SIXTH COLUMN

"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Monday, April 18, 2005

HOW CONSERVATIVES AND MODERATES ARE AS DANGEROUS AS LIBERALS: Morton Kondracke: Obesity epidemic calls for measures like tobacco war

Morton Kondracke, Jewish World Review, April 18, 2005 / 9 Nisan, 5765, by Morton Kondracke

Obesity epidemic calls for measures like tobacco war

And the government should help, by adequately funding physical education for children, getting fatty and sugary foods out of school lunchrooms (and healthy foods in), and imposing taxes on fat and sugar.

As conservatives often say, if you tax something, you get less of it. Cigarettes used to cost 25 cents a pack. Now, in New York, they cost $8. We should try that with fat.


Mr. Kondracke seems to be one of those "moderates" with a slight tilt to the right, so the notion of this being a typical big government liberal notion does not fit. He demonstrates the prevailing mindset of people from most sections of the political spectrum in that his solution is government. Notice that I started with the solution and did not start with the question. In gov-think, the answer to everything is government, and questions are irrelevant.

No one with at least one toe anchored in reason could doubt the problem of obesity any more than they could doubt the problem of tobacco, street drugs, and so on. All of these became significant problems in proportion to the development of big government in America, particularly beginning with Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, but really accelerated during and after the FDR administrations.

Reliance on the self was replaced by reliance on the government which quickly became the sole definition of "society." This process began in our educational system under the necrotizing influence of John Dewey and his ilk, from the deteriorating health of our universities. Today, the prevailing notion is Marxian, "I couldn't help it. These outside influences did it. I am not responsible." From there, the short step is to complete reliance on the government to kiss it and make it all better, and give something to compensate.

One of the biggest wars within the wars we must fight in America comes from anti-self-responsibility against pro-self-responsibility. Most people, whether right, left, or middle, expect government to do something, not themselves. And, of course, many people crave political power and are only too willing to take up the Let Government Do It cause. Meanwhile, more and more, people cease fending for themselves. AND THE LESS RESOURCEFUL WE BECOME.

Behind the vast litigation industry is widespread psychological dependence among citizens, and the trial lawyers clean up. They and the legislators clean up. However, THE PROBLEMS JUST GET WORSE.

Whether anyone likes it or not, obesity is a personal problem not involving government in any way. The same goes for tobacco and most all of the other so-called "evils." At most, it is a problem between PRIVATE insurers and PRIVATE insurees, and should not have any government "safety net." Then, responsibility would fall where it should.

We must reignite self-reliance as the cultural norm, with government pushed back into the only job it should have, protecting our rights. By that I mean our objective rights and not the gobbledegook about governmental activism so popular today. Government must become a passive agent, acting when rights have been violated with police and court functions.

Taxing fat and other food components, school food funding, and the whole lot of stuff that Mr. Kondracke thinks are so proper should never occur because they are fully improper. Government activism puts government into the role of being the perpetrator of rights violations.

Rights belong to individuals, not to groups, and certainly not to the government.

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