Listening to the radio last week, two news stories presented back to back, offered listeners simple contradictions. The stories stoked more heat than light on public discourse.
Story one: a libertarian candidate for office harshy condemned laws which mandated certain conducts aimed at personal safety among citizens. The libertarian candidate railed against the tyranny of the nanny state. Remember when mom always said: "Don't forget to wear your coat to school."
Story two: a gubernatorial Candidate Tom Tancredo reacted on radio to his being hit by a driver while riding his motor cycle. Tom confessed to the papers that he had chosen not to wear a helmut. Like the monk knight guarding the holy grail in the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, said of the character who selected the wrong chalice: "He chose poorly."
Now candidate Tancredo, with his retired congressional health plan. would probably never want if his accident had left him more seriously wounded. Though he mentioned the pain from the accident was considerable. What should bother us about all this is that lots of people in our country cry "tyranny" when asked to practice simple common sense safety measures. But serious brain injuries of people who don't wear helmuts while riding motor cycles often eventually become economic tax burdens to the general citizenry if their insurance benefits run out.
The state should not have to encourage citizens to practice safe and common sense measures, to make good choices in life which protect health and life. I think lots of people would agree that the real and ultimate tyranny is the many years of health bills taxpayers have to pay to maintain those who made bad choices.
Start with yourself: make good choices which will keep your bad choices from becoming unfair tax burdens to others. Think of it as being patriotic and choose wisely.