Saturday, July 24, 2004

Minneapolis Smoking Ban

This I don't get. Really and truly I don't.

It's one of those issues that makes sense to conservatives in general because we generally like to think of liberals, such as those populating the Minneapolis City Council, as two-bit Stalinists who would dictate every facet of our lives to suit their humanity-effacing ideology if they could. But it makes almost no sense at all when you get down to the details, because pretty much every hardcore liberal I know is a smoker. They all live in Minneapolis, they all go to bars, and they are all going to be extremely unsettled by this ban.

Being a non-cigarette smoker, I suppose I should enjoy this. I've never been too fond of second-hand smoke, though I've not been idiot enough to fall for the scientifically ... let's say challenged... studies which claim that second hand smoke will kill me. It's still a general nuisance, and now I will encounter less of it. But for some reason, I can't join the air Nazis by goose-stepping along in their celebratory parade. Too much of a freedom thing to me. A bunch of people used the power of government to stop other people from enjoying themselves in a legal way on private property. That's just never going to give me the warm fuzzies these morons seem to feel.

In a sane world, this would have been handled the same way my own smoke of preference (cigars) got itself banned from most places. Most people didn't like the smell, so most proprietors banned it on their property. I can't begin to fathom why sane people decided to resolve their annoyance with cigarrette smoke a different way. I get why those of totalitarian mind, and those easily lead to believe nonsense got behind it. But have these sort of folks really achieved the power to pull a 12-1 vote in Minneapolis, where so many hardcore liberal activists meet to plot the destruction of conservatism over smokes?

I guess they can.

Usual conservative gobbledegook about liberals hating freedom should be inserted here. But it seems a cop-out. It's not that simple. If there's one thing about freedom liberals still love it's the libertine, personal hedonism sort. At the moment they seem to be driving slightly harder toward banning cigarettes than they are toward legalizing pot, but there's no core ideology which will prevent that from flipping those priorities around in the span of a couple of years if the winds shift just right. It is conceivable that in the near future the Minneapolis City Council will treat cigarette smokers in private establishments more harshly than pot smokers. Seriously. That's not a difficult scenario to project.

And it's a state of affairs which cannot possibly survive as more than a historical blip. These aren't policies which can comfortably coexist.

Toss this into the general bucket marked "Ammunition for the Next Major Political Realignment." I don't know when it will happen, or what shape it will take in the end. But the air Nazis and the radical liberals I know are destined to become mortal enemies, They cannot remain political allies much longer.

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