I have an egalitarian-conservationist emotional streak that occasionally rages against excess. I can sympathize with standing in front of an aisle filled with various and sundry underarm deodorants and saying: What the hell?

But any line drawn between that and child starvation is going to be very squiggly.

What’s more, I always get a little angry when people trump-up child starvation in this country. With 46MM people on food stamps (1 in 8 kids are on them), any child with even mildly resourceful parents should not be hungry. At the risk of sounding like Ebenezer Scrooge, my taxes do pay for that, and if kids are really going hungry then my taxes are being woefully misallocated—not owing, certainly, to excess on the hygiene aisle.

On the main, I do admire Bernie Sanders for being truthful about his values. I don’t mind a bit that he’s a presidential candidate. Perhaps the biggest problem in politics is the idea that we all have to pretend to value the same things, and then perform wild contortions to correlate our policies with those values. It means we can never have honest conversations, and can never really see facts for what they are. At least Sanders says what he means (Ron Paul was in the same boat).