Sometimes, we might give politicians the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their “true” intentions. Even with some of the bad politicians, we might say that they have good intentions, but their policies are profoundly misguided.
Take New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He says he’s concerned about Americans’ and specifically New Yorkers’ health. This concern of his was what his soda ban proposal was based on:
“With so many people contracting diabetes and heart disease, with so many children who are overweight and obese, with so many poor neighborhoods suffering the worst of this epidemic . . . it would be irresponsible not to. People are dying every day. This is not a joke.”
He was so concerned that he proposed banning sodas over 16 ounces. And he was hoping that other cities would also take action the same way he did. But, a court struck down his proposal the day before the law was set to take effect.
Were his intentions good? Well, assuming that they were his true intentions, then yes. It’s always good to be concerned for other people’s health. But banning sodas over 16 ounces is silly at best and draconian at worst. And not to mention, it’s outside the purview of a civil government to regulate drink sizes, no matter what the intentions are.
Bloomberg had said that obesity and heart disease “is not a joke.” Then, why would he be making light of an annual hot dog eating contest, which he described as “one of the greatest sporting events of the year” [warning: hot dog puns]?
“Now I know some of you may find this very distasteful, but the press eats it up… Let’s be frank, tomorrow on a dog day afternoon, in a tradition New Yorkers relish, and certainly not for the thin skinned, we’ll see if anyone can catch up [ketchup, get it?] to Joey and the Black Widow cut the mustard, without landing in hot water, or getting grilled by the judges or embroiled in a scandal and steam the competition, roast their rivals, kick everyone’s buns and be declared best in show, top dog and wiener of the contest.”
Ha. Ha. Very funny.
He referenced Joey Chestnut and the “Black Widow.” Joey won the men’s championship, and Sonya “the Black Widow” Thomas won the women’s championship. Joey ate 69 hot dogs. That’s about 9,500 calories, not counting the buns. Sonya ate 36 and ¾.
I thought Bloomberg was concerned for people’s health. And here he is championing gluttony. How are all the obese New Yorkers going to feel about these mixed messages? On the one hand, large sodas are so bad that they need to be banned. On the other, eating 69 hot dogs is fun. Does he really care about their health, or was the whole “soda ban” thing all about control?