IT'S ABOUT FREEDOM, NOT SODA POP
I doubt they see the irony.
In Philadelphia, where American freedom was born, they’re taxing soda pop.
That’s because it’s bad for you. Too much sugar, too much carbonation, too much freedom.
So the city council has imposed a tax.
It’s being seen as a victory over evil soda pop corporations. Somewhere along the way, apparently, Coca-Cola became the antichrist.
And somewhere along the way, apparently, people became incapable of running their own lives.
And in the city where men in Independence Hall declared that humankind is endowed at birth with liberty and the right to pursue a self-determined happiness, it seems pretty darned odd that the government wants to decide what you drink.
It is amazing how completely upside down the relationship between the people and the government has become. In the very city where, in that very same Independence Hall, another group of men envisioned a limited government and a free people, they seek to compel a choice of beverage.
And the people cheer it.
As they lose this small bit of independence, and applaud their government masters for it, they don’t seem to grasp that they are being taxed more. Both money and freedom are being taken from them and, instead of rising up like earlier inhabitants of Philadelphia, they are happy.
Like little sheep unaware they are being led to the slaughterhouse.
When Americans first gathered at Philadelphia to declare their independence, they were continuing a process that commenced with a tax on tea.
Which is a lot like a tax on soda pop.
Except our forefathers condemned the king who taxed their tea, and we have embraced the mayor who taxed our soda pop.
So let’s review some things.
America wasn’t established to protect you, it was established to liberate you. The government is not your mommy, it is your servant.
It is not here to wipe your hind end or supervise your diet.
It’s not here to determine how many gallons are in your toilet or how many ounces are in your paint can or how many miles per gallon your car can run.
And it is especially not to make decisions which are entirely yours to make – like what you eat or drink.
If you drink soda and gain weight, that is your business. It is not the government’s role to either reward or punish your individual choices.
In America, we have lost sight of our basic premise, of the very reason our county exists. Some days it’s almost as if America has ceased to exist, as if the country our parents and grandparents knew has been subverted and replaced by the very sort of totalitarian society their generations fought against.
We sing of being the land of the free, but suffocated by regulation and law, we are anything but. The needful rules of society have become overgrown and strangling, they have become chains.
And so one city legislates how many ounces can be in your cup, and another legislates which beverages it wants you to drink.
The one was our first capital, the other where our founding documents were signed.
And both are betrayed by the deeds of their leaders.
And both lose sight of this fundamental principle: The government can only protect you by enslaving you. The only way it can free you from the consequences of your choices is by taking away your choices.
And as it does, it weakens you. As it accustoms you to the feel of its mastery, it steals from you your ability to find your own way. It gets stronger and we get weaker. It gets more powerful and we get less free.
It’s not about sugar or calories, it’s about freedom. The simple freedom to decide what you want to drink free of government interference.
And in Philadelphia they’ve lost that.
Like we all have lost so much.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2016