Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Sometimes Government Should “Infringe on Your Freedom”

Piers Morgan recently agreed with the Mayor, saying that sometimes we need to have a nanny state tell us what we should or should not eat or drink. They know best for us, since we lowly civilians are just too stupid to make those decisions for ourselves. Are there going to be a lot of people who make bad decisions for themselves? Of course, but that is their responsibility. Once people accept the idea that the government should be everybody’s nanny, where does it stop?

On Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked the Mayor where the line is. How far is too far? Here was his response:

 “I do not think that we should ban most things. I do think that there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom and that is, for example, if you’re drinking we shouldn’t let you drive, because you’ll kill somebody else. If you’re carrying a gun we shouldn’t let you on an airplane. There’s a lot of things that we do. If there’s asbestos in the classroom we should remove the kids from the classroom until you clean the air. But in terms of smoking, if you want to smoke, I think you have a right to do so. I would protect that. If you want to own a gun, I certainly think that it’s constitutionally protected. You certainly have a right to own a gun if you want. If you want to eat a lot and get fat, you have a right to do it, but our job in government is to inform…”

 He’s saying that placing restrictions on sugary sodas is like outlawing drunk driving or not allowing potential terrorists to board a plane. It’s like making sure there isn’t any asbestos in school buildings to harm children. So, if we’re opposed to Nanny Bloomberg’s soda ban, then I guess that means we are in favor of children breathing dirty, toxic air; drunk drivers killing other people, including children; and terrorists killing passengers, including children, with their assault weapons. See? It’s about the children. And sometimes, to protect the children, the government has to infringe on people’s freedoms. Except a woman’s absolute right to murder her unborn child (remember, her body, her choice).

He’s equivocating on the word “freedom.” People’s “freedom” to commit crimes versus people’s freedom to drink a soda. No one wants dirty air, dirty water, drunk drivers and terrorist attacks. We’re talking about soda here. And as for the soda ban, no one wants obesity either. Saying we’re opposed to a government regulating what people eat and drink is not the same as saying we want everyone to be fat and sick.

Should there be a government regulation limiting how many alcoholic drinks a person can imbibe on a daily basis? How about a limit on how many prescription drugs a person can take or how many hours of TV a person should be allowed to watch? If this is about making sure people don’t end up morbidly obese, what’s to stop them from regulating, monitoring and tracking everything we eat and drink on an individual basis and mandating a certain amount of weekly exercise? Wouldn’t that help with people’s health?

Maybe, but these government-mandated diet restrictions are like gun control laws that limit magazine size, number of rounds, type of gun, etc. They claim they just want to prevent crime. So, what’s to stop them from giving every citizen his own prison cell, a straightjacket and a feeding tube through which people would be fed a government-approved diet? In that society, there would be no gun murder, no thefts, no rapes, no unplanned pregnancies, not even suicides. Crime and morbid obesity would be eliminated. Isn’t that what liberals say they want?

I’d rather have freedom with all its dangers and responsibilities than slavery with all its safety and security.