We do not live in serious times. All around us, problems are piling up. Our streets are letting back in the crimes that were turned back in the 1990s by proactive approaches to law enforcement. Our free market is handcuffed by a million regulations that threaten to put us in a recession of unprecedented proportions. Our foreign policy is a mess, guided by a president who has neither the intelligence nor the heart for what needs to be done. But with all of this hanging over his head, President Obama believes that it’s time to do what now? Oh, ban trans fats from the American diet. Good. Great. Wonderful.
Perhaps egged on by the first lady, President Obama has declared himself a food cop of sorts. Together, the Obamas have decided that they are going to solve the obesity crisis – not with education but with legislation. Or, in this case, a federal directive. If Americans aren’t going to change their eating habits, these pious Democrats are going to force them to change. They have already taken over school lunches; now they want to make sure you’re not eating unhealthily at home.
To be sure, the science is in and trans fats are no good for you. That information is well known and well disseminated. Guess what? Tobacco is not too great for you, either, yet cigarettes are still being sold in millions of stores around the country. Why? Because in America, you should have the right to make bad decisions about your health. It should not be up to the federal government to decide what you eat, how much you exercise, and at what weight you should stay.
Public information programs are one thing. And if the economy was roaring and we weren’t staring down the barrel of a failing war against ISIS, maybe the time would be right for such programs. For some reason, people still trust the federal government. So be it. Warn these people off trans fats, send out a pamphlet, make a commercial, whatever you have to do.
But when we move from that to outright bans, Americans have every right to stand up and complain. Are we really going to turn partially hydrogenated oils into a rallying point for freedom? Well, it may seem silly, but we have to take a stand somewhere. Just as the First Amendment protects even the most heinous speech, so should our fight for limited government encompass things that are “bad” for us.