Monday, August 25, 2003

Rights and Reason: Political Debate Looms Over Obesity

Siobhan Mcdonough of the AP reports on the anti-obesity lawyers.

[W]ith obesity a growing health problem, lawmakers, lawyers and activists are lining up the way they do for most issues: on two sides.

The left's view is that the food industry and advertisers are big bullies that practically force-feed people with gimmicks and high-calorie treats. They say Ronald McDonald is the cousin of Joe Camel.

The right's argument has been dubbed: You're fat, your fault. They say people can make their own choices about food and exercise.
These two paragraphs outline why I think the chances are better for Objectivists to influence the Republican Party over the Democratic Party. In this case, the left sees individuals bereft of free will. The right sees otherwise. The left will claim that its view is scientific and rational. The right will claim common sense.

That’s not to say either side is consistent. The right certainly does not display common sense on questions like abortion (whereas the left does defend abortion, but I have a nagging suspicion that it does so the grounds that abortion is the only individual right that is gender specific.)

Yet when you think about obstacles to overcome, I do think, outside of Roy Moore and his ilk, that many on the right recognize at least vaguely that there is link between freedom and free will. The right has its economic conservatives. There are no such parallel creatures on the left.

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