What If Nanny Is a Thug?
Andrew P. Napolitano
by Andrew P. Napolitano: The
Right to Self-Defense
What if a dictator
in America used the force of law to tell you what to eat? What if
the same dictator told you what to drink? What if the dictator told
you the sizes of the containers in which you could purchase a lawful
beverage? What if the dictator just made up the rules according
to his own personal taste? What if the product he regulated was
lawful, sold nearly everywhere and consumed by nearly everyone?
What if that product came in flavors and degrees of sweetness the
dictator didn’t like? What if that product was part of a huge national
market that provides choices to consumers and jobs for those who
want them? What if that product was simple soda pop?
What if the
dictator declared that you could consume all the soda pop you wish
to consume, but you need to purchase it in small containers? What
if the enforcement of this container-size rule raised the price
of soda pop? What if the container size was just something the dictator
dreamed up? What if the dictator believed his judgment was superior
to yours with respect to deciding what you should drink and how
you should drink it?
What if the
dictator pretended his container-size restrictions were based on
sound science? What if he hired and appointed medical personnel
who feared for their jobs if they did not agree with him? What if
he ordered those people to support his container-size regulations
whether or not they agreed that this is the proper role of government?
What if he constituted these medical lackeys into a Board of Health?
What if the Board of Health pretended it seriously studied the detrimental
effect of sugar-based soda pop on human beings but never did?
What if the
rules for container size were written in secret? What if those rules
were so complicated that a judge concluded they would be impossible
to enforce? What if the rules only applied to certain sugar-based
drinks, such as soda pop and coffee, but not to others, such as
chocolate milk and alcohol? What if the rules only applied to some
stores and shops but not to all? What if the rules were so ridiculous
that in order to buy a cup of coffee larger than 16 ounces, they
required you to put milk and flavoring and sugar in yourself, and
the seller of the coffee could not lawfully help you or do so for
you, even at your request?
What if under
the fundamental law of the land the dictator was not authorized
by law to write laws but only to enforce them? What
if the dictator knew that the governing body elected by the people
to write laws would never write the laws he wanted because its members
like power and fear losing it, which could happen if they try to
tell the voters who elected them how to live? What if the dictator
never presented his proposals on sugar-based drinks to the elected
governing body because he knew they’d be rejected?
What if the
dictator was more interested in his own legacy as a reformer than
in personal liberty in a free society? What if he believed he could
write any law and regulate any event because his knowledge of human
behavior and unintended consequences was superior to that of the
people he swore to serve?
What if the
same dictator once made campaign contributions to members of the
governing board so that they would change the fundamental law of
the land – which only the people directly can lawfully change –
so as to let the dictator stay in office longer than the fundamental
law permitted? What if that law could only be changed by the voters
themselves, but the dictator persuaded the lawmakers to take his
campaign cash and change the fundamental law for him? What if the
dictator was very unpopular but continued to impose his will on
the people because he desperately wanted a legacy?
What if some
people who sell soda pop challenged the dictator in a court he did
not control? What if a judge of that court told the people they
could buy soda and coffee in whatever sizes it was sold because
the dictator did not have the power to regulate their intake of
liquids? What if the judge even recognized that there are areas
of human behavior immune to regulation by the government?
What if all
of this really happened? What if this is not a fable but a fair
recounting of life today in America’s biggest city? What is the
state of human freedom in New York City when the mayor can tell
people what soft drinks to consume and how to consume them and the
voters let him do it? What will they let the government do to us
with the author's permission.
March 14, 2013
him mail], a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey,
is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano
has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent
and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional
Freedom. To find out more about Judge Napolitano and to read
features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit
© 2013 Andrew P. Napolitano
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