New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has gone beyond oppressive. He’s become the poster boy for fed-up souls who groan, “God save us from well-intentioned people.”
But this politician is creating far darker concerns. Bloomberg is the guy who banned the sale of large sugary drinks in his city in an attempt to reign as king of the nanny-state pols. Finally, a sensible court in New York rapped his knuckles bloody, striking down his Big Brother crusade late last month.
If Bloomberg had his way, his big drink ban would have affected 30,000 restaurants, theaters, arenas and stores, fining them for violations. They would given Bloomberg and his progressive followers more victims to manipulate in the name of generating tax revenue. Six in 10 New Yorkers opposed the drink ban. Can there be a more paternalistic misuse of government power than Bloomberg’s crusade to alter people’s behavior just because he thinks it’s best for them?
Nanny Bloomberg, apparently ignorant of the destructiveness of his world view about human nature, feels he must protect people from themselves. If that’s not Orwell’s Big Brother on the prowl, what is? If that doesn’t make a mockery of personal responsibility, what does?
The real nutty thing is that Bloomberg’s a guy who doesn’t want physical education classes in New York public schools, yet he blames large sodas for child obesity while kids sit in a classroom all day like vegetables on the shelf.
Worse yet, the mayor, who some consider a “control freak,” doesn’t even have science on his side. The data behind his high-decibel campaign is weak and uncertain, and the connection between obesity and soda drinks is not well-researched. Given societal changes and the complex factors surrounding obesity, it is doubtful a soda ban would make a difference in New Yorkers’ health.
But let’s get down to the real outrage that has some New Yorkers’ blood boiling. Bloomberg and his ilk not only violated the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, they have launched an intolerable attack on personal freedoms. Bloomberg wants to substitute his judgment for yours on what to drink and what not to drink. The mayor also crusaded to ban salt in restaurants. Perhaps alcohol is next.
What we have here is a slippery slope ending at a cliff. If liberals are successful at drafting a hit list on certain foods or regulating food intake, where does it stop? Kudos to the New York judge who put a stop to Bloomberg’s folly, calling it “capricious and arbitrary.” A constitutional law professor at Pace University has argued that local governments “can’t pass laws that do impose burdens on the free flow of commerce between states.”
There are better ways to fight obesity than penalizing a person’s freedom to choose, and edging us one step closer to an Orwellian future where government strangers make our decisions for us.
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