BY ANDRÉ FRENCH
Look… I have no use for soda. Not because it doesn’t taste good, or because it’s cold effervescence doesn’t quench a parched thirst on a blistering day. I have a heavy aversion to it because it not only offers nothing of nutritional value; I actually consider it bad for me. But, I do possess the human decency to draw a line when it comes to the right to bear bottles, which needs no constitutional inclusion. Common sense suggests that the freedom to order a 2 liter bottle of soda should go without saying. In his usual radicalized fashion, New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has now banned the purchase of a 2-liter bottle of pop when ordering a pizza delivery. Yeah… I know. Go ahead, pick your chin back up off your desk, and recognize that your city civil servant is only in the beginning stages of changing who you are from the inside out. The law goes into effect on March 12th. Adding to Bloomberg’s power grab, this “commissioner of food police” seems bent on making Americans, or at least those living in the big apple, healthier, by replacing one big bottle of flavored effervescence with what will surely amount to two smaller ones. But is his self-proclaimed battle with obesity really what motivates him? One has to wonder, and many are.
The prospect of determining motivations can get complicated, for good reason, but I’ll take an abridged stab at it. Most of us have friends and family members whose sole mission in life often seems to revolve around getting others to join their dietary regime, as though it is some kind of religion. For some, it actually is. Sometimes their passion for abstaining from certain foods and embracing others is the result of study and a desire to be healthier. Hopefully, to some extent we are all afflicted by this motivation. For some it revolves around their perception (often, but certainly not always based on facts) of man’s treatment of animals, or the ramifications of consuming animal products. For many, it is the fruit of an inward struggle with a sense of self-worth, manifesting itself in an often imbalanced, ill-informed and even militant need to “save the planet” by literally, but unwittingly, worshiping it, rather than worshiping its creator who’s message of ultimate self-worth, they have rejected. And finally, there are those who are simply motivated by a particular personality that is driven to be radical or contrary or just plain different.
Innate in many of these examples, and inherent in all of us, is the problem of pride, illustrated here by the “need” to convince or manage or dictate what others must do, by expressly elevating one’s environmental behaviors over the behaviors of others. This superiority complex is especially manifested in the highly educated, who feel that “what they know” makes them more valuable human beings than those lesser schooled. This is among the chiefest of sins, absolutely repulsive, but incredibly prevalent today. As the Apostle Paul warned, “speak the truth in love” and “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” Love seems most distant or missing altogether when a haughty, condescending, and condemning attitude is the delivery system for the extremist’s pantheistic gospel. These people care more than you do. Just ask them. Better yet, just talk to them, and they’ll waste no time in telling you so. These are the kind of people who place a higher value on animal and plant life than they do the unborn human being. They are staunch supporters of saving the owls and the seals and the rodents and the trees. But they feel entirely comfortable violently dismembering a child in utero, at any stage of pregnancy, because (in nearly every case) they’ve been inconvenienced by their own lack of good judgment. These are the kind of people who don’t necessarily buy a Prius because it will conserve gasoline or save them money. Their primary motivation is the sense of self-worth it instills, and the mobile advertisement of superiority it will become as they are seen driving down the street. It becomes, for arrogant people like this, an issue of control, and when those people are in government, it is a harbinger for the loss of freedoms, the denial of rights, and the dawn of tyranny.
Now, I must qualify this. Not every heavily engaged, environmentally minded, vegan or vegetarian or non-soda drinking American is an arrogant, self-righteous know-it-all. Some have hearts of gold. Unfortunately, hearts of gold are not generally counted among those with the big mouths, squeaking the wheel, getting the grease and controlling the national narrative. I can’t claim to know the inner motivations of the Mayor of New York City. However, his record of policy making clearly shows the extent to which he is bent on being king of New York rather than simply a servant of the people. This same arrogance possessed him to issue the foolhardy call for police departments everywhere in the country to go on strike until his idea of gun control becomes the national standard. Law enforcement’s reaction, to his ideas and the similar ideas of New York’s governor and our nation’s president? An increasing and impressive number of sheriff’s departments and state governments spanning the nation vehemently oppose it. Why? They see the action as a diversion, an attempt to fix a problem while actually making it worse. They recognize the intrinsic value in a citizen possessing the ability to protect themselves and defend their family and property. They understand that the citizen’s right to bear arms makes their job safer. And they see the wisdom of our American forefathers manifest in the 2nd Amendment. It is a bad combination to house imbalanced environmentalism, lust for power, a disdaining distortion of the Constitution and a superiority complex in the same body. Sometimes it is found in a single politician. Most recently it seems to be the malignancy of an entire political party. A party in which many believe Michael Bloomberg secretly holds membership.
Regarding the Mayor’s assault on soft drink manufacturing, it is ironic that our increasingly endangered free market saw the legislative writing on the wall when it started recently peddling the new craze in home soda making. You see them everywhere. Just add water and these portable appliances carbonate your choice of flavoring. Do they rival leading ready-made carbonated beverages, in taste? Many seem to think so. Is it good for you? Highly unlikely. But should it be illegal? A century ago, prohibition made sure that home distilleries sprung up everywhere, creating a black market for booze, inviting organized crime, increasing consumption in many cities and enticing a great deal of corruption among law enforcement agencies. What do today’s trends in distribution control suggest, if anything? Will Americans slowly resort to making their own soda and reloading their own ammunition? Or will Americans rise up, demand the respect inherently captured in the Constitution and remove the hissing fizz from our city, state and national leaders? In addition to the production of bubbles, hiss and gas, dictionaries define effervescence as liveliness, exhilaration, high spirits and animation. I’m not a big fan of soda, but we could all use some effervescence.
Editor’s Note: Originally published Feb. 26, 2013
~André French © 2013
The Moral Liberal Guest Writer, André French, is a husband and father of three from Sharon Springs, NY. He is a small business owner, musician, songwriter, and worship leader, and writes regularly on history, politics, culture, faith, and family. Andre’s Facebook Page
The Moral Liberal recommends: Lincoln, Speeches and Writings (2 Volume Set) : Vol I: 1832-1858 (Speeches, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings, The Lincoln-Douglas Debates) ; Vol II: 1859-1865, (Speeches, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings Presidential Messages and Proclamations)