We complain a lot about politicians, usually with good reason. But it’s not exactly a new thing: recently I came across an article I saved from 2012, news that then-New York City Mayor Bloomberg wanted to ban supersized sugary drinks, as a way to combat malnutrition.
He also signed a proclamation for NYC Donut Day.
(On a note of irony, my very first internet search to familiarize myself with the Bloomberg Big Belly Ban led me to one of those annoying internet ads – for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.)
The BBBB would apply to any bottled soda or fountain drink over 16 ounces that contained more than 25 calories per eight ounces, which is pretty much all of them. They’d be outlawed at restaurants, sports venues, street vendors, and – brace yourselves – movie theaters. Gasp! Next they’ll be taking my large buttered popcorn.
While Bloomberg is gone from the Big Apple Pie, there are still politicians out there wanting to curb our calories … but those goobers won’t get me without a fight.
The good news is, banning things that are bad for us is always effective, and always, always works. Just ask the people who pushed Prohibition.
Well, they can have my Slurpee when they pry it from my cold, sticky hands.
If they criminalize supersized Cokes, only criminals will be truly refreshed.
When Bloomberg came for cigarettes, nobody spoke (because they were busy coughing). When he came for trans fats, nobody stood up (because they were too heavy to get to their feet). Now they come for sugary drinks, and who will stand up for Mr. Pibbs? Has the medical field even debated this? Did anyone ask Dr. Pepper?
Give me Mountain Dew, or give me death! And not Diet Mountain Dew, either. It tastes like artificially sweetened sheep dip.
The Founding Fathers would be horrified. The whole reason they settled in the New World is because the British wouldn’t let us sweeten our tea.
“One lump or two?”
“How dare they alter our national beverage? Off with their heads!”
Then we revolted, so we could have southern style sweet tea. Thomas Jefferson wrote that right into the Declaration of Independence, along with a clause about fried chicken and gravy. Both were removed by a rather grumpy New York delegate named Samuel Chase,
whose wife had just put him on a diet.
Say, do you suppose that’s it? Maybe Bloomberg’s just steamed because his wife had him eating fish and asparagus.
The Founding Fathers really would be horrified, as this kind of nanny state thinking is exactly what the Constitution was meant to prevent. It demonstrates that their written guide for the country is more relevant now than ever, if only we could get our elected officials to read it.
Benjamin Franklin would be especially upset, as he was known to upturn an extra-large mug of mead himself, from time to time. Franklin, who famously said that wine is proof that God loves us, and wants to see us happy, would have loved one of those fountain drinks you have to haul around in a cart. Ben Franklin would have punched Bloomberg right in the nose. Well, maybe not … no, Ben would probably have slept with Bloomberg’s wife. He was into all sorts of excesses.
I’m not so sure about Thomas Jefferson’s reaction. Although he was very much into personal freedoms (unless you were one of his slaves), he was also very much into a huge vegetable garden that he took great pride in. He grew over 250 varieties of more than 70 different vegetable species, in a garden 1,000 feet long. His children hated him.
Once, Jefferson sent John Adams a sampling of twenty different types of lettuce. Adams wrote back: “Tom, would you relax and have a friggin’ donut? I’ll bet you can’t find twenty different varieties of donuts.” This was before Krispy Kreme.
Still, they would have agreed that no mayor of York, old or new, had the right to come over and tell them how many lumps they could put in their tea. Should you stop drinking huge sugary drinks? Of course. Should we bow to a government telling us we have to? Hell, no.
We can’t have true freedom without independence. A nanny state, by definition, is a lack of independence. I may disapprove of what you eat, but I will defend to the early death your right to pork rinds.
We must draw a jittery line in the sand, with one of those big soda straws. Our voices, strengthened by a sugar rush, should shout out that we can be convinced to be healthier, but not force fed. To paraphrase Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we would rather die on our Frostie than live on our salads.
Now. If you’ll excuse me, it’s time for a little non-violent demonstration. Supersize me.