The Better Bequest

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The late Joan Kroc’s bequest of $200 million to National Public Radio (search) stunned the nation. Her money came from her husband, Ray Kroc, who turned the golden arches of McDonald’s into a shining model of private enterprise.

NPR, on the other hand, has spent a fair amount of airtime criticizing both a McDonald’s diet and capitalist greed. But Ms. Kroc loved the radio station and expressed her affection through her donation. Well, it turns out that Ms. Kroc believed in another charity, which has now been rewarded even more royally than NPR.

The Salvation Army just received a bequest of $1.5 billion from Ms. Kroc’s estate. The contrast between the two donations is striking. While NPR has come to epitomize political correctness, the Salvation Army has stuck to a formula that may seem a bit out of date. The uniforms alone haven’t changed in my lifetime. And the faith-based formula on which the Salvation Army relies seems more befitting of a rally for President Bush than an NPR fund drive.

But at a time when political and ideological differences have polarized the nation, Ms. Kroc has shown through her generous gifts that our great nation still thrives on diversity.

And that’s the Asman Observer.