During the recent election, many Republicans doing passable impressions of sincerely outraged individuals said it was time to “take back our government” and get big government out of our lives. The government was getting too intrusive and taking personal choice out of the hands of us, the citizens, they said.
I always wondered how “we” let the “government” get so “out of control” that it needed to be “taken back”. If “we” as “voters” have that “power” now, how “did” we “lose it” in the “first” place “?”
I realize now: we can blame ineffectual, lazy parents.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is scheduled to announce today a ban on McDonald’s famous Happy Meals — more accurately, the vote would be to ban the inclusion of toys from fast food meals deemed nutritionally lacking. Which is to say, all fast food meals.
The argument for this measure is that Happy Meals are a colorful box full of evil. By which I mean, kids ask their parents to buy it because there’s a toy inside, they eat the food inside — almost as an afterthought, really — they repeat the cycle until, before you know it, the kid is so fat (How fat is he?) his class photo has to be taken by satellite.
So, of course, the only way to protect the poor helpless butterball-in-the-making is to ban toys from Happy Meals — because, obviously, without the toy to entice them, no kid in America would ever again want to voluntarily eat a McDonald’s cheeseburger. And how else could parents possibly keep Happy Meals away from their darling progeny? Say no? Refuse to buy it? Don’t make me laugh…
I’m willing to bet that this movement began with a parent so incensed at how fat his/her kid got by gulping down Happy Meals like a hungry basking shark that he/she decided that something must be done to protect the children! That’s how a lot of things that we as adults considered harmless fun when we were kids — Happy Meals, cap guns, Janet Jackson’s breasts — are now labeled as concentrated evil and must be eradicated from the Earth lest they harm our most precious natural resource that isn’t water, crude oil, or bacon.
Angry, frightened parents are the segment of humanity most ready to throw their control over their own (and their kids’) lives over to an authoritative entity, because lord knows it’s far better to relinquish any sense of personal responsibility to the government than to, you know, act like a damned parent.
So the next time we the public has to take back the government — I believe that’s been penciled in for the 2012 election cycle — you can thank the panicky, irresponsible moms and dads of the world.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.