Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Freedom is not Free

Since my last post seems to have received a lot of attention, I'm going to expand a little.

Conservatives love to say "Freedom is not free." When they say that, they are usually referring to military action or service. And they are right. Freedom is not easy. It takes work.

Which brings me back to food. The same people who wax poetically about freedom not being free tend to be vigorous defenders of the worst processed food and most pernicious food marketing. Freedom of speech, enterprise and choice, they say.

But they never mention individual responsibility -- that pesky part about freedom not being free. Sure you have the right to eat whatever you want, but with that right comes the responsibility to make good choices. It's not easy. You have navigate the blizzard of Big Food propaganda. You need to learn to cook so you are not dependent on others for preparation and content of your meals. It's work, but work that brings you freedom.

So wouldn't you think that conservatives and libertarians, who extol the individual above all else, who make a cult of self improvement, would urge people to question, to think, to gather information so they can make informed decisions on what to eat?


In fact, media conservatives and libertarians tend to do the opposite. They urge people to shut down their brains when it comes to food. Trust Big Food. Just eat it.

If you really believe in freedom, you should expect, indeed demand, that people accept the responsibilities that come with it. That means questioning what's in McNuggets and whether they really are good for your children. Sure McDonald's has a right to sell you crap. But as a free individual, you have the responsibility to decide for yourself if you eat it.

I'd love to see Rush shove the Big Mac away from his face long enough to say that.

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