Monday, April 19, 2010

The Hummer Was Stupid, but It Meant You Were Free

Penn Jillette mourns the imminent death of the Hummer. I do too, although it was never my cup of tea. Jillette mourns because the Hummer was a form of stupidity that reaffirmed our freedom because we are never so free than when we are being stupid...or, as I put it here, "Maybe freedom means being able to be a fat, artery-clogged slob who gets winded climbing stairs if one so chooses."
The point should be obvious. There are a million things that, arguably, we ought to be doing as individuals that would make us assuredly better off. But the fact that we don't is a sign of our freedom, but as laws and mandates and other "nudges" tackle more and more if these millions of little behaviors we lose our freedom. When do we go from freedom to something else? I'd argue we're there already, living in a country overcome with petty tyrannies moving toward actual tyrranies, which is why the Tea Party movement has come on like a tiger. The loss of the Hummer won't get people too excited, nor will incandescent light bulbs, but the ObamaCare health insurance mandate sure does as the creeping tyranny no longer appears to be creeping and petty tyrannies aren't looking so petty these days.


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