Leaders of the mightiest nation on earth continue to amaze.
Unemployment, the Middle East, falling wages, climate change, endless war, health care, decayed infrastructure — take an issue, any issue, and the stakes are great. So should be the national conversation.
And once the smoke cleared from the most moronic play call in the history of the game played between Super Bowl commercials, the debate turned to measles and vaccinating kids against preventable diseases.
Politicians who want voters to take them seriously — Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Chris Christie so far, but certain to be joined by other defenders of liberty and the constitutional right to be ignorant &mdash are siding with the so-called “anti-vaxxers.” Lots of others, from House Speaker John Boehner to Hillary Clinton, are coming down on the side of the vast majority of public health providers who say, in effect, “Get the shots, already.”
FOX News’ Sean Hannity boldly declared he would’t trust President Obama to tell him where, when or why to get his children vaccinated. Of course, Hannity, who declared a state of siege the day Obama took office, wouldn’t trust the president to tell him, “Pull the chute, Sean,” if he was falling out of an airplane.
I realize for many of my fellow citizens the essence of America’s promise could be summed up today by the phrase, “Don’t tell me what to do, Jack!”
By the minute, they see more and more evidence of the oppressive reach of big government impinging on their freedom. Nothing will dissuade them from this core belief. It’s wearying to even try.
Then along comes another breath-taking example of the asinine reaches to which this mindset can wander, and it forces one to gasp and try again to muster the words, “But, but … it’s for the common good.”
A sitting member of the United States Senate this week said this can’t be the land of the free if restaurants are required to tell workers to wash their hands after going to the bathroom.
Let the market and its invisible hand — don’t worry about where that hand has been — decide the fate of eateries that opt out of this draconian dictate.
The senator says any such restaurant would have to advertise this policy to the public so the mighty forces of the free market — someone looking for a decent bowl of chili, for instance — could do their wondrous work. Though that sounds suspiciously like another big-government regulation, it’s clear what effect such an ad campaign would have. The next sign in the restaurant window would say, “For rent.”
Either the gentleman from North Carolina was joking, or the whole “government is the problem” world view has reached pandemic levels of stupid.
It wasn’t Marx, Lenin, Mao, Castro or Jimmy Carter who came up with the whole “Wash your hands after using the bathroom” rule.
In my household, it was Mom. She was no faceless government bureaucrat. And I won’t have some grandstanding politician talk about moms everywhere like that.
To those who would chant, “Nanny state, nanny state, ” I recall my mom’s words that chafed at my 7-year-old sense of freedom: “Wash your hands again. With soap and hot water, this time!”