A Tingling Sensation
Dave Killion — March 18, 2013
At times, even the most optimistic libertarian can temporarily succumb to hopelessness, brought on by fending off a seemingly endless torrent of tyranny and stupidity. I confess, there were moments when I was so depressed about the future that I would have happily voted for any candidate who promised nothing more than a quick and merciful death for my children. Happily, libertarians are better able to quash such sentiments thanks to our understanding of the difference between what is seen and what is not seen. Take, for example, Judge Milton Tingling’s rejection of New York Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed large-sized soda ban. What is seen? That New Yorkers may continue to decide for themselves whether or not to purchase sugary drinks by the litre. What is not seen? The snuffing of many regulations certain to have followed –
“Public health activists were already pursuing plans to use the ban as an entering wedge to get laws passed in other cities and states restricting food and beverage choices. “I think you’re not going to see a lot of push back here,” predicted Bloomberg himself.”
So, this is a bigger victory for freedom than it appears, even for Canadians. In Victoria, in Vancouver, in Charlottetown… in every major city in Canada, there are paternalists disguised as public health specialists, and each of them is eager to conflate medical judgements (tanning beds might raise your risk of cancer) with moral judgements (you should not use tanning beds). For the sake of their jobs and their egos, they look to deny their friends, neighbours, and family members the freedom to decide to trade some health and longevity for other things they might prefer, such as pleasure or convenience. Judge Tingling’s finding will almost certainly chill the enthusiasm of some of these nannies, and bolster the fighting resolve of their opponents. That’s a big win.
Disclaimer: The articles and opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Libertarian Book Club.