For all you out there that call yourselves liberal, as yourself this…what does the word mean? Dictionary.com has a curious series of definitions — the first three definitions are political…and hardly correct. Number 1 is “favorable to progress and reform…” and 2 is “noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform…” Only once you get to definition three do you even get close to the correct meaning, “of, pertaining to, or advocating liberalism.”
They still, however, haven’t defined liberal or liberalism’s most basic meaning. Four’s even closer, but now we’re half way down the screen: “favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.” Liberal is someone who believes in liberty…freedom.
Which makes Newsweek contributing editor Michael Tomasky nothing close to a liberal. A Progressive, maybe; a statist? Absolutely. Tomasky, who would cry like a toddler told “no” if he was restricted from behaviors he engages in, decries the response to Mayor Michael “Joy-Killer” Bloomberg’s desire to ban large-sized sugared drinks. The know-it-all in question here informes us that, “It’s unassailable as policy.” Truly? That doesn’t seem to be the case, based off of the response.
Tomasky, who most like has a C&J degree, meaning he can barely string a sentence together, much less opine with authority on anything outside of where you can get a great pastrami sandwich in his neighborhood (and possibly not that), intones, “Refined sugar is without question the worst foodstuff in the world for human health, and high-fructose corn syrup is little better.” One, that’s backward, as studies starting in the 1920s, when the government started pushing corn syrup as a way to bolster the income of corn farmers (act 2 was ethanol, which burns less efficiently, leading to higher usage of gasoline in the fuels it is added to.)
He continues, “We are a fat country getting fatter and fatter, and these mountains of refined sugar that people ingest are a big part of the reason. The costs to the health-care system are enormous, so the public interest here is ridiculously obvious.” 1) We are no fatter than any other industrialized nation. (Have a shufty at your average German.) 2) We are getting fatter because the goalposts are being moved by “health interests.” in 1990, I would have been average weight for a man my height; I am obese now at 180 pounds. Ludicrous. 3) The costs to the health care system are spurious. Most Americans have some form of health insurance (about 17% are uninsured.) The doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies are getting paid, and paid well. The costs to the patient are not due to overuse of the system due to obesity, but an artificial paucity of health care providers due to restricted medical school admissions, onerous licensing practices and requirements, and a lack of competition thanks to a massive guild controlling the industry (the American Medical Association.) We’ve seen what can happen when the guild is pushed out of the way and competition, in areas of cosmetic surgery and laser eye surgery — just for two.
Buzzkill Tomasky does get one thing right — one of the problems is too little exercise or activity for those who are too heavy. I could stand to do more. I have a 14 month old child to care for, papers to grade, things to write, and — quite frankly — not enough time to really get out to do as much as I would like. But do I need to lose weight? Not really; I need the exercise more to keep the machinery of the body doing…and that keeps you healthy.
Naturally, for the busybody Progressive nothing the plebian does is good. They are stupid and uneducated, they are foolish and gluttonous. They will succumb to advertising without resistance. They will always buy the 32 ounce soda at the movies (which would explain the debt crisis in the nation, alone…) They are lazy and fat and not beautiful, and that is unforgivable! Tomsky follows the standard narrative that just because there are Turbo Gulps and Big Macs and supersized meals the plebes automatically will eat them. That was the point of Super-Size Me — Spurlock assumed that the average poor person just guzzled atomic war-sized portions at every meal. When another researcher ate McDonalds for a month, having salads (I can recommend their Southwest grilled chicken one, heartily) and other healthy choices from the menu she lost as much weight as Spurlock gained.
No one else is capable of Tomasky’s monastic self-control when he heroically took a stand against the big tub of popcorn.
“Are bacon-cheeseburgers next? As a practical matter, no. Sodas are an easy target because there is nothing, nothing, nutritionally redeeming about them. But might there come a day when the New York City Department of Health mandates that burgers be limited to, say, four ounces? Indeed there might. And why not? Eight- and ten-ounce burgers are sick things.” Really..? Sodas actually can provide a quick burst of complex sugars that can replenish energy quickly when one is out working their ass off — something you don’t see when you make you living in front of a keyboard for The Daily Beast or Newsweek. Moreover, salt — which Bloomie the Nudge also went after is an essential compound to the human body. Nutritional paucity need not apply for a meddlesome Progressive to want to restrict your use of it. A health board mandate of food size is absolutely possible, if we allow the nannies of the world to set this soda precedence.
As for a big burger being a sick thing — you can hear the derision dripping like nasty Carl’s Junior grease from his prose. Tomasky hates the notion of people being able to decide to indulge. Liberty — this fetish Americans have to being able to live their own lives — is a sick thing to him:
“Are we to do nothing, in the name of the “liberty” that entitles millions of people to kill themselves however they please[?]…We have this “liberty” business completely backward in this country, and if Bloomberg can start rebalancing individual freedom and the public good, God bless him, I say.” 1) How dare you offend your reason-loving audience with a reference to God, sir!?! 2) From a man that most likely espoused abortion for sexual freedom and euthanasia as a form of pain managemnet — yes, we should let people live their own lives as they see fit, even if their appearance doth offend your eyes. 3) How can you have liberty “backwards” — you either believe in freedom, or you do not. When you quote the “public good” as an excuse to curtail freedom, you forget that the public is made of individuals and trampling on their freedoms and happiness is an anathema to real “liberal” ideas
But Tomasky, like so many that claim to be liberals, is nothing of the sort.