Sometimes you can’t help but wonder if NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is some brilliant parody of an oblivious yet sanctimonious politician.
Asked if he remembers the moment he became a crusader against illegal gun trafficking (one of his many causes), Bloomberg told reporters:
No, but I did get interested in public health a long time ago, as you know. And I think, as mayor, my responsibility is to do everything I can is to do everything I can to protect the health and safety and increase the longevity of the people that live in this city. As an American, and as a human being, I have a responsibility to not push, to not force anybody to do anything but to explain what I think and to educate people to the extent of what I believe that would be in their self-interest.
This coming from the man responsible for the city’s slew of new nanny state laws, such as: bans on sugary drinks sold in 16-ounce containers or larger; bans on the use of trans-fats in restaurants; bans on food donations to homeless shelters because the city could not track the salt and fat contents; some of the toughest indoor smoking bans in the country; and a boneheaded restriction on the amount of painkillers a patient can receive in hospital emergency rooms.
All of those laws require one thing to be actual enforceable “laws.” When a politician claims they aren’t “forcing” you to do anything, but are simply educating or gently “nudging” you, it’s just a polite way of getting around the cold, hard, undeniable truth: government is force.