Stalinism hasn’t really gone away. It’s just gotten a lot wimpier — and sweeter.
And since Americans can only be prodded into doing something with money, we need to tax crappy foods that make us sick like we do with cigarettes, and alcohol — and alcohol actually serves a useful function in society in that it enables unattractive people to get laid, which is more than you can say for Skittles.
I’m not saying tax all soda, but certainly any single serving of soda larger than a baby is not unreasonable. If you don’t know whether you burp it or it burps you, that’s too big. We need to make taking care of ourselves an issue of patriotism. If you were someone who condemned Bush for not asking Americans to sacrifice for the war on terror, the same must be said for Obama and health care.
Maher had mentioned this idea back when he found himself as the only leftist on a panel of Ross Douthat, Ashton Kutcher, and General Anthony Zinni. The panel could agree that wellness needs to be promoted but none embraced his Sugary Stalinism of wanting to use the government to try and tax bad eating out of existence.
Maher and many so-called “progressives” are no doubt blind to seeing any connection between their seemingly wholesome desires to save people from their own bad habits and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s programs of institutionalized murder and repression. (In fact I imagine the very suggestion would send them into tizzies of “McCarthyist!” and “Red-Baither!” The Dave could care less. “Sugar Stalnism” has a good ring to it. Alliteration is a virtue — and trumps political correctness.)
But there is a connection: both represent thuggish attempts to use the cudgel of government to reshape society. The Stalinism of the USSR and the Sugary Stalinism of many of today’s leftists both think that government should be utilized to kill anything that gets in the way. Stalin just went further. He actually killed people. Progressives think you can just tax bad things and pass laws. But you know that many of them deep down just wish that the malevolent conservatives that stand in their way would die.
The problem that Maher refuses to confront — and putting the morality aside for a moment — is this: his Sugary Stalinist dreams will not work. If the real Stalinists could not kill their way to a better world then how can “progressives” tax and legislate their way there? Government attempts to try and remake society and save a people from their “vices” are doomed to failure. We tax alcohol and cigarettes already. Is it effective to get people to give up either? Absolutely not. The government even spends billions of dollars a year fighting to keep drugs like marijuana criminalized. That doesn’t work either. (We won’t get into the amusing paradox of Maher wanting to tax junk food but legalize weed.)
What makes Maher think government force will work for food? Further, what makes Maher think it could even be implemented effectively? (Black market Mountain Dew anyone?)
Oh wait, I know. Nothing makes Maher think it would work. Maher’s not thinking period — just like so many other well-intentioned leftists today.