Drink Free or Die


I drink a lot of soda. A lot of it. In fact, it’s pretty much my favorite thing on earth. I have built a ceiling high shelf which lives in my garage, and holds 34 different flavors of soda. I’m not kidding. So, it makes sense that I am still thinking about Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on sodas over 16 ounces.

“Drink free or die” was the slogan a dozen or so people recently chanted outside City Hall Park in New York protesting Mayor Bloomberg’s idiotic ban on soda.

I love the idea…but is a dozen enough? It should be more like, I don’t know, 8 million?

This goes along with the recent poll that says 53 percent of New Yorkers say the soda ban is a bad idea and 42 percent disagree.

Most conservatives see this as a positive. Even in the progressive haven of New York City, the majority of people still oppose this ridiculous nanny statism. But, again, shouldn’t it be more like 100%-0%?

I’ve been to a lot of New York happy hours. I’ve participated in many of them. I’ve over-participated in many of them, too. I’ve never seen a lack of people who are pouring giant beers down their throats. How can they possibly think it is okay to ban certain amounts of soda?

I think this is a fundamental problem in communicating conservatism. Let me explain:

Here is the wording of the question:

“Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a ban on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces including energy drinks and iced teas. You would still be able to get refills or buy more than one serving and be able to get diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy drinks, alcoholic beverages, or any drinks sold in a grocery or convenience store. Do you think the proposal to ban sugary drinks is a good idea or a bad idea?”

Obviously, the question is worded to present the most positive spin on the soda ban. Surely, if Texas proposed a ban on contraception that would still allow you to get it at grocery stores only, it wouldn’t get such optimistic treatment.

But, the issue here is, what I call, internal translation.

People are ASKED the question:

Should government ban drinks over 16 ounces?

People ANSWER the question:

Should people drink sodas over 16 ounces?

In other words, when they internalize the question, it becomes “is drinking tons of soda a good idea?” even though what we’re really talking about is government making certain forms of soda drinking illegal.

It’s really a serious issue, because it reveals something terrible about ourselves. We (at least a lot of people) think the only way to deal with an undesirable outcome, is government action. That internal translation is something conservatives need to figure out. One that, short of controlling the media and polling organizations, I don’t have a solution for yet.

There are obviously hard core progressives that want to control every aspect of your lives, like Michael Bloomberg. But the typical person who sides with him in this poll isn’t considering their personal liberty. They are just judging whether they think people should drink a lot of soda. This is the foundation upon which terrible policy is built.

What if the question was phrased like this:

“Should you be able to choose to drink more than 16 ounces of soda at a time?”

I have to believe that gets 70-75% approval, even in New York. Remember, these are people that supposedly put such a premium on the concept of choice that they are willing to want abortion to be legal even when they say it’s a bad thing personally.

Bloomberg says the soda ban is there to protect you and help keep costs down so the city doesn’t have to keep investing in sturdier gurneys to pry you out of your house to go to the hospital or something. But he adds: “If you want to kill yourself, I guess you have a right to do it.”

Yes, I do.  Unless, of course, you get your way.  Which you won’t.  At least in Texas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Benjamin/100000093392574 Bob Benjamin

    I think I will go get a Big Gulp right now.

  • Anonymous

    Try applying this to all the different polls being conducted everyday and reported on by the MSM. Especially those from left leaning entities.  Now think about the exit polling conducted during the recall election in Wisconsin.  The data in WI showed the demonRat challenger to have wide margin towards winning, yet Gov. Walker prevailed by a very nice margin.  Now, do you truly believe any of the polling results?  Or do you believe they might be just a “touch” skewed in Odumbo’s favor? I am gonna go with the latter. 

  • Anonymous


    • http://twitter.com/paoligarcy Paolina Garcia

      “None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.” – John Milton

    • Anonymous

      Total freedom? So no taxes? No speed limits? No drug laws? No nothing? Um the slope is slippery both ways my friend. The world is not as black & white as the political parties would like us to believe. There is LOTS of grey. All or nothing thinking from both sides doesn’t encourage individuality in my opinion. It breeds good little automatons with no minds of their own.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NMSPEMYSEE36IUA7W2RMZY2HLY capa760

    Today is the 40th Anniversary of The Slurpee, and 7-11 is giving a free Slurpee to customers today. Check http://www.Slurpee.com for a printed hat or http://www.7-11.com  to find out the hours and addresses.

  • Anonymous

    How can you tell if it is 16 oz. because most places fill the cup with ice. How can people even listen to this garbage?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HSJULSAVFJIJYR6PCTCUPMNXRA Take 2

    No matter what the Federal (Utopian-elite) Government is imposing, a monarchy (Marxist) relationship, to or targeting those of a particular class of humans.  This elite group believes their own lies i.e.propaganda. They honestly approach children-teens-females and all ethnic
    branded groups as dense and unable to function normal daily life skills. 

    JUST A FEW ODD MANDITORY KEY WORDS: McDonald French fries… Big Gulp…  Coca Cola… Birth Disease Female G2 Condoms Abortion Abortion drugs-Morning after Pill…  Banking-School Loans Autos-Clunkers Retirment-S.S. TAX Emergency Health Care-Nationalized Health Care TAX…Death Panel  Death Tax Birth lottery Birth Penalty Embryo inspection Embryo elimination  elimination elimination Birth lottery Birth Penalty Embryo inspection Embryo elimination

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Is that not how they started Prohibition, they started at schools and it went on and on till well you know…..

  • Anonymous


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZSKETECBAFDEAUOUML4ICTKLAA Alex

    So you agree? Drink free or die, right?
    The question actually does say he’s banning sodas. That is sickening and most people are against that nanny statism.

  • Juan Benito

    Stu, your love of soda is awesome, especially in a world that bought into the “soda is bad” BS. Water, bubbles, spices, flavors, and sugar… are “bad”? Jesus, man. The human race is so asleep it’s downright eye-popping.

    Anyway Stu, healthier soda, especially coke, is something I’ve been holding in mind for some time now. It’s amazing that Coke still hasn’t woken up to this. You can put fructose (fruit sugar, does not create the negative insulin response) or xyltol to sweeten it, or better yet, let me have Coke syrup all by itself without aspartame or sugar in it, and I’ll just deal with adding whatever I want to add to it later on. Maybe I’d prefer half the sweetness, or sometimes no sweetness at all depending on my mood.

    Why don’t they make Vitamin Coke? Are they so asleep they still haven’t *thought* about this? 

    Why do they still use tap water when they could sell me a some carbonated Fiji Coke w/Vitamins in it? 

    It’s the same BS with tobacco. As soon as the world buys into “it’s evil”, it’s hard to get an industry to wake up and get off the guilt-trip. The unconscious guilt that they have about their product just slows down their progress immensely. Try getting a decent organic tobacco, it’s not easy. 

    The things I love, some of which grew this country to be as great as it was/is, such as Coke and tobacco, have such a bad image it’s absurd. I’ve been smoking and drinking nothing but Coke for the last 25 years and my teeth are fine, and the last time a doctor checked my lungs out he said that there’s no way I could be a smoker because they’re perfect. He then brought in a bunch of nursing students because he wanted to show them an example of perfect lungs, still refusing to believe me when I said I’m a happy smoker.

    What makes people unhealthy is not Coke and smoke, it’s non-love. It’s the stubborn refusal to love that makes people ill. Those who know compassion are not so easily fooled into thinking soda is evil. The purpose of soda is it’s supposed to bring joy, not guilt. By their love of soda ye shall know them. :)

  • Anonymous

    Banning? No. But I am all for putting a tax on soda to pay for the burden fat Americans who guzzle garbage can sized cups of soda at movie theatres put on our health care system. Yes sir-ree. Have you looked around at America lately? We are becoming an insanely obese gluttonously sick society.

  • Anonymous

    Smoking  bad for ya, achahol bad for ya, big gulps bad for ya, what will be next I like to ride/race dirt bikes  when are they gona decide thats bad for ya. or any dangerous sport for that matter. how many skate boarding guys have broke there wrists. I have broking a few bones playing on my bike. you cant fix stupid as they say.  sorry a big gulp pop is not the only thing making them fat. if you think so refer to line above this.

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