The government syndrome

Published 2:37 pm Thursday, September 3, 2009

I have said for years that our federal government has a form of Münchausen syndrome by proxy. Münchausen syndrome by proxy is a disorder in which a person deliberately causes injury or illness to another person, usually to gain attention or some other benefit.

The federal government has suffered from the disorder for years with their assumption that we are all far too stupid to possibly think for ourselves. Instead, they have convinced us that we cannot be trusted to make our own decisions and that our choices would be better decided by the fine people in Washington DC than you or I.

In their latest display of global takeover, Big Brother has passed the The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act essentially gives the FDA the authority to reduce nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products.

It also gives the FDA the power to ban tobacco flavors and disallow labels such as “low tar” and “light” from tobacco packaging. Under this new law, the FDA can also mandate that cigarette cartons and packs be covered with large graphic warnings. This may range from skull and crossbones to a large picture of a cancerous lung.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act also prohibits “color lettering, trademarks, logos, or any other imagery in most advertisements” because let’s be honest…it’s the psychedelic colors and funky camel that entices most non-smokers to give smoking a try.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge political supporter of big tobacco. I’m a smoker and even I know smoking is stupid. Owning a motorcycle that goes 120 miles per hour and having access to semi automatic assault rifles is also stupid, but I’m not comfortable with my government regulating my right to be stupid.

I’m also not comfortable with my government stomping on the free speech of a group of corporations, especially ones that produce a lot of revenue and jobs in my state in a sad and overbearing attempt to save us from ourselves.

I wish they would stop treating us like children. I know there is no such thing as a safe cigarette, just like I know better than to believe in clean coal. Those two products simply don’t exist. At some point you have to give me credit for being smart enough to know that some things I do are stupid. At what point exactly will they be smart enough to do the same?

Hopefully the federal government will stop treating our constitution like an inconvenient document that temporarily prohibits them from legislating everything. If they don’t then don’t be surprised if you go into a McDonalds next year and find that your Big Mac container has been labeled as poison and features a picture of a diseased heart.

David Friedman is a long-time contributor to the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald. A Bertie High School

graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at