Guest Post: Paging Ron Swanson To Grand Forks

Amid the mountain of criticism for the three recent pro-life bills signed by the Governor, turns out progressive-leaning people don’t really believe in choice at all.

Sure, they argue for the “choice” to kill somebody else, or who can marry who, but when it comes down to it, progressives believe in choice so far as it only suits their agenda, which sad to say, but it makes them no better or worse than social conservatives.

When I read the Herald article titled, “Grand Forks Parks May Ban Chewing Tobacco” (Ryan Bakken, 4/3/2013), my ears perked. Grand Forks Park Board Commissioner Molly Soeby, like the majority of progressives these days, wants to tell you what you can and cannot do with your body. Such as chewing tobacco. Or drinking soda.  Or drinking alcohol. Or anything else deemed ‘unhealthy’ by the State for that matter. Because like Ms. Soeby said, “the times are a-changing.”

Sure, you could argue that spraying smoke in everybody’s face around you isn’t exactly healthy for others. But this overreach goes well beyond that. Instead, the mere image of someone chewing tobacco in public somehow gives somebody else the right to say, “hey, you’re breaking the law!” or to tax that individual to such a ridiculous extent that it might as well be Prohibition from the 1920’s.

To be clear, I’m not a smoker. I’ve never used tobacco in any way shape or form. But I do believe in maximum individual and economic freedom. Regrettably, that’s too an extreme concept for some because freedom requires responsibility.

Sure, Ms. Soeby can survey a number of community residents, coupled by a taxpayer-funded advertising campaign showing yellow teeth, but the fact of the matter is, as long as one individual is not harming another, government has no business being involved in social engineering or behavior modification (whereas other examples include “sin” taxes and NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s disgust with ‘his subjects’ use of big cups). I believe in education and teaching responsibility over enforcement against law-abiding citizens.

Like Ms. Soeby’s counterpart Jay Panzer said, “this is a ginormous can of worms.”

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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