Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Mayor Newsom (mayor of San Francisco):

I am not a citizen of your "fine" city of San Francisco. However, I am a citizen of the finest country in the world and as an American citizen, I strongly object to your executive order to ban sugary drinks in your city. What type of people do you govern, if you suspect that they are not in the conscious state of mind to choose what they drink with their lunch. Are your citizens so absent-minded that they need someone to make these type of mundane, every day choices for them. I think not. And how dare you take that option away from them! I would, personally, be highly offended if you were my mayor, to know that you thought so lowly of my intellect!

I agree that sodas are not the healthiest option. But that is just what it is-an option- that I, myself, am capable of choosing for myself. I don't need anyone, especially, any form of government, ordering me to eat healthy, or drink healthy, or exercise regularly. You see, Mr Newsom, it boils down to personal responsibility. Each individual human being has to learn to make responsible decisions on their own. Sometimes learning to take personal responsibility means making some crucial mistakes and suffering some unpleasant consequences, maybe like being 20 pounds heavier, or suffering from heart disease, or developing lung cancer. These are all consequences that may or may not occur from personal choices Americans make everyday. Would I ever want anyone to suffer these consequences? Of course not. But I would never advocate taking away the right of a person to make the choice of whether or not they want to take those risks. I cannot stress enough that these are not the decisions that the government should be concerned with.

We all know that anything in excess is not a good thing. Let's take alcohol, for example. When not used responsibly, alcohol use can be fatal. However, we are still allowing Americans to make that choice. Let's just say,hypothetically, that in 1992, when over 18,000 drunk-driving fatalities were reported in our country, the same year that your PlumpJack Wine Shop was founded, our "well-meaning" government passed legislation to end the sale of alcohol. They would have, of course, done this to protect our country's citizens from the dangerous act of using a legal substance in an irresponsible way. Much like drinking too many sodas. Now let's think about how that would have affected your business, PlumpJack Wine Shop-the same business that grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise. I'm thinking that it wouldn't have been good for business and that you would then be advocating that grown, responsible human beings can, in fact, choose whether they would like to have wine with dinner. Apples to apples, Mr. Newsom.

What you have embarked upon is a slippery slope. I hope that the nice people of your city, state and this country realize this. Now you ban sugary drinks. What's next? Mandatory gym memberships? A regulated diet for all your constituents? Fines for not being at the ideal weight for your body type? Now there's an interesting way for your state to generate some much needed revenue.

I'm writing this letter to you as I sip on a cold, half-finished Dr. Pepper. No, I am not overweight, I am college-educated, I make responsible decisions and I am capable of running my own life. I don't need you or any of your colleagues to do it for me.

Thank you very much for your time. Now please use it more wisely!

1 Sweet Comments:

  1. I was so struck by this, I really did have to comment here, too. You should send this to him - publish it in your local newspaper, something.

    It's so tiring, watching our freedom of choice get taken away so often these days!