One of the central questions raised the past two weeks is how much power shall the individual surrender to the state. The great contribution of the Rand Paul/Drone filibuster and the Michael Bloomberg/ Soda Ban was to give the American people an idea of how far some people are willing to go to impose government power over their lives. Are they comfortable with the idea of a government that can assassinate them without a warrant, a hearing or a trial? Are they happy that some in Government believe they can ban things as long as some bureaucrat thinks it’s for their own good? Are we willing to allow government to become the dictators of our lives?
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 thought 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 next?
For more on Bloomberg’s government overreach, check out this article: