Today’s chemistry lesson: How to create a conservative in three easy steps.
Start with a heavy dose of wide-eyed idealism. Toss in a generous dollop of self-righteous certainty. Add a dash of we-know-best paternalism and half-baked social theory. Put in the kiln at high temperature for three hours. Remove fully-baked liberal.
Now begin the conversion process by diluting those liberal leanings with equal parts common sense and political reality. To wit:
Step 1: Add a healthy heaping of do-gooder county executive who impinges on personal choice and responsibility with a nonsensical plan to stop pharmacies – but not the gas stations or convenience stores next door – from selling cigarettes.
Be careful how you mix this in, because – surprisingly – there could be an actual health benefit if grocery store and big-box shoppers walk down the block to buy their smokes, thereby getting more exercise. On the other hand, if they drive, it means more health-impacting pollution, damage to the ozone layer and climate change.
Measure this part carefully.
In another beaker, pour in a health care industry that still takes itself seriously despite continuously reversing itself on what’s good for you and what’s not.
Remember margarine vs. butter, drinking water – or not – during exercise, and antibiotics to treat ear infections? Also recall when L&Ms were "just what the doctor ordered" and "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette."
No doubt they will never re-reverse themselves; the evidence County Executive Mark Poloncarz and doctors cite against cigarettes is overwhelming. But the health impact is not the issue. So use filtration to extract this fact and dispose of properly.
What’s left is liberals’ maddening refusal to just give people the facts and let mentally competent adults decide for themselves whether they want to take the risk or not with a lawful product. And if they do, making them go to a separate store is not going to stop them any more than it stops people from seeking out any other specialty item.
Besides, as long as nicotine is a legal drug, what more appropriate place to buy it than a drug store?
Step 2: In a separate test tube, throw in all of the campus liberals who undermine liberalism by refusing to listen to – or let anyone else listen to – speakers who might hurt their feelings.
Lacking the confidence expressed by 17th century Englishman John Milton, who famously advocated letting truth and falsehood grapple, student groups have tried to muzzle white supremacists and other "offensive" speakers while some universities have banned window displays, which no doubt could send the "wrong" message to passers-by.
Ingest this and stomach it as long as you can.
Step 3: For good measure, fill a graduated cylinder with all manner of ridiculous gun control measures that only impinge on law-abiding firearms owners and whose logic evaporates faster than water over a Bunsen burner.
Let all of this simmer until you’re practically boiling over.
What’s distilled will be a creation that turns on Poloncarz, his Legislature lab assistants and the rest of the truly mad political scientists everywhere trying to engineer the perfect liberal society while treating adults like children incapable of deciding for themselves.
The monster they inadvertently create should not be taken lightly:
And it always votes.