Take this “Happy Meal Ban” in San Francisco, for example. My blood pressure splatters all over the ceiling just thinking about it, because in my mind’s eye I can see that bloated doughboy Glenn Beck waving his pudgy fists in the air, conducting a cacophony of angry voices all sniping and griping about how the so-called ban on happy meals “encroaches on our personal freedom” and “takes away parents’ rights” and “NANNY STATE! NANNY STATE! What will The Big Evil Government do to control us next?”
To back up for a second, San Francisco did not actually ban Happy Meals; San Francisco passed a bill that would require fast food meals that come with free toys to meet certain nutritional guidelines. In other words, if you’re going to use Dora the Explorer and that asinine monkey Boots to bait kids into eating your food, perhaps that food should, I don't know, have the ability to decompose. Or at least not contain half of an adult's recommended daily allotment of fat and calories.
How such regulation deprives citizens of any freedom or rights is beyond me. You still have the freedom and right to eat your poison patties and fries. You still have the freedom and right to feed yourkids poison patties and fries. The simple fact of the matter is that kids won’t want the poison patty and fries unless they’re accompanied by a cheap plastic toy. They'd just as soon eat the healthier stuff. And that is why fast food companies hate the bill. Not because they believe in your freedom to choose what to feed your children, but because they believe in their freedom to do whatever the hell it takes to SELL MORE BURGERS AND NUGGETS.
So let’s call a spade a spade.
If you think the government shouldn’t regulate corporations in this way, so be it. But don’t tell me it's about freedom. Because the only ones being deprived of freedom here are the fast food executives who want the freedom to make as much money as possible, even if it means bludgeoning our kids to death with advertising and product tie-ins so they too become addicted to the foods that are killing their parents.
So, "If you think McDonald’s is evil, you have the freedom not to eat there.”
Thank you! Aren’t you nice! It so happens I exercise that freedom on a daily basis. But it doesn’t change the fact that healthy, quality food is getting harder and harder, and more and more expensive, to come by. As a matter of fact, all of us are not free to make healthy choices. And fast food companies like McDonald’s have a whole hell of a lot to do with it.
Is a healthier Happy Meal going to stop our nation’s diabetes epidemic? Of course not. But until everyone—and that includes our corporations (who are made up of people) and our government (that is made up of people elected by the people) and our schools (that are lead by people to serve smaller people) start contributing to the effort, we don’t have a prayer.