AP, NBC Ask: Time to Publicly Shame the Obese, Let Smokers Die?
Biases upfront: I'm a 46 year-old health nut obsessed with exercise and eating right. I don’t smoke or drink, and there are supermodels who worry less about their weight. However, I do admire those who don't live like that; who might not live as long as I do, but will probably enjoy their overall quality of life more than my somewhat Spartan one.
Oh, and I also realize that this is America. And if people want to pursue happiness through a double cheeseburger and a pack of Newports, any joyless, left-wing bossy-pants who has a problem with that can go mind their own g***amned business.
But they're not going to.
Today, Associated Press medical writer Mike Stobbe published a piece that takes seriously the idea of singling out smokers and the overweight with public shaming campaigns:
That said, public health officials shouldn't shy away from tough anti-obesity efforts, said Callahan, the bioethicist. Callahan caused a public stir this week with a paper that called for a more aggressive public health campaign that tries to shame and stigmatize overeaters the way past public health campaigns have shamed and stigmatized smokers.
National obesity rates are essentially static, and public health campaigns that gently try to educate people about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating just aren't working, Callahan argued. We need to get obese people to change their behavior. If they are angry or hurt by it, so be it, he said.
The piece also opens with this disturbing question:
Faced with the high cost of caring for smokers and overeaters, experts say society must grapple with a blunt question: Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die?
Earlier this week, NBC News published an article that also took this idea seriously:
Daniel Callahan, a senior research scholar and president emeritus of The Hastings Center, put out a new paper this week calling for a renewed emphasis on social pressure against heavy people -- what some may call fat-shaming -- including public posters that would pose questions like this:
“If you are overweight or obese, are you pleased with the way that you look?”
Emboldened by electoral victories and a media that has become one with the Democratic Party, the Left is moving aggressively to socially re-engineer America; and the overweight are now in the crosshairs. Though CNN and NBC have been more subtle about The Next Great Fascist Crusade, the idea is getting the nudge over there, as well.
The thing to keep in mind is that the media's latest liberty-crushing march has absolutely nothing to do with their stated concerns over public health and the effect certain habits have on the cost of health care and the government treasury.
That's all a big fat lie; a fig-leaf to couch outright oppression as do-goodery.
First off, nothing else that explodes the cost of anything ever bothers the Left. If the Left was truly concerned with the cost of health care, they never would've pushed ObamaCare. If the Left was truly concerned with the deficit, they would've voted Obama out of office in a landslide.
No, if you'll notice, the only time the media and Left wring their hands over expense and cost is when that hand-wringing can be manipulated into an excuse to control other people's lives.
Moreover, look at the kinds of unhealthy behavior the Left always targets. If you'll notice, it's always behavior they're personally uncomfortable with. You see, they see themselves as Nietzsche Supermen; godless gods superior to the rest of us who simply can't stand the sight of some Red State chub exiting a McDonald's puffing on a Marlboro Red. So under the guise of fiscal conservatism and motherly concern, they push for extermination through social stigma.
The Left would have us believe, though, that the habits they engage in have no deleteriorous effect whatsoever. Alcohol, for example, and the ongoing celebration and normalization of loveless sex -- not to mention, the slow but inexorable push to legalize and glamorize drug use.
Is there anything more revealing about the Left than a DVD that opens with an anti-smoking ad right before a movie begins that's about to make drug abuse and sleeping around look, like, totally cool and awesome?
You're going to tell me that the car accidents and violence (especially towards women) caused by alcohol are less harmful than puffing a pack of Kools? Or that the consequence of loveless sex -- AIDS, STDs, abortions, and almost certain poverty that comes with an unplanned pregnancy -- does less damage to our society than a Big Gulp.
Under no circumstance would these insufferable elites ever look to "pretty up" society through the "shaming" of drug addicts, alcoholics, sexual degenerates, lazy welfare leeches, or any others who loot the treasury and spread much more human misery than nicotine and ice cream. And anyone who suggested such a thing would immediately be branded a bully by the very same elites now testing the waters to bully-by-shame the overweight.
Regardless, if people want to live their lives in a way that might shorten their time with us, that's up to them. And any increase in the price of health care is exponentially cheaper than the price of lost liberty.
And let's not forget that the godless, elite Left has spent decades deconstructing the American culture for the worse through the normalizing and the demanding of tolerance for every deviant behavior imaginable. All so they can fool themselves into believing they’re the normal ones and the real freaks live out in the suburbs.
But because they don't smoke between shots of Tequila at club "Thin, Rich, Shallow, Mean, and Stupid," run out for Cheddar Melts between one-night stands, and want to believe chic equals humanity and who needs God when you look great in a little black dress -- they're coming for the rest of us.
Be watchful. These imperious, intolerant scolds, who see themselves as morally superior to anyone not like them, always play for keeps.
The Left is nothing if not relentless, and this growing media push to create a perfect society of Mika Brzezinskis and Soledad O'Briens truly worries me.
There's no satisfying these people, and it all smacks of genetic supremacy by way of PSA.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC