Nanny Bloomberg’s Fizzy Drink Ban Highlights Wider Difference In Political Beliefs

Yesterday we learned, via the NY Post, that Nanny Bloomberg and his Board Of Health cohorts may look to regulate some other food and drink products along with restricting sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces (I wonder if it has occurred to Nanny B. that this would cause more plastic bottles to be discarded, many of them ending up in the oceans?). Movie popcorn, milk shakes, and even those crazy coffee drinks could end up being regulated. The Politico’s Tim Mak points out: Debate over government’s role fizzes around soda ban

Many Americans are having a hard time swallowing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on the sale of big sodas — but it’s not just about the sugar.

The micro public health policy issue of restricting the sizes of some drinks – and the strong public reaction to it on both sides – has become a touchstone for the polarized and passionate debate over the proper role of government.

“We have very deep divisions in American society, so this [soda policy] reflects that – it’s about the role of government in American life, and the public is deeply divided on that,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. “It’s clear it taps into very deep emotions, because it got a very emotional reaction.”

“I don’t think anybody in Kansas cares what they do in New York, but the larger issue [of the role of government] is something they want to fight about,” pollster Scott Rasmussen, who has surveyed the soda issue nationally, told POLITICO.

As the story points out, a Reuters poll showed that 64 percent were against the ban while 36% supported the ban, while a Rasmussen poll showed the breakdown to be 65/24.

“The real reason this issue caught on is because this is exactly the dividing line that is splitting people. There are some that just think government has to do these things, and there are others that are saying ‘no, this is precisely not the role of government.’ It’s such a clear example – this is not a convoluted, long health care bill,” said Rasmussen, the president of polling firm Rasmussen Reports.

On the other hand, he said, “Among those who support it, there is a belief that government should be in charge of things like health, and this is a prudent measure. I don’t think that anyone disputes that large, sugary drinks are good for health. So there’s this sense that it’s part of the role of government.”

And that is the debate, what is the role of government in today’s society? Can government use the force of law to restrict the freedom to make a choice, even if it is a “bad” one? Is it governments business whether you or I choose to purchase a 20 ounce or larger soda or sweet tea? Can they restrict us from purchasing a large popcorn with butter at the movies? Can they apply the force of law to stop us from purchasing a large Frosty at Wendy’s? Or should it be our personal choice? For myself, I’ve started drinking more water (which is boring) while avoiding soda. That’s MY choice.

Interestingly, the same liberals who tend to believe Government should be able to regulate anything for which they get a burr in their bums, like large sugary drinks, are the same people who screech about “my body my choice!!!!!” when it comes to aborting a baby. These are the same people who think globull warming regulations are wonderful, as long as they apply to That Guy. Who think higher taxes are awesome, as long as they apply to That Guy. Liberals scream about privacy and liberty, yet they don’t seem to have an issue with Government regulating our lives to death.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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