Here’s one of those things which I wish I did not even have to consider, but I must: an increased (that is, more strict) ban on smoking in South Dakota:
Many strides have been made in South Dakota to ban smoking in public places.
In 2002 it became illegal to smoke in all public buildings and workplaces except for businesses with beer, wine or liquor licenses.
In 2006, South Dakotans voted to raise the cigarette sales tax, intending to cut back on smoking.
And one day we could see a smoking ban without exceptions… and that one day could be very soon.
The motto – it’s time for a smoke free South Dakota. And many groups and voters in South Dakota hopes that becomes a reality for all businesses in South Dakota during the 2009 Legislative session.
I am against the smoking ban. Not because I am in favor of smoking, far from it. I get all choked up when I am around smoke and find it clinging to my clothes and hair long after I have left whatever building/area I was in. I am against the ban because it is yet another area where the government would do well to let industry (and consumer choice) determine where smoking is and is not permitted. Next thing you know, we will have a law telling me where I may and may not eat foods which are high in saturated fats.
Unrelated to the specifics of South Dakota’s increasingly intrusive tobacco ban (but absolutely on target at the level of principle) is the following from Protein Wisdom:
I have frequently noted that I believe that social conservatives are a problem for the conservative coalition — but only inasmuch as they try to push a religious agenda on the country through mechanisms favored by progressives.
Otherwise, they can actually prove helpful, should conservatives or classical liberals / libertarians ever commit to selling ideals rather than looking to find voting blocs to which they might effectively pander. Because the way one goes about trying for change is an important selling point for classical liberalism; and the conservative coalition holds the high ground when it appeals to the Constitution, the rule of law, and a fidelity to the process set out by the founders.
Oliver Cromwell was a remarkable individual. His influence upon the political landscape was short lived, in part because though he espoused a violently different approach to religion, he also had no problem using the same overbearing “we can make you do what we want” approach to governance as did his opponents.
This is one of the issues behind magic wand governance. We don’t mind the nice (read: agrees with us on everything) person having the power to create immediate change in policy without going through Constitutionally defined channels. However, we must realize that once a power is vested in an office, that office is sometimes filled by a person who is not nice (read: disagrees with us on just about everything). That is why we must stay inside the lines. Once the rules are changed, they are changed for everyone.
[editor: I apologize for bouncing from topic to topic within this post. I trust you can find your way through the logic (or help me straighten out the logic by applying yourselves to the comments.]