In Defense of 300-Pound Third Graders
It’s time for a quick, angry rant. Even though I’m a big fan of former President Clinton, and indeed, wish he could be president again, I was extremely disappointed in his decision to take on a prominent role in the so-called War on Obesity [I prefer to call it the Assault on Bodily Sovereignty]. Last week, the beverage industry announced that it will voluntarily remove high-calorie sodas from all schools, under a deal with anti-obesity groups [read: groups that wish to intrude into your life]. This is just another case of freedom being sacrificed for the alleged greater good, that being a healthier and slimmer citizenry.
Here’s the news: Freedom is its own positive consequence. Nothing is more important than freedom: not security, health, comfort, stability or order. I’m pro-choice in the broadest sense of the word; that is, give everybody maximum choices, and let them set their own course. Indeed, I’m so fervently pro-choice that I have no objection to bringing healthy foods into the country’s public schools. Bring in your carrot sticks, skim milk and salads. Then, next to that area, bring in a vending machine with soda, cookies and candy bars. Let the students exercise CHOICE. If they eat healthily, they might lead longer, healthier lives. If they eat unhealthily, they might become obese and cut short their lives. And you know what – that’s fine. I never said freedom was utilitarian; with freedom, some children are left behind.
In the name of bodily sovereignty, I make the following strong suggestions:
1. Return junk food to the schools.
2. End the War on Drugs.
3. Legalize prostitution.
4. Eliminate all laws regulating private, consensual, adult sexual behavior.
5. Eliminate seatbelt and helmet laws, except for individuals younger than 13.
I have no question making these changes would do a bit to destabilize society. Obesity might continue to rise. Drug use might increase a bit. STD transmission might be a bit elevated (though that’s certainly questionable, since in
Still not convinced freedom is good? Still think stability and safety matter more? Perhaps my point will be better proven if I raise the specter of taking presently held freedoms away. The country certainly would be healthier if smoking were illegal. The roads certainly would be safer if alcohol were banned again. The rising tide of obesity certainly would be halted if unhealthy foods were made illegal. Car-accident deaths would probably decrease dramatically if drivers were forced to wear helmets and a padded vest. Think those ideas sound like horrible intrusions into personal freedom? Well, now you know how I feel whenever I hear about the War on Drugs or see somebody being pulled over for exercising the right not to wear a seatbelt.
Freedom might be expensive, but there’s nothing more important.