paradox? A hypocrite? A socialist? A libertarian? All of the above?” asked Emma Keller in The Guardian (U.K.). Mackey, the founder and chief executive of Whole Foods, has built a multi-billion dollar empire selling organic and locally sourced products. A self-described “ethical vegan,” he has turned his holdings in the company over to a charitable foundation, and he supports abortion rights, gay marriage, and decreased military spending. So many in his liberal-leaning customer base were shocked and outraged last week when—in an interview with NPR, no less—he called Obamacare “fascist.” 

“Although Mackey certainly has the right to state his beliefs, this does not seem like a smart move for his business,” said Ilana Glazer in TheDailyBeast.com. But it’s also nothing new. In the past he’s compared labor unions to herpes—”It doesn’t kill you, but it’s unpleasant and inconvenient”—and been a consistent critic of government overreach. “I reject the premise that liberal and libertarian values are necessarily in conflict,” Mackey said in an interview with Mother Jones. “The truth is that Idon’t fit into a simple ideological box. I read widely on issues, try to think carefully about them, and then I make up my own mind.”