Damn near every time the self-appointed, self-righteous so-called morality mavens are opposed to some significant change in our social structure, they proclaim they’re stopping it “for the children.” If you oppose their efforts, therefore, you must hate children and unless you’re W.C. Fields that means you are evil.
To this, I loudly and profoundly call bullshit. Little kids who can barely read have been marching around carrying placards saying, “I’m sure glad my mother didn’t abort me!” for so long they’re putting those signs in the hands of their own little kids.
Yeah, sure. It’s okay to traumatize little kids in the name of shoving your religion down some stranger’s throat, because telling little kids that people who do not share their parents’ worldview are evil is good and appropriate.
Every time I hear some hysterical loser hide their agendas in unknown babies’ diapers, my Spidey-Sense goes off like a foghorn in an old British movie. They might have a decent premise somewhere in their argument, but when you stop to think about it – if you do stop to think about it – they pull the rug out from under their own argument by implying causation links that do not exist.
Let’s take smoking tobacco, which is a regular target of such activity. On the face of it, I agree with the concept of not smoking and the immorality of encouraging people to smoke tobacco. I tried my one and only cigarette shortly after my Bar Mitzvah, so my ox isn’t being gored here. But smoking tobacco in acceptable non-public venues is completely legal and if it doesn’t significantly inconvenience others that is their right.
If you want to think less of them for smoking, fine. There are plenty of impolitely judgmental folks out there, so you are not alone. But that doesn’t make you right, and that doesn’t mean you are something other than an asshole who likes to force people to march to their own tune.
I’m a baby boomer and about three-quarters of everybody with whom I went to school smoked tobacco at one time or another, and usually prior to their turning 18 … or 21; your state mileage may vary. I’d say that today over 90% of these people have stopped doing that. The tobacco industry always has marketed their wares to kids. Baseball cards were created to entice kids to sample their products.
Even today, two-thirds of a century after the surgeon general’s report, many parents smoke in their homes and their cars – in the latter case, after strapping their youngest into backwards-facing safety seats in order to protect their health. Yeah, irony. Gotta love it.
Now we’ve got flavored tobacco in vape cartridges, and damn near every non-tobacco producing state is tripping over their peers to ban the stuff. Well, marketing St. Joseph’s Orange-Flavored Tobacco For Children wouldn’t sell me because I think the base element sucks. Hell, I wouldn’t even try barbecue-flavored vape pens. But as our traditional conservative friends (sadly, this is no longer a redundancy) would say, these new laws are completely unnecessary.
And they’d be right. It already is illegal for an underaged human to buy nicotine products. It already is illegal for retailers to sell nicotine products to underaged humans. Still another law isn’t going to stop kids from smoking tobacco, and we’ve got at least 143 years of marketing history to prove that. There is no reason to restrict the choices of smokers of legal age.
Do you smoke menthol? Sorry, under these proposed laws you’re shit out of luck. The internet tells me (so it must be true) that people of color are the major market for menthol cigarettes, and back when billboard advertising of that stuff was acceptable most neighborhoods of color contained an abundance of such promotion. So… is this still another means to shit on minorities?
Think about that before you jerk your knee.