For years, I have been hearing that liberals are the intellectual betters of conservatives. The arguments in support of this claim have never cut much ice—not even the so-called “empirical” ones—but the claim continues to be advanced by those on the left with the same smug self-satisfaction they take in assuring themselves that they own a monopoly on tolerance, fairness, and being fun-loving.
Now at last the truth has emerged. A writer by the name of Megan Rosker has revealed, clearly without intending to, that liberals not only dislike thinking but find the prospect of thinking for themselves to be downright scary.
Rosker spills the beans in an article at the Huffington Post. The piece is not overtly about intellect but, rather, is a defense of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announced ban on the sale of outsize sugary beverages. The title is a question: “Do we have a right to be fat?” The obvious answer to anyone capable of rational thought is “Of course. It’s not a goal anyone should aspire to but it’s not against the law.”
But Rosker evidently isn’t capable of rational thought. After stating the obvious answer (“The government shouldn’t regulate our personal choices. We are free citizens”), she reacts to it:
Really? We are free of influence over what we eat, what we wear, what music we listen to? Last time I checked companies hired and paid millions to ad agencies that would manipulate our thinking, taking away our freedom of choice and leaving us with the feeling that using their product was the only thing that would make us feel happy, safe, relaxed, energized, etc. The point of a good ad campaign is to eliminate this feeling of choice.
Those are some astonishing charges. Ad agencies, she posits, are “taking away our freedom of choice” by making persuasive arguments for purchasing a product or service. If that’s true, then why would Rosker want to put her faith in the government? It, after all, is made up of powerful people with radically divergent ideas of what’s good for the nation and its people. Members of each faction use their powers of persuasion to “sell” a policy prescription to voters. Why doesn’t Rosker consider the political class as guilty as advertisers of abridging our freedom of choice? Better still, why does Washington not evoke the same fear in her that Madison Avenue does?
I don’t know which ads Rosker has been viewing, reading, or hearing, but I can’t think of a single campaign I’ve witnessed ever that has left me with the conviction that my only path to happiness, safety, relaxation, and feeling energized was buying the product being hawked. I haven’t had that reaction to a political spiel either, though I am aware of the capacity of politicians with the gift of gab to propagandize, convincing masses of Americans to accept their policy directives.
Rosker follows up with the advice that “to advocate that a culture of children has a right to be fat is inhumane. Ask any neuroscientist and they [sic] will tell you that children and teens don’t have the reasoning capabilities of adults.” I don’t need to ask a neuroscientist. I can fairly intuit without scientific confirmation that children don’t reason the same as adults.
But no one is suggesting, as Rosker implies, that young people be left to their own devices when it comes to determining which behaviors are healthful and which are not. That is why they have parents whose job is to guide them in making healthful choices. That responsibility is theirs—not the nanny state’s. Which is why Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of Big Gulps is so pernicious.
If Megan Rosker had the ability to think for herself, which would first require overcoming the irrational fear that certain evil forces were attempting to poison her thoughts, she would know that herself.
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